“Do I look okay?”  is a question that teenagers ask once too often putting a heavy strain on their parents and making them wonder if there is something wrong with their kid. Every human being however, is concerned about their external appearance let alone teens. Their obsession with their looks is totally understandable.

First of all, we should bear in mind that during puberty teenagers undergo through a lot of changes that have an impact on their self esteem. Youngsters desperately want to be part of a group, to fit in and be accepted by their peers. Many feel insecure and by posing the same question over and over again, manifest how important it is for them to get reassurance. This tendency is common among boys and girls equally but girls are more susceptible to external criticism and maybe this is why they desperately try to enhance their appearance. Therefore they resort to surgical interventions in order to boost their confidence.

However, the old saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover” gives us food for thought. We should all take some time to contemplate on how important it is to subject ourselves to the hazards of such decisions. After all, is it really worth it? Teenagers should realize the importance of developing a strong personality. It is the traits of our character that should count not our looks. Developing certain skills like problem solving or good communication skills will help us succeed in life. It is also important to understand the role of education in our personal development and discern the sectors we should invest in.

That’s definitely what my parents would say but I can’t help thinking that a little boost in confidence has never harmed anyone, has it? So for the sake of God, I call on you all adults next time your kid asks you if their hair is too curly or too straight, just put in a good word and give them a hug!

Elizabeth Fouseka, A5

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