Beauty and American Culture
We live in a society that is saturated with a concept of physical attractiveness that spills into our newspapers, magazines, TV, movies and into our minds. From childhood, we have seen images of idealized men and women. We may convince ourselves that they are more attractive, fit, and somehow better than we are. Body weight, in particular, is one of the most twisted issues of our day, with women striving to be as gaunt as the women seen on TV or in the movies. We are regularly bombarded with a belief that, in order to be happy, we must be attractive. In order to achieve an “attractive” figure many young women seek out plastic surgery or others, in their quest to become thin, end up suffering from eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia nervosa. Some suffer from anti-social behaviors and commit suicide. Clearly, such emphasis on attractiveness only creates problems. Many people are striving to look like the people in TV, movies etc. Many people do not realize, however, that we are often shown false images of these people. In reality, many people that appear in magazines and TV have been manufactured. Computer technology and makeup have often made many men and woman appear more attractive in magazines and TV by hiding or enhancing particular features. Modern plastic surgery has allowed enhancement or reduction of specific features. It seems our society is stressing an “attractive figure” that is unnatural. Our society must realize most of what we look like is under genetic control and than an “ideal” and “attractive” figure, as portrayed by the media, is sometimes unobtainable and unnatural.
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