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Beauty Re-imagined

While women have made significant strides in gaining more freedom and rights in the past decade, society and culture at large continue to place a great emphasis on how women look. Certain standards of feminine beauty are presented in many different forms of popular media, bombarding women with images that portray what is considered to be the "ideal body”. Consequently, the importance of physical appearance is emphasized early on which leads to concern over appearance related issues. Such issues often surface in the early stages of a female’s development, and continues on throughout her life. While trying to live up to the specific beauty standards that are proliferated through the media by society and culture, a woman’s life is often impacted drastically both physically and psychologically. What remains similar between the bodies flaunted across the media, is that they all possess popular standards of some kind of objective beauty. Women have an aptness to fall prey to advertisers and somehow unknowingly accept the creation of such standards for a woman’s body that is unrealistic for the majority of society. Slender, good-looking models are so prominent in today’s culture that chronic exposure to them reinforces a discrepancy for women between their actual body and the ideal body. Media fuels this unrealistic image and convinces women that in order to be accepted and considered beautiful, you better be fat-less, have silky hair and a flawless complexion. Unrealistic media images of women are so prevalent that it seems that females who fulfill such a standard are more the norm than the exception. The Cultivation theory argues that images that portray women who match the sociocultural ideal of beauty are extremely prevalent in pop... ... middle of paper ... ...ded) to possess society’s sick vision of beauty. Due to the portrayal of specific beauty standards in the media, women have re-imagined true beauty, causing drastic impacts that affect the lives of women both physically and psychologically. In order to reach the societal standard of this “ideal body”, women of all ages go to drastic measures to achieve it (extreme dieting and plastic surgery). However, having come so far in gaining more freedom and rights women should fight for more representative images of real women celebrating things other than physical appearance, so that women can have substantial and legitimate models to which they can aspire. Hopefully one day, all women will be able to look at a photograph in a magazine and then at their own image in a mirror and not experience a moment of disgust but rather a moment of self-assurance and self-confidence.
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