Orli Zigler, Ayla Williams, and Naftali Tilove having a conversation.
Orli Zigler, Ayla Williams, and Naftali Tilove having a conversation.
Photo by Dani Glickman

“Do I Look Ok?” and the Meaning Behind Those Words

Teenagers’ obsession with outer appearance is usually dismissed as ‘shallow’ or ‘surface level,’ especially in the instances of girls and their relationship with beauty. This fixation is common with most teenagers, but not only in the sense of caring about the outside. 

 

After the awkward years of middle school, getting used to how people change through puberty, teenagers spend time learning to feel comfortable with their outer appearance and making it match who they are on the inside. As a result, this can lead to excessive time being spent on self-care and outer appearance. 

 

“It just kind of boosts my confidence,” HBHA senior Rose Wasserman says in an interview. 

 

Wasserman says that the time she spends on herself is time well spent. It not only helps her confidence throughout the day but can help her stress and bring her mindfulness in what she is getting ready for. 

 

Wasserman discusses how as a girl, physical appearance can mean a lot and come with a lot of pressure on how to look or dress. Wasserman describes how she combats that pressure by saying, “I can’t change what I want to change about myself.” She illustrates that taking time for herself helps her have a good day and stay positive. 

 

Simultaneously, it is almost impossible not to feel pressure to look a certain way. 

 

In an interview with HBHA freshman Ruby Sokol, she describes this feeling. She explains how it is an unpleasant sensation to walk into school or any public place and to feel bad about yourself and what you are wearing. 

 

Sokol says, “You will see other people around you, that their outfit looks cuter than yours, and then you’re like, ‘Oh why didn’t I actually pay attention to what I’m wearing?’” 

 

Although this feeling can morph completely as time goes on, Sokol does indulge in the insecurities that came with middle school. Sokol illustrates how her confidence within herself has changed as she has gotten older, but also how this is an experience that many middle schoolers experience. Sokol says, “You just feel bad about yourself because it’s not what you might consider skinny or pretty,” describing the pressures she felt during this time. 

 

Ruby Sokol looking in the mirror fixing her hair. (Photo by Dani Glickman)

 

Similar to Sokol, when asked, Wasserman talks about the changes in her self-care as she has gotten older. Wasserman discusses when she was in middle school, she would either spend no time on herself at all, or freak out and spend too much time getting ready. Wasserman learned, “It’s important to take that time because it’s my personal time too.” 

 

In contrast, when asked if his appearance affects his confidence, HBHA freshman Eli Solomon answers, “I mean, not really.” Solomon explains that he only takes time on himself so he does not “look like an idiot.” Additionally, this does not affect how he feels throughout the day. Solomon says that if he were to not spend this time on himself he would not care unless someone were to comment on his appearance. 

 

For some, time spent picking out clothes or getting ready for the day does not simply just have shallow motives, but these actions can have positive and negative impacts throughout the day. Although for others this is not the case, proven by Solomon. In addition, despite this time occasionally being driven by certain societal pressures, that is not always the case.

 

In an interview with HBHA freshman Eliezer Rich, he talks about how he feels when he spends time on himself. “I just do it for myself,” says Rich, “I just somewhat feel a little better when I look good,” he elaborates.

 

Orli Zigler applying lip balm using her phone as a mirror in class. (Photo by Dani Glickman)

 

When asked to compare how Rich feels when he spends time in the morning getting ready verses not, Rich discusses how in a way he feels more confident when he does spend this time. Additionally Rich says, “If I don’t spend time on myself then I don’t care about myself, I don’t feel like I tried.”

 

Whether it be staring in the mirror, picking out an outfit, doing hair, or putting on makeup, all of these everyday tasks are not always just surface-level. Spending time doing something to help yourself feel more comfortable in your own body is not ‘shallow’ or a waste of time. Feeling good on the outside can help with inner confidence, just as inner confidence can help people feel comfortable with their outer appearance. 

 

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About the Contributor
Dani Glickman, Writer
Dani Glickman is a freshman, and she is a cub reporter for the RampageWired. She plays volleyball, basketball, soccer, and cross country for HBHA, and she is looking forward to taking pictures of those sports for RampageWired. Additionally, she is excited to write articles about topics that interest her.