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Peer Group Pressure and Image-Centred Society Lead to Need for Education to Address “Ideal

Women are becoming more and more involved with self-image everyday, and this is due to its” over accentuation by the media.

The media culture has created an “ideal” appearance that is thought to hold all aspects that women need in order to be seen in public, and communicate with people, specifically with the opposite sex. This ideal image has created a “clone-like” society where all women look identical. Nowadays it is all about the image; no matter what the personality of the woman is, she is still judged according to her body and what she is wearing. It is risking providing a shock to the system of the observer not to be in accordance with the ever-changing fashion trends.

Education’s Role

This ideology could be changed through educational institutions, which play a major role in shaping the way that society functions. If students are taught in a certain way, they can grow up developing their lives along those lines. Therefore children should be taught the basic knowledge that they are required to have, and then allowed to expand upon it in their own time and ways. Some boundaries would need to be drawn, but at the same time they would be able to develop their own sense of style, and make their own considered decisions.

There are some factors that could distract a child from pursuing their aims, one such being “peer pressure”. Peers who have high levels of self confidence are sometimes able to affect the thinking of others. Therefore, self confidence should be encouraged in the children from an early age, and then they would have their own personality different from the others around them and they would not have to imitate anyone.

Focusing more on girls, educational institutions should teach them that being over weight is not an impediment to carrying out any sort of activity. Usually overweight girls are self conscious about their bodies, and when for example a new fashion trend comes out they start feeling excluded. The reason for the exclusion is that fashionable trends are determined on discriminatory grounds which fit the needs of slim girls in the media created image.

Fashion nowadays can force girls to embark upon severe diets, such as food deprivation, and the body then suffers the consequences, such as lack of mineral salts and essential vitamins. Educational institutions can play a very big role in discouraging such acts, and they can offer dieting programmes in which all the bodily requirements are met for people who want to lose weight. Occasionally, there is no awareness of the long term damage that unhealthy diets can cause, and therefore girls sometimes turn to them when they think they think it is necessary.


Again, the building up of self confidence would help in situations such as these. Each girl or woman should have her own unique style, and this uniqueness can be developed through educational systems, where the bases are the same but the development of such bases differs from one person to another. An obsession with following the dictates of fashion deprives many girls and women of having their own style, which would portray their actual personality; it has long been accepted that the personality of a person can be interpreted by the style of clothes.

This has encouraged people to look at their bodies, because if each piece of clothing looks the same, then the thing that differs is the body structure; therefore the body becomes the focal point. This further emphasizes the earlier point saying that a girl or woman tries to lose weight to look slim in order to increase their confidence, which is based on the outer shell or “the body”. Educational institutions should build upon the notion of “don”t judge a book by its cover”, because it can sometimes be very misleading.

It therefore depends on the educational institutions, because they provide people with guidelines which they can follow and build up their own character. No human being is identical another; why then should fashion create clones? The monotonous sight created by fashion trends can be boring, because all that is seen is the same exact model, the only differences observed being superficial. Why should people become slaves to fashion? Each person should have their style, character, body, and unique nature, and we should not fall into the trap of succumbing to peer pressure. Being distinct from other people makes each person a more valuable individual.

Dalia El-Soukkary

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