The Everchanging Perception of Beauty Essay

The Everchanging Perception of Beauty Essay

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What is beauty? It seems like a simple enough question, yet it has an extremely elusive, ever-changing answer according to American society. What is “popular” or “stylish” at the moment could be completely obsolete the next. This question has plagued societies for ages and continues to motivate women all over the world go to drastic lengths in their search for beauty. As women in remote Asian villages search to attain beauty by stretching their necks with heavy metal coils (Anitei) and women in America lie in enclosed melanoma-inducing tunnels of light so they can emerge gloriously tanned (Is Indoor Tanning Safe?), God has another, far more fulfilling plan for true beauty. Beauty in American society is so fluid, elusive, and superficial that it doesn’t possibly equate to the plan that God has for women to view themselves. Real beauty comes from character, confidence, and an identity in Christ.
Over the years, what Americans have considered to be “beautiful,” as well as attitudes about how much a woman should display herself have changed drastically. Phineas T. Barnum, a founder of the Barnum & Bailey Circus, organized the first beauty contest in the 1850s, but was unsuccessful at first because no respectable Victorian woman of that time would be audacious enough to publicly display herself and be judged. Even though they were not asked to showcase their bodies like in modern beauty pageants, it was considered embarrassingly immodest for a woman to draw that much attention to herself (People & Events: Origins of the Beauty Pageant). Then, when beauty pageants did eventually catch on, the expectation of what women and their bodies looked like also changed. In 1930, the average body mass index (BMI) of a beauty pageant co...


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...www.cdc.gov/cancer/skin/basic_info/indoor_tanning.htm>.
Jett, Bethany. The Cinderella Rule: A Young Woman's Guide to Happily Ever After. Ventura: Regal, 2013. Print.
Lucado, Jenna. Redefining Beautiful: What God Sees When God Sees You. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishing, 2009. Print.
"People & Events: Origins of the Beauty Pageant." Public Broadcasting System. Public Broadcasting System. Web. 13 Apr 2014. .
Rey, Jessica. “The Evolution of the Swim Suit.” YouTube. YouTube, LLC. 17 June 2013. Web. 24 Apr. 2014.
Schultz, Kristen, and Ann Pleshette Murphy. " Home> GMA Beauty Pageants Draw Children and Criticism." ABC News. ABC News Network, 26 Feb 2014. Web. 13 Apr 2014. .
Stephens, Andrea. Glamour Girls. Grand Rapids: Fleming H. Revell, 2006. Print.

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