YOUTH MATTERS Anna Hayward...Time to stop judging women at face value

In a world full of face values and a beauty-obsessed public, appearance is seen as being essential.

The pressure of looking ‘perfect’ has started to change society’s views towards daily life. As an A-level student at Chichester College this is even noticeable while siting in the cafeteria. The amount of Barbie dolls and Justin Bieber clones parading through the college seems endless.

Something which is fuelled by the air-brushed images appearing in glossy magazines such as Grazia or even some of the gossip magazines like Heat and Closer.

The propaganda of looking good puts expectations on the public, especially young people, to live up to this unrealistic portrayal. I would explore a good book shop rather than trawl through high-street shops looking for shoes: I feel the way in which society works has become superficial.

The motto ‘a passion for fashion’ seems to have been warped into a relentless obsession to find the perfect image. And fashion magazines do not seem to understand the effect this pressure has on young people who can go to extreme lengths to achieve this perfection. An example of this would be the French model Isabella Caro who, despite campaigning against anorexia, died of the illness a few months ago.

These views need to be replaced with ideas that involve having a few spots or a coat from last year’s trends is acceptable. Appearance is not everything.

If I see a picture-perfect girl perched on a seat in the cafeteria I cannot help but feel undeniably envious. I have had plenty of conversations with my friends about clothes, make-up and what parts of our bodies we would change if we could. However I would not trade my hole-ridden tights or dysfunctional wardrobe for that flawless design, as my look is what makes me an individual.