By Attiya Karodia

I grew up wanting to be tough, beating the boys at soccer, cricket and whatever else I was good at. I wore my first dress when I was in high school and eased my way into womanhood without the chaos that a lot of girls these days have to. I grew up the way I did because there was no pressure on me to fit into a mold and because there were more women advocating strength than submission to superficial societal expectations.

Now here’s when I realized that all of this changed, the day I saw 4 girls (no older than 16) that I used to teach Arabic to getting off a car in mini-skirts, platform heels, plastered with make-up. I thought of the innocence they used to have, the freedom they had before they thought that they needed to look a certain way to be deemed “appealing” and it got me thinking about whose fault this new-age of young promiscuity is.

Many people choose not to let the blame fall past the girls themselves and maybe their parents, but too few people are willing to admit that the public is a big part of the problem. We defined the term Beauty, and it’s about damn time that we redefined it.

We’ve condoned Video Vixens, and glamorized the overt sexualization of women globally without reiterating what should exist within, instead portraying Beauty as an external quality.

True, every woman is allowed to be as vulgar, obscene and promiscuous as she likes, but a big part of being a strong woman is setting an example for younger women to model themselves on.

The issue is not that girls shouldn’t be allowed to dress a certain way, but rather that it isn’t ok that they think that dressing with sexual desires in mind is what beauty amounts to.

I hate to think that we are creating a generation of young women who will dress and act for the pleasure and approval of men, for selfie ‘likes’ and eyes on their asses instead of learning that what makes them properly beautiful is their inherent strength, power, intellect & depth of character.

I know that beauty doesn’t consist of patent leather heels and your beautiful face being hidden by primer, foundation, and glitter eye-shadow.

What is your definition of beauty?