According to the completely reliable website known as Urban Dictionary, a ‘fake girl‘ is:
“so completely insecure about her looks that she has to change her entire appearance to resemble that of a cheap hooker, just to make herself feel hotter.”
Skipping over the blatant slut-shaming attached to the negative connotation in the phrase: “cheap hooker,” I’m here to talk about why girls act like this, especially in their teenage years.
Simply, little girls are often criticized for being themselves. I’m not saying anyone is calling children ugly, but everyday life exposes little girls to influences that make them feel unworthy. The media does a terrible job at portraying women accurately. Photoshop, makeup, and decent lighting sets unrealistic expectations for women. ‘Natural’ makeup is a good example of this phenomenon. The name is deceptively simple; often, styles like the one pictured below take more than 10 products to complete. Despite the time and effort necessary to create this ‘natural’ look, young girls start to believe that they should look absolutely flawless naturally. This mindset drives women to see their real selves as somehow lacking and we begin to put in the time and effort to look ‘naturally’ beautiful.
Moving past the physical aspect of being ‘fake,’ there is another facet I would like to address: pacifism. I don’t mean that girls don’t want to catch hands, but that girls tend to agree with everything that is said. This kind of woman can be seen as more desirable than a woman who speaks her mind, so girls will even ‘dumb down’ their personality to seem more attractive (both romantically and professionally). Guys want someone who will agree with all of their ideas; a girl who is pretty and stupid is ideal. A great example of a character like this can be found in Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. The wife of one of the protagonists plays the part of a ‘yes-man.’ She begins “taking two sides at once, to please everyone” (36). Her husband admires her for not provoking their peers, but I’m calling her out. Stick to your own beliefs! Be unapologetic about your opinions, ladies, they’re just as valid as a man’s.
The point of this rant is not to say that wearing a lot of makeup is wrong in any way. Really, I’m going for the opposite. What I’m trying to say is that there’s no escaping criticism sometimes. If you conform to the standards set by the media, you’re trying too hard and are labeled fake. Conversely, if you don’t want to wear make up or sell your personality short, you’re not trying hard enough and should work harder to be successful. This is one of the biggest double standards women face, and my advice to my fellow young girls out there (though my experience is admittedly limited): be yourself. If you want to wear makeup, do it! If you want to wear sweats everyday, do it!