The theme of fantasy versus reality is a central focus that reappears throughout the film 25th Hour directed by Spike Lee. In this film, the main character Monty is sentenced to seven years in jail for drug dealing. On Monty’s final day of freedom, his father proposes two options for him: driving to the prison to serve his sentence or fleeing to a town so he can make a new life for himself. While pondering on the second option, Monty construes a false view of a wonderful life filled with joy and happiness. He does not take into account however, that fugitive recovery agents will constantly be searching for him, making his life very difficult. Like Monty, many people in today’s society have a distorted understanding of reality. In particular, contemporary American society holds a misconception about the connection between women’s physical attractiveness and personality. Our culture views beauty in a distorted way due to the mistaken belief that outer appearances reflect the type of person a woman is.
Dating back to the Renaissance era during the early 15th century, the ideal “beautiful” woman would have a voluptuous body with a pale ivory skin tone and a wide and high forehead. She would also wear voluminous skirts and blouses with puffed sleeves and low necklines to show off the curves of her breasts. During the Victorian era in the 18th century, the appearance of moles was considered attractive. Women would draw black marks on their faces to simulate these moles. They would also powder their hair white and wear extravagant high wigs with decorated curls. It was not until the roaring 20s when flappers became popular did being slim become an attractive feature...
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...changes with time. A woman who is considered “beautiful” in the past may be considered less attractive in the present. Therefore, beauty is completely subjective. It is false to pair a good personality to a pretty face based solely on a woman’s outer appearance.
Our culture’s view of beauty is severely construed. As seen in successful ad campaigns featuring “beautiful” women, my personal experience, various groups of friends, and the image of the ideal perfect woman, we falsely believe that physical appearances, particularly in women, are directly related to personalities. We hold the image that what is considered “beautiful” during a certain time period is parallel to the type of person someone is. When it comes down to what really matters to us, it is the person we are and the person we strive to become. Our physical appearances can only carry us so far.
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