Are Unrealistic Beauty Standards Being Set For Women?
November 28, 2016 (No Comments) by theSharpeUser

are-unrealistic-beauty-standards-being-set-for-women

It is no great secret that there has long been a history of women tying their self-worth to the attractiveness of their bodies. This female behavioural tic could be attributed to anything from holding overwhelming value in the opinions of the opposite sex, to following the culture one is born into, or even something trendier like the influence of media or societal expectations. Regardless, it’s something universal – women are judged harshly on their physical appearance, and initial impressions based on this can be scathing.

Media Manipulation

Both men and women are guilty of this; when women create competition and hold another woman’s standards against their own it is often more brutal than the real-life male gaze. The constant internal conflict breeds resentment and subconscious judgement of others, and we’re left with TV shows that analyse ‘fashion crimes’ and a magazine industry built on telling women exactly what’s wrong with them and how to address it.

Pointing Out The Problem Areas

This bloodthirsty cultural phenomenon flourishes in the media, where women are featured in dehumanising poses, scantily clad or not at all; sexual imagery that is utilised to sell everything from crisps to men’s deodorant. Women everywhere, but only one body: usually white, usually young and thin and usually treated like an object. It’s a terrible and highly effective platform from which girls as young as five take stock, and turn to their mirrors to start pointing out their ‘problem areas’. From this, emerges whole generations suffering from bulimia and anorexia nervosa, modernised versions of nineteenth-century corsets women used to bind around their torsos – as well as the ever-present epidemic of bullying, something that always starts with a feeling of inadequacy. Children teased about their appearance frequently live their adult lives with a permanently disturbed body image.

Political Permutations 

Women are targeted and derided on their physical appearance regardless of their profession, too. Only one presidential candidate has been repeatedly attacked on this superficial basis, while her fellow candidate slid by with repugnant comments about the sexual attractiveness of his own daughter, crude rants on the weight of beauty pageant contestants, and of course, his now infamous line about grabbing women unceremoniously by the genitals. Inequality has never been so starkly apparent, but we are so used to it that it seems almost automatic to focus on whether shes wearing makeup than the actual political issues she raises.

Perception In Film

In film, men are well-rounded characters and women the inconsequential background decorations. They’re typically defined by who they mother, marry or have sex with. They also tend to be notably younger than their male love interests: 53% of leading actresses are under 40, while 53% of leading actors are over 40. Behind the screen, in 2016 only 9% of directors were female, and since they were generally the only film-makers to give their female characters large speaking parts, the statistics remain low for the latter still. This is a media empire resting on movie-goers, half of which are female, and yet the tropes remain the same. It’s not surprising that women come away from films with a certain view of how women are perceived, and what they are valued for – especially by men. Research has shown that 8 out of 10 women will be dissatisfied with their reflection, and society adds fuel to the fire every day.

Unrealistic People Standards

This obsession with the appearance of our bodies is something glorified by Western culture, which thrives on the ability to sell solutions to one’s flaws through people so airbrushed they’re nearly unrecognisable. These flawless celebrities and perfect, nameless models are on buses, TVs, magazines and pop-up ads on social media; they fill movies and are as ubiquitous as our own friends and family. Why then, would they seem like unrealistic standards?

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Are Unrealistic Beauty Standards Being Set For Women?
November 28, 2016 (No Comments) by theSharpeUser

are-unrealistic-beauty-standards-being-set-for-women

It is no great secret that there has long been a history of women tying their self-worth to the attractiveness of their bodies. This female behavioural tic could be attributed to anything from holding overwhelming value in the opinions of the opposite sex, to following the culture one is born into, or even something trendier like the influence of media or societal expectations. Regardless, it’s something universal – women are judged harshly on their physical appearance, and initial impressions based on this can be scathing.

Media Manipulation

Both men and women are guilty of this; when women create competition and hold another woman’s standards against their own it is often more brutal than the real-life male gaze. The constant internal conflict breeds resentment and subconscious judgement of others, and we’re left with TV shows that analyse ‘fashion crimes’ and a magazine industry built on telling women exactly what’s wrong with them and how to address it.

Pointing Out The Problem Areas

This bloodthirsty cultural phenomenon flourishes in the media, where women are featured in dehumanising poses, scantily clad or not at all; sexual imagery that is utilised to sell everything from crisps to men’s deodorant. Women everywhere, but only one body: usually white, usually young and thin and usually treated like an object. It’s a terrible and highly effective platform from which girls as young as five take stock, and turn to their mirrors to start pointing out their ‘problem areas’. From this, emerges whole generations suffering from bulimia and anorexia nervosa, modernised versions of nineteenth-century corsets women used to bind around their torsos – as well as the ever-present epidemic of bullying, something that always starts with a feeling of inadequacy. Children teased about their appearance frequently live their adult lives with a permanently disturbed body image.

Political Permutations 

Women are targeted and derided on their physical appearance regardless of their profession, too. Only one presidential candidate has been repeatedly attacked on this superficial basis, while her fellow candidate slid by with repugnant comments about the sexual attractiveness of his own daughter, crude rants on the weight of beauty pageant contestants, and of course, his now infamous line about grabbing women unceremoniously by the genitals. Inequality has never been so starkly apparent, but we are so used to it that it seems almost automatic to focus on whether shes wearing makeup than the actual political issues she raises.

Perception In Film

In film, men are well-rounded characters and women the inconsequential background decorations. They’re typically defined by who they mother, marry or have sex with. They also tend to be notably younger than their male love interests: 53% of leading actresses are under 40, while 53% of leading actors are over 40. Behind the screen, in 2016 only 9% of directors were female, and since they were generally the only film-makers to give their female characters large speaking parts, the statistics remain low for the latter still. This is a media empire resting on movie-goers, half of which are female, and yet the tropes remain the same. It’s not surprising that women come away from films with a certain view of how women are perceived, and what they are valued for – especially by men. Research has shown that 8 out of 10 women will be dissatisfied with their reflection, and society adds fuel to the fire every day.

Unrealistic People Standards

This obsession with the appearance of our bodies is something glorified by Western culture, which thrives on the ability to sell solutions to one’s flaws through people so airbrushed they’re nearly unrecognisable. These flawless celebrities and perfect, nameless models are on buses, TVs, magazines and pop-up ads on social media; they fill movies and are as ubiquitous as our own friends and family. Why then, would they seem like unrealistic standards?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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