Video: St. George teen boldly compels thousands to redefine women’s beauty

Talking at TEDxSt.George on April 8, St. George resident Lucy Higgins, 16, tells her audience why the unfair comparison of women’s visuals on social media needs to prevent. (TEDxSt.George)

Approximated examine time: 4-5 minutes

ST. GEORGE — Standing on phase at the TEDxSt.George event earlier this year, Lucy Higgins courageously gave a shifting speech about how pop culture’s portrayal of what a female need to be can feel unreachable to younger girls like herself.

Dressed likewise to the Earth War II icon Rosie the Riveter, the 16-year-aged Utahn stood confidently in front of the viewers with blonde curls, pink lipstick and significant heels. She then proceeded to reveal that, at its core, pop culture’s perspective of gals is centered on impression and “it is about an unachievable appear of perfection.”

A couple of minutes into her speech, Higgins surprises the audience by eradicating the wig she is wearing, revealing what the audience did not initially know was “less than the surface” and proving her level that social media has a wrong ideation of what girls need to glimpse like.

When she was just 5 decades old, Higgins’ hair began slipping out in chunks. Subsequent checks at Major Kid’s Clinic, Higgins was identified with alopecia, an autoimmune ailment that triggers hair loss. She told KSL.com that she also has Hashimoto’s ailment, an autoimmune condition affecting the thyroid, and Ankylosing spondylitis, an autoimmune condition that results in swelling and soreness in the spinal joints.

Developing up, Higgins mentioned her moms and dads did a excellent career of dealing with her like any other kid and even made her hair reduction enjoyment in some strategies. But when she bought more mature, she understood her reflection in the mirror did not appear like the standard of elegance the entire world sets. She is aware of other youthful girls who experience they you should not evaluate up to pop culture’s excellent expectations and preferred to give the TED Communicate for them.

“I absolutely assume social media can have a very good effect, but I consider when it arrives to their graphic of girls, it is really very unrealistic and it really is something that I sense like can be pressured on younger girls,” Higgins said. “And it’s not pretty honest for them to be requested to accomplish a little something that isn’t really realistic, or it’s possible not fascinating for them personally or even healthy.”

In her TED speak, Higgins pointed out that in the course of the 2nd World War, the indicating for girls was, “We can do it,” while these days, it really is extra like, “Seem at me, I am ‘insta’ excellent.” She encouraged the viewers to alter this — for the present-day technology and the next.

Higgins told KSL.com she believes folks can make a variation by getting “actual” and by educating younger girls they are attractive just how they are, alternatively of encouraging them to meet up with the present-day social media conventional. She also thinks it would be helpful for persons not to post these “great” photographs on social media.

Standing in entrance of the viewers, Higgins was terrified to just take off her wig and said it was a pretty emotional moment for her.

“But as shortly as I experienced eliminated my wig, I received an frustrating emotion of enjoy and support that is almost, actually, indescribable how much love and aid I’ve gotten from all ages, from so many people today who have arrived at out to me personally and been like, ‘Hey, I have a demo as very well, and it is really been a attractive impact on me for you currently being eager to share your trial,'” Higgins said.

It hasn’t been uncomplicated increasing up devoid of hair and feeling like she didn’t usually match in, she mentioned, but getting the response of like and aid from the viewers was compelling for her and prompted her to wear her wig much less and fewer heading ahead, she said.


What I feel is stunning is, I believe it is really what we are within. … We are not all best, since we’ve long gone via hard items, and the tricky issues make us stunning.

–Lucy Higgins, teen speaker at TEDxStGeorge


By getting off her wig in the speech, Higgins hoped to unfold a concept of accepting all people for who they are. She explained all people is likely through one thing, regardless of whether it can be noticeable on their exterior or not, and she hopes persons can spread like and encouragement to each individual other, irrespective.

The pop-tradition definition of splendor is incredibly toxic, Higgins stated. It focuses on having a certain human body form, like remaining tall and skinny and owning extensive, luscious hair and great pores and skin.

“But personally, to me, what I consider is stunning is I assume it is what we are within,” Higgins explained. “We’re not all best, because we have long gone through really hard points, and the hard points make us wonderful.”

Higgins believes ladies can become superior at not judging each and every other by their visual appeal by first not judging by themselves and evaluating their possess image to many others. She also thinks females ought to be training younger ladies that lifestyle is not about outward overall look, but about acquiring to know people by who they are and what they have long gone by way of.

You can watch Higgins’ April 8 TEDxStGeorge chat in its entirety on the TEDx Talks YouTube channel.

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Meg Christensen is an avid reader, author and language snob. She gained a bachelor’s degree in interaction with an emphasis in journalism in 2014 from Brigham Young University-Idaho. Meg is passionate about sharing inspiring tales in Utah, where by she life with her spouse and two kids.

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