Essay on The Definition of Beauty Throughout the Centuries

Essay on The Definition of Beauty Throughout the Centuries

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Dangerous Ideals
A woman may ask herself, "what traits are considered beautiful?" Over the years, the most sought after qualities could easily be viewed as long light blonde, ruby red, or midnight black hair, skin as milky as ivory, lips as red as a cherry, a bust as perky as ripe melons, a waist as seamless as an hourglass, hips that are voluptuous and round, all with legs as long as stilts. The flawless image of Jessica Rabbit walking into a smoke filled room containing men who gawk, trip, and even fight their way over each other, just to catch a glimpse of this exotic, beautiful, sensual woman is the epitome of sexuality. Pop culture has drilled this image into the minds of billions of young women through television, magazines, books, and newspapers. It is only by looking at style trends throughout history, examining the ideal "perfect woman" from different ages, and analyzing the role of women in advancing generations, will prove just how much of an impact pop culture makes on the view of women.
The definition of beauty has changed throughout the centuries; some changes are positive while others have a negative effect. Culture has the biggest impact on how a group of people view themselves as well as the rest of the world. Eriksen-Hisel provides an example of culture's impact, "American culture puts pressure on being unnaturally thin, in West African culture thin women are looked down upon and thought of as unattractive. There the women who are overweight are considered beautiful" (para. 5). Leading trends are typically initiated by those in a more dominant position or those whom have the capabilities to reach large groups of people easily. These people in a more dominant position can even mandate how beauty is defined. This d...

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...Inc. Retrieved February 13, 2014, from
Caelleigh, A. S. (n.d.). Reshaping the Body: Clothing & Cultural Practice | Claude Moore Health Sciences Library: Historical Collections Online Exhibit. Retrieved February 10, 2014, from
Collier, Aldore (2004, May 01). Tyra: THE JOYS & PERILS OF BEING A TOP MODEL. Ebony, (7), 154, Retrieved from
Eriksen-Hisel, A. (2010). When Thin Stops Defining Beauty. Retrieved February 10, 2014, from
Seltzer, S. (2010, October 16). Skinny Minnie? Our Culture's Bizarre Obsession With Stick-Thin Women. Retrieved February 10, 2014, from

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