(By Em. prof. dr. Liesbeth Woertman – original article here)
Photo: Loraine Bodewes
This week I was interviewed by a 21 year old journalism student. She is making a series for De Limburger about how the 21-year-olds are doing. This week it was all about looks.
She had prepared well and we had a conversation about the importance of appearance for the people who are now 21. So through puberty and fully developing in the field of education and relationships. Today, seeing and being seen mainly takes place online. What does inclusivity mean for these young people was a central question. The pressure of cosmetic surgery was also discussed “Some had had something done on themselves, such as a breast augmentation, something I can be unsure about myself. The trick then is to keep to yourself and not to measure yourself too much with others despite the competition”.
Be yourself…. is a problematic concept because what is that? The self is always relational to something or someone else. The ambiguity of this is well expressed because the young people see the perfection pressure on the one hand and on the other hand embracing diversity, of being different.