An Unhealthy Obsession: Unattainable Modern Standards of Beauty Essay

An Unhealthy Obsession: Unattainable Modern Standards of Beauty Essay

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People are always complaining about how they aren’t as pretty as models on billboards, or how they aren’t as thin as that other girl. Why do we do this to ourselves? It’s benefitting absolutely nobody and it just makes us feel bad about ourselves. The answer is because society has engraved in our minds that we need to be someone we’re not in order to look beautiful. Throughout time, society has shaped our attitudes about appearances, making it perfectly normal and even encouraged, to be five feet ten inches and 95 pounds. People have felt trapped by this ideal. Society has made these beauty standards unattainable, therefore making it self defeating. This is evident in A Doll’s House, where the main character, Nora, feels trapped by Torvald and society’s standard of beauty. The ideal appearance that is prevalent in society is also apparent in the novel, The Samurai’s Garden, where Sachi is embarrassed of the condition of her skin due to leprosy and the stigmas associated with the disease. The burden of having to live up to society’s standard of beauty can affect one psychologically and emotionally, as portrayed in A Doll’s House and The Samurai’s Garden.
Throughout A Doll’s House, Nora, the main character, feels suffocated by Torvald, Nora’s husband, and his standard of beauty he thinks she should attain. Torvald makes a remark about how Nora shouldn’t eat macaroons in fear of her teeth rotting, “Hasn’t the little sweet-tooth been breaking the rules today?” (Ibsen 145). Torvald monitors closely about what Nora eats and treats her like a child about this topic. Although there appears to be more to this than just dental hygiene, such as gaining weight, Torvald still implies that if there was something wrong with her teeth, she wou...


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