What image comes to mind when you think of the perfect American woman? Is it the woman with the blonde hair and blue eyes or is it the woman who is a size two that is plastered all over televisions and magazines? America's image of the ideal woman is very skinny but busty. Every society has their own version of what beauty looks like but America happens to have one of the most startling images. These images of beauty that women see every day influence their behavior and push them to find ways to achieve these practically impossible beauty standards.

America's impossible beauty standards

These beauty standards have become the cause of many issues. mainly eating disorders. Women become preoccupied with how to become the woman in the image because that is the only beauty praised by America. Studies have shown that women who frequently read fashion magazines have a poorer sense of body image. Although it seems harmless to want to lose weight and to achieve a certain look, it is imperative that people know that these goals they wish to achieve are not ideal. What we see are photoshopped images of beauty; smaller noses, thigh gaps, and completely flat stomachs are not real.

When is enough enough?

Women are so pressured to look like the ideal woman they are willing to do whatever it takes to achieve this look, but have they gone too far?

Celebrities who are also trapped by these ideals undergo plastic surgery or do detoxes to achieve a skinny body. Throughout social media, people are selling detox teas or trying at-home detoxes and other things they have seen celebrities do, but it wasn't always as safe as "The Lemonade Diet."

Yet, what they do not tell you is that these women themselves suffer from eating disorders as well.

According to the Model Health Inquiry, over 40% of models suffer from eating disorders. An inside look at model life shows that models soak cotton balls in orange juice and swallow them to get that full feeling, and to stop them from eating. Models themselves are so preoccupied with achieving this unrealistic beauty standard that they sometimes resort to self-harm and drugs to deal with the pressure of the industry.

These are the women that we see in magazines, the ones who we strive to be. Is this really the kind of person you would like to be? This is the unhealthy lifestyle that these beauty standards create and it is not okay.

What does real beauty look like?

Real beauty is not airbrushed and plastered on television screens, it is healthy diets and a healthy amount of body fat. According to a 2016 study, the average American woman in 2016 is a size 16. Lose weight only because you want to live a healthy lifestyle, not because the woman on the billboard can sit dow without having any rolls. Embrace the body you have and remember that you're beautiful by your own standards.