How the standards of Beauty have Changed

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When most girls are little, their minds and imaginations illuminate at the sight of the beloved Disney princesses, with beautiful ball gowns, perfect hair, and dainty waists, as they start to become their first heroines. They grow up a little and play with Barbies, dressing her for day on the beach or a date with Ken. Soon enough, these girls are up flipping through magazines, in awe of a movie star’s dress that perfectly silhouettes her body, or of a model at the Victoria Secret Fashion Show who walks with such a calm cool. These girls become immune to the sight of women with a perfect physique, the very images of the thin ideal. It is accepted as the norm, as something to strive for. Although the standards of beauty have changed in the past sixty years, media images still depict women with perfect, unattainable bodies, and increased exposure to media has resulted in more women losing confidence in their own bodies, driving them to use advertised methods to fruitlessly attain physical perfection.

Although some aspects of the standards of beauty have changed in the past sixty years, the media portrayal of women with perfect bodies, have created insecurities among women as they internalize the thin ideal. The frenzy for a skinny body is by no means a 21st century trend. After World War II, America brought its focus back to the home life. Replacing patriotic propaganda, the media became dominated by advertisements for products to enhance everyday life. Practically all of these advertisements, whether it be for cigarettes or washing machines, were graced by the presence of a beautiful woman. In a 1950 advertisement for Barbasol Shaving Cream, a beautiful woman with perfect hair, make-up, and manicured nails is caressing a man’s...

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...Do Trendy Diets Work?). Furthermore, infomercials plague the television, advertising for weight loss products that give “quick fixes”. One of the most ridiculous of all, the Flex Belt, advertises a way to obtain toned abs simply by wearing the product. The advertisement uses a black background to signify power and strength, and blue to make consumers more confident about their purchase decision. While there are no health drawbacks to this product, there is simply no benefits as it is clearly ineffective. Sensa is another culprit of the over-advertised, unbeneficial weight loss product. The company that is known for its product that allows on to simply “sprinkle, eat, and lose weight” is being forced to pay $26.5 million to settle the Federal Trade Commission’s charges of deception of consumers with unsubstantiated claims and misleading endorsements (ftc.gov).

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