According to Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary- Eleventh Edition, beauty is “the quality or aggregate of qualities in a person or thing that gives pleasure to the senses or pleasurably exalts the mind or spirit.” (page 108 of Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary) But what is beauty really? How does one rationalize its complexity? In today’s culture, depending on the person, beauty can be depicted as a positive influence or as a negative influence. Alyssa Giacobbe outlines beauty in her article, “Youth, Beauty, and An Obsession with Looks.” Giacobbe swings towards a more negative viewpoint. Alyssa Giacobbe, Globe correspondent for The Boston Globe, in her article "Youth, Beauty, and An Obsession With Looks" (2010), analyzes the truth behind perfecting beauty and what it has come to. Giacobbe develops her thesis by using Heidi Montag's frenzy with plastic surgery as an example to why people starve for that "specific" look. The author's purpose is to outline the "enduring hypocrisy surrounding the subject" (paragraph 10 in “Youth, Beauty and An Obsession With Looks”) in order to revelate the growing issue. Giacobbe establishes a strong relationship with most women who think the human body should be something flawless when in fact it is ideal. Montag’s obsession with plastic surgery represents a global ache for perfection. Women and men are influenced to believe one should appear a certain way. In Montag’s eyes, perfection is absolute, tight skin, large breasts, full lips, and the absurd look of discomfort. This type of corrective surgery turns a person into a shiny, plastic Barbie doll. Beauty, in this format, is a negative influence. If society feels the need to pay for overpriced surgery, then not only will people be scraping for money, but clusters of Barbie dolls will soon fill the planet, hypothetically speaking. In an opposite view, Dan Eden, in his article “What Makes Us Attractive,” explains the psychological aspects of beauty. Is it natural? Can it mean popularity? Dan Eden, writer for Viewzone, in his article "What Makes Us Attractive" (2009), argues the personalities, emotions, and lives of "beautiful people" in comparison to "plain, below-average beautiful people." He develops the thesis by describing the atmospheres of work, social outings, and family between the two groups. At the end, he lists a summary of facts regarding what "attractiveness" really is. Eden's purpose is to inform society of true beauty in order to elaborate on the fact that overall, beautiful people are happier. In context, beautiful people are most successful and take more time to present themselves.
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Berger and Luckman illustrate this through their interpretation of beauty. By comparing it to a spider web, they explain how influential members of society play an integral part in creating the beauty design. In order interpret the web, I collected and analyzed data from the February 2017 issue of Vogue Magazine. Despite the models not being representative of the United States' population, it is relevant because everyone faces the intimidation of the same standards the models successfully display. Significant research has been done on these standards and the social phenomenon of beauty, yet research into its effects could be strengthened on the individual level. Through examining these standards as well as the consistencies amongst the several beauty interpretations, I will put on my sociological glasses and see what American's are daily exposed to, and the undeniable effects it has on
The concept of beauty is a subject society speaks on through many channels. Social media plays a tremendous role in how society measures beauty and how to achieve these impossible standards. People from all walks of life have become obsessed with the idea of beauty and achieving the highest level it. In many cases, those who do not meet societal views of what is “beautiful” can become very resentful to these predisposed notions of beauty. David Akst in his writing “What Meets the Eye”, is bitter toward women and their ongoing obsession with beauty.
There is a famous saying that states, “ we should not judge a book by its cover”, but oftentimes the first thing noticed on a person is their looks. One’s “physical beauty” strongly influences people’s first impressions of them. As a whole, we tend to assume that pretty people are more likeable and better people than those who are unattractive. Around the world, we believe that what is beautiful is good. There is a general consensus within a culture about what is considered physically appealing and beautiful. “Physical beauty” is associated with being more sociable, intelligent, and even socially skilled. Society shares this common notion of who has and who does not have “physical beauty”. Thus, “physical beauty”, as seen
Beauty is a cruel mistress. Every day, Americans are bombarded by images of flawless women with perfect hair and smooth skin, tiny waists and generous busts. They are presented to us draped in designer clothing, looking sultry or perky or anywhere in between. And although the picture itself is alluring, the reality behind the visage is much more sinister. They are representations of beauty ideals, sirens that silently screech “this is what a woman is supposed to look like!” Through means of media distribution and physical alteration, technology has created unrealistic beauty ideals, resulting in distorted female body images.
Beautiful people with stellar personalities are often found within the media, whether it be in a television show, a movie, or a magazine. These so-called celebrities set the standards extremely high for appearance, making those who do not meet those standards come across as unappealing or unattractive. The media creates a negative stigma that unpleasant looking people are inferior to the good-looking, ergo, many people strive to become more attractive looking and are willing to do ludicrous things to themselves, such as plastic surgery, in order to obtain this fabricated sense of beauty. According to media standards, Pal...
Beauty is an omnipresent characteristic that plagues societies’ youth today because mainstream media has them convinced that inner beauty is less important than physical beauty. Unfortunately the media’s warped sense of what true beauty is has been advertised in such a way that it has become an unhealthy observation for today’s youth. The expectations of beauty are unacceptably stereotyped, which creates unrealistic idealistic goals for our young people to try to achieve. It is crucial to mention that as a society we need to strive toward teaching the proper balance between both aspects of beauty to offset the portrayal of what true beauty is by the media.
What is beauty? Beauty is defined as “the quality of being physically attractive or the qualities in a person or a thing that give pleasure to the senses or the mind” (Merriam-Webster dictionary, 2014, para. 1). Heine (2012) has found that beauty and attractiveness can vary across cultures. Although, there are specific features of a person that seem to be considered as beautiful and attractive across all culture spectrums. These features are: complexion, bilateral symmetry, average sized facial features, and biracial faces. However, weight in regards to attractiveness and beauty varies drastically across cultures. Through this discovery, there may be a correlation between the perception of beauty and attractiveness in each culture and its effects of body dissatisfaction and eating disorder rates. Is beauty really in the eye of the beholder? We will examine how what is considered to be attractive and beautiful can have both similarities and differences across cultures. In addition, we will examine eating disorders, and how they are influenced by the beauty standards that are set in specific cultures.
It also pressures women to constantly try and strive towards this ‘beauty myth’ the media have constructed and make men’s expectations of women’s beauty unattainable, however this is how the media has represented women as for years, Bodyshockers and 10 Years Younger, are just two examples of this. To this extent cosmetic surgery could be considered to be an obligation rather than a choice due to how the media has represented this now normalized technology of science.
“Looks don’t matter; beauty is only skin-deep” (Godfrey, 2013). We hear these sayings all the time, yet we live in a society that seems to constantly contradict this idea (Godfrey, 2013). If looks don’t matter, why is every woman in magazines photoshopped? If looks don’t matter, why are women constantly harming their bodies because they are unhappy with how they look and just want to fit in (Godfrey, 2013)? The unrealistic standard of beauty that women are bombarded with everyday gives them a goal that is impossible (Godfrey, 2013). Sociocultural standard of feminine beauty is presented in almost all forms of popular media, forcing women with images that portray what is considered to be the ideal body (Serdar). A majority of the models
The perception of the "ideal beauty" is an arbitrary and abstract concept that is constantly being modified as a result of the times. People are influenced by the images they see in the media to determine what the ideal beauty is. The media is manipulative and deceptive in nature, and it continues to carry harmful suggestions about ideal beauty despite the concrete evidence of damaging effects to people of all ages. Fortunately, it seems there may be shifts in the media that are beginning to portray men and women more realistically.
Flipping through the pages of Vogue's latest edition, 23 year-old Susan seems quite upset. She struggles with the thought of lacking the perfect body and delicate features in order to be considered attractive. Surprisingly, Susan is not alone in this kind of an internal struggle. In contemporary society, every other woman aspires to have the lips of Angelina Jolie and the perfect jaw line of Keira Knightley. Society today looks down upon individuals that do not fit in, whether in terms of body shape or facial attractiveness. This forces them to consider the option of 'ordering beauty.' Since cosmetic surgery is no longer a social taboo in America given its widespread popularity, more people are promoting it which ultimately affects the rest of the world due to the unwavering influence of American culture. Cosmetic surgery should be deterred in the US because it promotes the idea of valuing appearance over ability, gives rise to unrealistic expectations, and brings with it high cost to society.
Nevertheless, those factors have slowly sled to extinction over the past years, creating bigger emphasis on physical appearance. In addition, similar to most competitions such as singing or drawing, beauty contestants could serve as a role model for the audience, as Demi stated that she got the opportunity to be a role model for women and men and young girls from all around the world (Moraski, 2017). Despite the fact where they serve as a role model is true, the audience correlates the admiration directly to physical appearance, even though facial features are permanent. Still, pressured by the perfect image of beauty, most girls will reflectively scan through the list of her traits that differ from her model of beauty’s and regard them as aberration even though that distinctive feature might not be distressing. The anxiety will subsequently lead to obsession with makeups, and some may even go for plastic surgery. In 2016 alone, cosmetic procedures achieved a three percent growth over 2015, with a number of 17.1 million in United States. Among the top five were breast augmentation, liposuction, and nose reshaping (American Society of Plastic Surgeons, 2017). These statistics shows how insecure people are, distorted by the concept of beauty that has been drilled onto them by those role
Across the globe, few people have difficulty recognizing someone who is considered beautiful. Beauty is often sought after, revered, and sometimes interpreted as a personal virtue. Standards of beauty are usually social marker determining cultural status, social acceptance and suitability as a mate.
The first and most popular interpretation of the word “beauty” is seen as outer appearance. On that perception, “beauty” and “attractiveness” have a significant difference even though they are word cousins. A beautiful looking person may be attractive, but an attractive person does not need to be beautiful. One person may look at someone beautiful with “deep satisfaction in the mind” because that person admire how beautiful the other is. Someone, who is not striking beautiful looking, may attract other people just by how they express their personalities. The others who are attracted to that particular individual because they feel connected, happy, and comfortable around that person. While attractiveness may result in long lasting relationships, physical beauty only brings short term pleasant feeling in the mind. Yet, beauty as outer look conquers many societies around the world. For instance, American culture tends to value the way a person look. That value is transmitted from one generation to the next by families, peers, and media in the process of enculturation. Young children come to adapt ways of thinking and feeling about physical beauty from their families first. The show
How many times have we heard or said the clique “don’t judge a book by it’s cover,” yet we focus so much of our attention on our physically appearance. Everyday we encounter images in the media that make us believe we have to look a certain way. Physical beauty is portrayed as important and essential in order to find love and acceptance. Although physical beauty is moderately important, it is less than inner beauty for it diminishes with age.