Perpetuating Perceptions of Western Beauty
The influence of present day mass media over the perception of beauty is increasing with the expanding industry of facial cosmetic production and the advancement in medical beauty enhancement. However, mass media advertisements appear to be predominantly dictated by "Western beauty" as they promote the desire for fair skin and "Occidental" facial features worldwide. In this paper, I will explore the consequential effects on Asian women as mass media continues to globally perpetuate the communities ' culturally and racially established perceptions of beauty.
Fair skin is a physical trait desired by majority of both genders in Asia. Historically, Asian countries have associated fair skin with higher …show more content…
Li et al. (2008) extended their studies in India, but state that India is an exception to the skin whitening phenomenon seen in other Asian countries because many of the advertisements do use local female Indian models. Interestingly, though, another literature by Reddy (2006) finds contradicting evidence towards Li et al. 's study. Local Indian models are represented in advertisements published in Femina, one of the most popular beauty magazines in India, but these models share common features stereotypically associated with Caucasian women (Reddy, 68). A magazine cover from the year 2000 printed a photo of Miss India and Miss World (who was Indian), both of whom had full lips, large round eyes, and pale skin. These features are seen among numerous other Indian models, as well. Reddy describes these traits as "stereotypes of Western beauty" (Reddy, 68). This indicates that India is also under the notion that Western beauty is the dominant preference, despite the increased representation of local …show more content…
Krishen, LaTour, and Allishah (2014) define the gap between one 's ideal skin tone and one 's self perceived skin tone as "skin tone tension". This theory can be extended towards the literatures discussed thus far. The gap between the fair skin an individual desires and her actual skin tone is further exaggerated by the advertisements publicized globally. Mass media fenlarges this skin tone tension gap because it is evoking a specific image women "ought" to have. The general message is that pale is more
The media has promoted a dominant view of how people should perceive beauty, and what consists of perfection in beauty. According to Dr. Karin Jasper, the media have women encouraging them to be concerned with their outward appearance and how others perceive them by surrounding everyone with the ideal female beauty. (Jasper, 2000) Body image has become a particular concern for young girls and women, often females work diligently to attain the perfect body image advertised in mass media. (Gibbs, 2010) When women are not able to obtain their ideal body goal, many develop negative feelings and become self-conscious about their bodies. Conversely, it is not possible for someone to look like a model in ads, someone without blemishes, scars, or pours. Another study conducted in 2012 showed contemporary media and culture has defined a women’s social desirability in terms of their bodies. For females, this has often resulted in comparing themselves to bodies shown in advertisements, commercials, magazines, etc. however not all body
Beauty is often described as being in the eye of the beholder. However in modern western culture, the old adage really should be beauty is in the eye of the white makeup artist, hair stylist, photographer, photo shop editor, and advertiser. Beauty and body ideals are packaged and sold to the average American so that we can achieve vocational, financial, social, and recreational successes. Mass media and advertising has affected the way that women perceive and treat their own bodies as well as their self-concept. Women are constantly bombarded with unrealistic images and hold themselves to the impossible beauty standards. First, we will explore the role of media in the lives of women and then the biggest body image issue from a diversity stand point, media whitewashing.
Today society has never been more aware of the impact the media has on what is considered to be an attractive person. Those who are most vulnerable by what they observe as the American standard of attractiveness and beauty are young females. Their quest to imitate such artificial images of beauty has challenged their health and their lives and has become the concern of many. As a result, advertisements used in the media are featuring more realistic looking people.
The ideal female beauty in American culture is predominately white (Bankhead & Johnson, 2014). Throughout U.S history, women’s mainstream beauty ideal has been historically based on white standards such as having blonde hair, blue eyes, fair skin, a thin ideal body, straight hair, and thin lips (West, 1995; Yamamiya, Cash, Melynk, Posavac, & Posavac, 2005; Leslie, 1995). Therefore, the features of African American women tend to be viewed as undesirable and unattractive compared to the European standards of beauty (Awad, Norwood, Taylor, Martinez, McClain, Jones, Holman, & Hilliard, 2014). According to Ashe (1995), “African beauty, body and hair have been racialized, with slim/”keen” European features being the accepted standard of beauty since enslaved Africans was forcefully brought to the Americas.” The physical characteristics of Black women such as having broad noses, brown skin, full lips, large buttocks and course hair has been looked down upon throughout United States history (Byrd & Tharps, 2001). In effect, the standard of beauty of European features that were forced on slaves are internalized and currently seen in the standard of beauty of African Americans (A.A) (Chapman, 2007). These standards include African Americans perceiving light-skinned as being more favorable than dark-skinned (Maddox & Gray, 2002; Perdue, Young, Balam,
“If more Asian women were used in fashion and advertising, it would change people’s ideals,” said Grace Park, who was forced to undergo double eyelid surgery by her mother, because of her slanted, one-folded eyes. People of East Asian descent have been the most susceptible to the obsession over “Western” beauty as the “East Asian” face is rare in Western Media. Editor-in-chief of Jade Magazine, Ellen Hwang, says everything in the media consists of the “Eurasion” look, “big blue- eyed blondes.” “Here in the US, even more than in Asia, the models and movie stars you see and who girls want to emulate are Caucasian. Yes, there is Lucy Liu, but most models are Western. And young girls often want to look like those models.” Chinese American, Shin –Yu Wang, who was born with double eyelids and was thoug...
The concept of beauty and racism in modern western society is held to the highest of standards for all of it’s members; including celebrities. The perfect woman is described by Odette (2013), as solely for men’s pleasure and domination. If we look on the cover of any popular magazine, the women are usually: light skinned, slender, and tall. Men on the other hand must be tall and powerfully built. Our culture is valued on the basis of how men and women are perceived by their image, making it impossible for the average man or women to achieve the high beauty standard expected in society. Celebrities play an influential role in the way people view themselves, making the need to look like our favourite celebrities all the more desired. A person's
Approximately about a decade ago, Japanese, Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese women all had a distinctive look and features. Single eyelid, thin lips, short-bridged nose and oval shape face are few of the features that distinguish Asian women apart. However, these distinctive features are slowly fading away as the new westernized features are coming in. Through the mass media and their
Asians value fair skin have to do with social status. In history, peasant women spent the day working on farming, while noble women spent their time indoor and had the extra time to take care of their skin. As time pass, the value fair skinned continues. “As Asian Americans girls, we are supposed to be short, lightweight, petite, soft-spoken, and light skinned, with long straight jet-black hair…The stereotype that Asians were supposed to be thin made me feel like I was a freak of nature.” (Julie Wong)
Most beauty advertisements are geared toward women; men still feel the need to lighten their skin. Many dark-skinned people are told by beauty and cosmetic advertisements that their color is repulsive. They are repeatedly told to modify their bodies to fit the White image of beauty. This is not an isolated case in Ghana. The problem with fitting into the White image is that it does not exist (Hunter 2011 and Pierre 2008). The look that Ghanaians are trying to conform to is unrealistic. It is l...
Bissell, K. L., & Chung, J. (2009). Americanized beauty? Predictors of perceived attractiveness from US and South Korean participants based on media exposure, ethnicity, and socio-cultural attitudes toward ideal beauty. Asian Journal Of Communication, 19(2), 227-247. doi:10.1080/01292980902827144
From celebrity endorsed product advertisements to Reality Television programs on cosmetic surgery, the commercialized nature of ‘Idol culture’ has become crucial in reforming beauty ideals and perceptions of masculinity and femininity amongst mainstream society in East Asia. Due to the drastic popularity of South Korean Idol groups both nationally and throughout East Asia including China, Japan and Taiwan women and men have been increasingly more exposed to sexualized imagery of ‘desirable’ bodies (Epstein and Joo 2012). This has generated an international idealism of the ‘Korean body’ as a national symbol representing South Korea’s participation in the global arena. Media liberalization during the 1990s increased the presence of Korean culture across Asia, especially China through CCTV network that aired Korean drama programs primarily due to cheaper programming costs (Shim 2011). As a result of the popularity gained by Korean music and movie stars, large companies started using ‘Idols’ to endorse their products. Idol endorsements are especially popular in the market saturated beauty and cosmetics industry, however this has essentially fueled a reformation of standardized beauty ideals (Schwekendiek, Yeo & Ulijaszek 2013). This basic marketing strategy used to encourage consumers aspirations of having the large eyes and smooth skin of their favourite Korean stars has created a cultural on-flow stimulating a growing cosmetic surgery market. No longer are ‘whitening’ products sufficient to satisfy the needs of a beauty driven society in declaring their economic status. Consumers now believe the coveted ‘V-shape’ face, double eyelids and straight nose are essential to success and are not shy of altering their appearance for a compet...
Beauty stereotypes having perfect physical specimens are presented in the ads. The women are young, sleek having zero size figure, yet well busted. Repeated representation of Beauty stereotypes creates a standard of beauty and fitness. The female viewers are persuaded to attain the unattainable ideal beauty. “For women, beauty has been institutionalized to the point where an entire industry devoted to beauty has been created. Beauty is tied not only to appearance but also to mental health and physical well being (Brand, 1999). This beauty ideal is an overall “look” that incorporates one’s physical features as well as a variety of products or services as clothing and cosmetics (Englis et al., 1994). Striving to meet the cultural ideal is a key selling message used by many types of advertisers involved in selling beauty – oriented products (Jacobson & Mazur, 1995).” (Gender and Advertising). Hence, the advertisers easily lure the female viewers to their products and engage them to the process of trying to attain ideal beauty. In India, the most popular product that sells this message is the fairness creams that claim to lighten the skin tone.
The market for fairness or whitening products, currently pegged at Rs 3000 crore, is huge in India, offering great scope both in the urban and rural markets. The industry consists of a surfeit of products that promise a fair and glowing skin in limited time. Tall claims by marketers and advertisers have won over unsuspecting customers, luring them with the depiction of fair-skinned models in glamorous advertisements. So what are the factors really responsible for the demand of these products? It’s a need created by marketers who operate in a highly competitive world and seek a winning edge.
Estee Lauder’s beauty product is one such advertiser. In an August 2004 issue of Vogue magazine, enclosed was a two-page ad campaign intended to sell Estee Lauder’s “Future Perfect Anti-Wrinkle Radiance Moisturizers SPF.” This advertisment is appealing to the consumer because it stresses the importance of remaining young by the use of this product. This advertisement then goes further to stress that, “The past is forgiven, the present is improved, and the future will be perfect.” This advertisement includes three alluring models, all of which are of different ethnicity but essentially have the same physical attributes. This image is used to appeal to all sorts of American women. The models all have famished bodies; this includes their angular, somewhat gaunt faces and protruding collarbones. Located right below this image is the company’s slogan which reads, “ESTEE LAUDER. Defining Beauty.” The attempt is made with this advertisement to define beauty with images of starved and malnourished models which Estee Lauder claims to be the standard for beauty.
Throughout history there have been many claims about what is beautiful and what is not on the face and body. America’s idea of beauty in the past changed many times from the fragileness of the Steel-engraving lady to the voluptuousness of the Greek slave. The ideal beauty in America is not so different from the ideal beauty of cultures around the world and follows many of the traditions practiced throughout history. The widespread of advertisement and technology is something that’s said to be the contributing problem to the ideal women phenomenon, but I believe history and trend plays the bigger role.