Expert discusses media’s unrealistic “beauty standard” in Lower Sixth THRIVE session

Expert discusses media’s unrealistic “beauty standard” in Lower Sixth THRIVE session

4 March 2021

Pippa, Lower Sixth

“Altered, Airbrushed and Unrealistic” was the title of a really interesting presentation to the Lower Sixth in this week’s THRIVE session. Our guest presenter was Deana Puccio, who worked as an Assistant District Attorney in New York in the Sex Crimes/Special Victims Unit before co-founding the RAP Project, which aims to raise awareness about personal safety for teens and young adults. Covering major topics like mental health, eating disorders, teen pressure and body image, Deana helped remove the “stigmatised taboo” surrounding them by opening up a discussion and showing the misogynistic portrayal and sexualisation of women in the media.

Deana’s talk was very relatable as she discussed the pressures teenagers are under from school, social media and the high standards society has “laid out for us”. Deana stated that 40% of teens are worried about remarks made by their friends, and she highlighted that “If we don’t support one another, no one else will”, depicting the importance of ignoring the media’s “beauty standard” by embracing our body image. Contrary to popular belief, this means how you perceive yourself rather than how others see you and Deana helped us realise this by showing us how unrealistically women are presented in adverts.

As well as the talk being really informative, I left feeling inspired as Deana emphasised the strength of teenagers today as they encounter the challenges of social media, amongst other pressures.