Our Fatal Quest for Beauty

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Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.” He meant people search for beauty, even though people truly possess it inside themselves all the time. Beauty is in the individual and should be self-satisfying. However, today's cultural definition of beauty negatively influences individuals self-esteem. Society's idea of beauty is unachievable, demoralizing, and dangerously obsessive.

Can people even achieve the cultural idea of beauty? Or is it set too high to reach? A Women. In. Media. Representative pictured in the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty illustrates today's ideal beauty to be unnatural, computer generated, unreal, unachievable. The model used in the Dove video demonstrates how society's thought to be beautiful models can not even reach beauty without the help of technology. Dove points out the fallacy in the ideal physical appearance in order for the public to be aware of false ideal images and realize society's idea of beauty is unachievable.

The media plays a significant role in proclaiming the definition of beauty. It decides who is classified as beautiful and who is not. Media Awareness Network's article, “Beauty and Body Image In The Media”, describes how the media refuses to accept women's bodies as beautiful and instead gives the message women's bodies need to be perfected. Society looks upon media icons such as models, celebrities, and fictional characters as a standard for beauty. In the United States the Barbie-doll, owned by a majority of young girls, is held to be a desirable beauty. However, the Barbie-doll image of beauty is unrealistic. In the article “Beauty and Body Image In The Media” by the Media Awareness netw...

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...natural beauty instead of accepting what is already there? Throughout the years, plastic surgery has grown to a new height. The Boston Globe correspondent Alyssa Giacobbe's January 2010 article “Youth, Beauty, and an Obsession With Looks” describes today's use of cosmetic surgery to enhance one's beauty. Giacobbe uses reality star Heidi Montag to illustrate the extent to which people will go to make themselves prettier, like Montage's 10 procedures in one day because "looking a certain way is a necessary part of succeeding as a pop star". The article tells about the obsession and reasons why people care so much about looks in order to inform the public about beauty issues. Obsession with beauty has lead to psychiatric disorders such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia, and body dysmorphic disorder. The never-ending quest for beauty can even be fatal with these disorders.
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