What Is Beauty? Essay

What Is Beauty? Essay

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In American culture today, society's view of beauty is controlled by Hollywood, where celebrities are constantly in the lime-light. The media watches Hollywood's every move, and is quick to ridicule “A-listers” whenever they dare to gain a few pounds or to let an uncontrollable pimple show. The media has created a grossly distorted mental image of what should be considered beautiful, and with almost every junior high and high school-age girl reading and viewing this message, the idea has been instilled in them as well. This view of beauty is causing many teenage girls to become obsessed with a highly problematic and unattainable goal of perfection.
Alexandra Scaturchio, in her article “Women in Media” (2008) describes the media’s idea of beauty as superficial. She supports her argument by placing two pictures side-by-side; a picture of a real, normal-looking woman and her picture after it has been severely digitally enhanced. Her purpose is to show young teenage girls that the models they envy for their looks are not real people, but computer designs. She also states, “the media truly distorts the truth and instills in women this false hope because…they will live their lives never truly attaining this ideal appearance”. Scaturchio wants her readers to realize the media’s distorting capabilities and feel beautiful about themselves, even with flaws.
In addition to planting false hopes in the minds of easily persuaded young girls, this appalling view of “beauty” now booming in western cultures is shockingly leading to high rates of low self-esteem and eating disorders. In a National Report on the State of Self-Esteem issued by the Dove Self-Esteem Fund (June 2008), it was reported that a self-esteem crisis is prevalent in the Uni...


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...ibillion dollar industry of beauty. She argues that “Scientific studies have proven that human beings are hard-wired to respond more positively to beautiful people”. She also cites a recent report published by the University of Bristol which states Neanderthals wore “makeup” as long as 50,000 years ago, all in hopes of attracting a mate with the chance for successful breeding (Zilhao 2009).
Nevertheless, while we as humans might be somewhat prone to look for beauty in our surroundings, the modern standards have become out of hand and are completely unacceptable. As Confucius said, “Everything has its beauty, but not everyone sees it”. True beauty is not what is on the outside, but what is on the inside. America’s youth needs to learn to differentiate between the two, and they will never learn how until something is changed in the daily messages thrown out at them.

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