Beauty and Perfection in Today´s Society

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In today’s society, beauty and perfection is being striven for like never before. Confronted with all the “beautiful” celebrities and photo-shopped magazine pictorials, women are facing an unrealistic expectation of how they should look. If they don’t have a thigh gap or a lean stomach, girls feel commensurate with themselves and try to change how they look just to appeal to society. How often have we been told as children that beauty on the inside is all that matters, yet we see and live by different statements. We live in a shallow culture based on looks. Look at all the celebrities we see. How many of them actually have talent or are worth such a high status if they did not have their looks? I wish I could say that there was a time period where this statement was not true, but it can’t be said, with the key example being Marge Piercy's poem, “Barbie Doll”. She wrote this poem in 1973 and its message on body image can still apply to today's time period. Ever since the 70s, body image has been heavily influenced on young adults. Trying to fit in and look skinny has always been a big problem. Media has played a huge part in this by showing what they believe being beautiful means. In the 70’s curves lost their popularity and the look to achieve was slim and slender. Making the supermodel Twiggy a big deal; not only because of her beauty, but because of how skinny she was. Making “the average fashion model” at that time 8% thinner than the average woman. Today, that number has risen to 23%” (Derenne 259). Making the 70s the beginning of the “me generation” – an era that saw many bouts of plastic (Klein 39) surgery in an attempt to fit a certain mold of unattainable physicality (Mulvey 165). Extremely high amounts of money were spe... ... middle of paper ... ...ing that her particular poem “Barbie doll” was written in the midst of a feminist movement in America that redefined the lives of many women. It tells the story of a young girl who is insecure and disgusted with her body, because someone told her she had “fat legs and a fat nose.” So because she couldn’t fit in with society's expectations she “cut them off” and died, only to finally be admired and praised at her funeral. Too often is a story like this heard in the newspaper or on T.V, because society has forever had a hold onto individuals lives. It tells us how to dress and act in order to be accepted, and if we don’t comply then we are seen as outcasts and not treated equally. This helps me realize why she wrote this poem in the first place. Its a warning about society and clearly we haven’t fully picked up on it if we still see problems with body image occurring.

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