Human Physical Appearance and Women

8 August 2016

Throughout these moments in time, the term beauty has slipped out of control and become something utterly dissimilar. The significance of beauty has developed into something so unappealing, so unpleasant, so repugnant, that even now society is coming to the apprehension that the way they are portraying the description of beauty is erroneous. Over time, ‘beauty’ has evolved to something rather peripheral. Being beautiful is turning into an undesirable act, that most girls will go into extremes, just to get a sense of feeling ‘beautiful. ’

Although beauty is now considered something by which your looks will define, during Greek times “beauty was a virtue: a kind of excellence. Person’s then were assumed to be what we now have to call – lamely, enviously – whole persons. If it did occur to the Greeks to distinguish between a person’s “inside” and “outside”, they expected that inner beauty would be matched by beauty of the other kind” (313, Sontag). Nevertheless, there was once a time where beauty was interpreted or described as something internal, unlike now, beauty goes more towards the looks.

Human Physical Appearance and Women Essay Example

“Beautiful” people have lots going on for them. They are more confident, make more money, and get promoted faster than their “less attractive” colleagues. But for the career – driven women, beauty is a no-win situation; the public wants you to be attractive, but, at the same time, not so beautiful that it is off-putting. People might say that looks shouldn’t matter, but in the real world, they do. Women try so hard to look their best, and at the same time, feel their best. Women struggle a lot in trying to “fit in” to what society sees as being beautiful.

Women nowadays alter their body parts, faces, and their diets in order to feel satisfied with themselves. A universal obsession that girls have been approaching with is that that they must be required to look a certain way to be thought of as pretty. Girls look up to celebrities and models and see how skinny, scrawny, almost skeletal, and undernourished they are and they get this idea that they must look like that in order to be noticed. A widespread trend that has been going around has been that of the name anorexia and bulimia.

Starving yourself, or eating excessively and then purging – girls see it as something they must do in order to feel good about themselves. They glimpse these famous figures with their collarbones showing, thigh gaps, small waists, and they get this state of mind that they must achieve that to feel beautiful. Society and mass media are barraging women with images that portray what is considered to be the “ideal body. ” Such standards of beauty are almost completely unattainable for most women; a majority of the models displayed on television and in advertisements are well below what is considered healthy body weight.

Mass media’s use of such unrealistic models sends an implicit message that in order for a woman to be considered beautiful, she must be unhealthy. And this is what beauty is defined as in our time. Body image is a complicated aspect of the self-concept that concerns an individual’s perceptions and feelings about their body and physical appearance. Females of all ages seem to be so vulnerable in this area, starting off in their pre-teen years, going along throughout their existence. Body dissatisfaction is something that goes through most women or young girls at some point in their lives.

Females have been found to experience dissatisfaction with physical appearance at a much higher rate than males, and women of all ages and sizes display body image disturbance. Concern over weight and appearance related issues often surfaces in a woman’s early life. Body dissatisfaction and disordered eating patterns have been found to be an especially prevalent issue in adolescent and college females. Body image becomes a major issue as females go through puberty; girls in mid-adolescence frequently report being dissatisfied with weight, fearing further weight gain, and being preoccupied with weight loss.

This is a problem that we are now facing, and because of this many girls are suffering and going through difficult times, juts to feel good about themselves. The 20th century has seen a huge upsurge in the importance placed by Western society on physical beauty, particularly for women. The fashion, cosmetics and plastic surgery industries have thrived on 20th century preoccupation with physical appearance. It is a preoccupation that affects women in every sphere, whether they choose to pander to it or not.

Definitions of beauty in the 20th century, when referring to human physical beauty, are nearly always constructed in terms of outward appearance and sexual attractiveness. Images in the media today project an unrealistic and even dangerous standard of feminine beauty that can have a powerful influence on the way women view themselves. From the perspective of the mass media, thinness is idealized and expected for women to be considered “attractive. ” Images in advertisements, television, and music usually portray the “ideal woman” as tall, white, and thin, with a “tubular” body, and blonde hair.

This representation that is being portrayed has been a vast difficulty that girls are coming across of. They don’t feel beautiful, thus altering their ways of eating and the way they look very drastically in order to fit in. Only a very small percentage of women in Western countries meet the criteria the media uses to define “beautiful”; yet so many women are repeatedly exposed to media images that send the message that a woman is not acceptable and attractive if she does not match society’s “ultra-thin” standard of beauty.

In recent years, women’s body sizes have grown larger, while societal standards of body shape have become much thinner. This discrepancy has made it increasingly difficult for most women to achieve the current sociocultural “ideal. ” Such a standard of perfection is unrealistic and even dangerous. Many of the models shown on television, advertisements, and in other forms of popular media are approximately 20% below ideal body weight, thus meeting the diagnostic criteria for anorexia nervosa. Research has repeatedly shown that constant exposure to thin models fosters body image concerns and disordered eating in many females.

Almost all forms of the media contain unrealistic images, and the negative effects of such idealistic portrayals have been demonstrated in numerous studies. The mass media’s depiction of women portrays a standard of beauty that is unrealistic and unattainable for a majority of women in society. Models shown in all forms of popular media are often under what is considered healthy body weight, which sends a powerful message that women must sacrifice their health to be considered attractive by societal standards.

The negative effects of ultra-thin media images of women have been well documented; research has shown that females who are repeatedly exposed to and internalize the thin ideal are at greater risk to develop body image disturbance and eating pathology. Although it is clear that the media influences the way women view themselves, it is unclear how this process takes place. The social comparison theory, cultivation theory, and self-schema theory can be used to examine how media images of women come to affect the way women feel about their bodies and physical appearance.

These perspectives also give some explanation for why some women show resilience to the negative effects of the media, while others are dramatically impacted. Nevertheless, beauty has become something rather disturbing and unwell. The image of beauty has been portrayed onto something so popularized that mostly all women around the world are being affected by it. Women are changing their ways and changing themselves to feel as if they fit in to what society expects of it. Beauty is still evolving, and is changing throughout the time, not for the better but for the worst.

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