An Open Letter to College Girls

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Dear college girls who need a boost,

In the age of social media and instant gratification, morale for the female kind hangs at an all-time low. Many of us grew up alongside “beauty gurus” on every corner of the internet. Names like MacBarbie07 (Bethany Mota) and Zoella (Zoe Sugg) get featured on products we can’t wait to grab.

From clothing lines to beauty brands, something in our brain makes us believe we can achieve all that they have or look like they do if we use their products; I’m here to tell you we can’t. Role models for young women are very important,  but there’s no need to feel belittled in the process. Obsessing over the exact way another girl uses her bobby pins or how she wears her socks in the fall seems unhealthy.

No one seems happy with themselves anymore. This needs to change, starting with you.

First, take a moment to recognize all the hard work that girls like Mota and Sugg put into their careers and personal brand. The level of fame and recognition those two achieved is incredible to say the least.

As much as you joke about dropping out of college to make YouTube videos all day, that lifestyle isn’t for everyone and it’s definitely not as easy as it looks. Constantly devaluing the great education you currently receive needs to stop.

Sure, it’s fun to imagine opening the mailbox and seeing packages from Urban Decay with free Naked palettes or free Numi curling wands, but imagine your great future with a crisp, clean diploma hanging on your office wall. Just because you’re not making bank or sponsored by million-dollar corporations at 18 doesn’t mean the opportunity for success vanished.

Oh, and if you haven’t noticed yet, we are all different. I am not you and you are not me. Not even all the minions in Despicable Me look the same, so why do so many young women aspire to look like other young women in unattainable ways?

When you catch yourself wishing for straighter hair, a flatter stomach or a bigger closet, cease those thoughts. Quiet the voice in the back of your head that makes you want to change yourself. No amount of make-up or hair products can make you any better than you already are.

If a boy says you look better without your glasses on, just respond, “That’s great, but how else will I see what an idiot you are?” If someone says you look prettier with makeup on, let them know you don’t need layers of foundation, concealer and bronzer to feel like the magical Disney princess you are. Going out and bare-facing the world shouldn’t bring up feelings of terror or shame. You in the purest form is what’s most beautiful.

If you do decide to spend extra time in the morning to highlight and contour your cheekbones so they look stronger than Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, there’s nothing to feel ashamed of either. Applying makeup, fixing up your hair in funky-bohemian braids and putting together the perfect outfit is an art form. Feel proud of what you create and own it. Those with only negative comments to share about your makeup or the shoes on your feet shouldn’t affect your day. Those people are the problem and need to change. As DJ Khaled would say, they don’t want you to be happy.

Whether you want to let your natural hair loose, cut it all off or dye it pink, take a hint from Nike and just do it. Don’t try to be a certain way because of your favorite celebrity. Photoshop is a thing of the present, ladies. We all heard about and saw the distorted photos of Zendaya. If you didn’t know, the actress and singer, only 19, fell victim to the hands of the Photoshop-crazed fashion magazine industry. She said on her Instagram that her hips and torso were “quite manipulated” and proceeded to create a side-by-side with the original photo. If she loves her body with thousands of people watching and criticizing her every move, you can too.

Which brings me to my last message. There is no such thing as having too much confidence or too big an ego, and loving yourself more is no excuse to love others less. Be your number one fan and love yourself, your body and your mind equally and proudly.

With all the love in the world,

Your number two fan

Jayna is a junior at The University of Florida studying journalism while earning a minor in innovation. She is undoubtedly a Swiftie and is always looking at cat photos on the internet. Her spare time is spent on Netflix or napping.

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