The Media and Beauty Standards

The media negatively affects the way girls see their body. The media gives off a concept of beauty that many girls cannot reach. Girls feel disgusted with their bodies and have a hard time accepting their body.  Using Photoshop, the media can create the ideal feminine body that girls see and then they feel that they must be that way in order to be beautiful. Beauty standards are all around the world, each country having their own. Standards of beauty have been existent for many thousands of years and culture was a major influence. Nowadays, the media influences culture and this inevitably influences the beauty standards in many countries.

In America, women are constantly worrying about their appearance because there is a standard of beauty. The media often describes the standard of beauty. To be beautiful, a person must have a having skinny legs, large breast, a small but tall nose, a sun-kissed tan, and a big butt. This is the ideal standard of beauty that many women cannot simply get without some cosmetic surgery. Models are shown in these magazines and people are constantly wishing that they want to be like them. Women want to have something they cannot have.  The media are always showing the best of the best. Because people often see these beautiful models or figures, they want to be like them. The media creates the fantasy world that people wish they could live in but don’t. The media creates stereotypes and labels people by what they look like or what physically is “wrong” with them.  However, many of these people shown in the media are very underweight but people do not notice how unhealthy they are and want to be like them. Too many women, there is nothing as “too thin” and too many in the world there is no such things as being “too rich”. Constantly seeing the thin model degrades the minds of women and their concept of body image.  Many end up with low self-esteem and some develop eating disorders. Younger girls are becoming more dissatisfied with their bodies.

People nowadays spend so much time on the internet and on television that people are starting to perceive things differently. Across all ethnicities, the average person spends more time in front of the television and Internet than ever before. People’s lives have become media saturated and that inevitably shapes their concept of beauty. Celebrities shown in the media seem to uphold impossible standards of beauty and body shape. Those who aren’t celebrities may feel as if they do not measure up to these standards and this ruins their self-esteem. There is a one-size-fits-all standard of beauty that fewer people can live up to. For African American women because of the increase of obesity, many women starve themselves to be skinner. Caucasian women have that Hollywood standard of beauty. Hispanics are objectified by the male-dominated Spanish-language media. Men have unrealistic measures that they want Hispanic women to be like such as being curvy, big-breasted and round-hipped while also being skinny. Asian American women are told by their parents to be small and conservative while in the US, the standards of beauty are much different. The US encourages Asian American women to be taller, curvier, and more Americanized in appearance. Many Asian Americans get double eyelid surgery to make their eyes look bigger and many get breast implants. Many also get a nose job to make their nose smaller but taller. Also, some go to the extreme measures of lengthening their legs.

The media is constantly talking about the next diet, and how a celebrity lost so much weight, or gained weight. It could be from, “Kim Kardashian lost 30 pound is just 3 weeks!” or, “Kate Upton has gained 10 pounds in the last 2 months!” Although it’s advertising, media is constantly trying to show the glory of losing weight and being skinny. They exaggerate how great it is to lose weight or how bad it is to gain weight.  However, the media can also make fun of those who gain weight. They make gaining weight such a big deal that it’s bad. When people read this they think gaining weight is horrible, but losing weight is very good. Many women get focused on this concept of just losing their weight. Even after a woman is at a healthy weight though, many will continue to lose weight just because it’s what the media advertises. Eventually, a woman may reach an unhealthy weight but still will want to continue to lose weight because they feel that if they gain any weight then they are a failure. This is not true, but it is certainly what they media advertise.

What is interesting about women in America is that people are shamed in looking in the mirror in public. Although women are so obsessed with beauty, it’s embarrassing to look in the mirror in public. People will judge women and shame them for doing such thing. However, since appearance is so big, why do people shame people for caring about their appearance?

The media affects body image everywhere.  In Asia, it’s about having a small but tall nose, an oval head shape, as pale as a piece of paper, skinny legs that are long, big breasts and big eyes. This is because of the media. People in Asia often go and get cosmetic surgery to look like one celebrity. The media puts so much pressure on others to be beautiful. To be successful, it is though that a person must be beautiful. Because many people want jobs, they get plastic surgery to help them be more “beautiful”. When applying for a job in South Korea for example, a person must put down a picture of them for their resume. If two people have the same exact resume but one is perceived to look better, then that person will get the job. It’s the pressure of society, which is sometimes brought on by the media, which affects how people view themselves.

In North America there is still that sense of natural beauty. The media in North America does affect its beauty standards though. In Asia, natural beauty is not thought of as much. It’s good to be naturally “beautiful” but if a person as cosmetic surgery, the person is not shamed. People will point out flaws of another person and sometimes a person may tell the person to get cosmetic surgery. People are very blunt in Asia. Parents often tell their child that they are “fat” or that they are ugly. It’s not only the media, but the pressure of society that brings these people to do cosmetic surgery.

Not only do older adults get plastic surgery, those who are younger also do as well. Those graduating high school may ask for plastic surgery to be their graduation present. Some students in high school get plastic surgery done over break. It’s the pressure of society and celebrities found all over the media which control this ideal beauty. Celebrities are always endorsing products from makeup to beer. Celebrities are seen in ads very often and cardboard cut-outs of them stand on the streets. Some celebrities endorse cosmetic surgery places. People are constantly seeing these celebrities and want to be like them. They want to have their body and their face. Asians will go to a plastic surgeon and ask for their nose or their eyes to look like Yoona, one of the most considered beautiful women in Asia. People idolize these celebrities as they see them everywhere. Instead of being called celebrities, they are called idols because they are idolized by the general public. They had celebrity café’s made just for their favorite celebrity or group. Celebrities are constantly shown on TV in variety shows. People not only see them at award ceremonies or in movies, they seem them on regular TV shows. On the television, they also have many beauty shows to show people how to be beautiful. Asian culture almost embraces cosmetic surgery as it is so common for people to dislike their appearance because of beauty standards. It’s not taboo to get cosmetic surgery in Asia. People will admit if they had gotten cosmetic surgery compared to America where it is less likely for someone to admit that they had gotten cosmetic surgery. Celebrities will sometimes announce that they had gotten cosmetic surgery. However, that is not to say some don’t. It’s not that everyone in Asia will admit that they cosmetic surgery, but many do say so.

*I do not mean to offend anybody with this. It’s just some thoughts I had with some research. However, I do have some personal experience with this. I thought it was important to include a different aspect of beauty so I decided to include Asia’s standard of beauty. This does not mean that other people think other ways. Everyone has their own opinion of beauty. This is just showing the overall standard of beauty. Beauty is a very deep subject. It goes in many directions as many people have their own opinion on beauty. Thank You!!

 

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