Beauty: the Evolution of Perception

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Vennette Gonzalez
Mr. Warner
English 111 (032W)
19 November 2012
"Beauty": The evolution of perception
When looking in the past to see how people lived and viewed the world, there is one commonality that stands out. A woman’s beauty says a lot on how the culture and the people of that society perceived themselves and others. These past perceptions affect how current society and culture is perceived not only by the individuals of our generation but by our future generations as well. This paper will address how we as society view beauty as it has changed over a period of time, how these changes came about, and how the media played a role in this beauty evolution. How this beauty evolution begins starts in childhood. One of the first memories that children have is the reading of fairy tales. These stories set a foundation as to what we perceive as beauty. “Children’s media has been found to be powerfully responsive to social change and not simply in a way that mirrors society (Baker-Sperry and Grauerholz 714).” With this early exposure to what is portrayed as beauty, it is established early in the developmental years of childhood of how a woman should look as well as act. “Children’s fairy tales can provide insight into the dynamic relationship between gender, power, and culture as well as the cultural and social significance of beauty to women’s lives (Baker-Sperry and Grauerholz 712).” The cultural and social significance can be seen as “girls and boys are taught specific messages concerning the importance of women’s bodies and women’s attractiveness (Baker-Sperry and Grauerholz 724).” These fairy tales were created to accommodate the cultural values and conflicts of the era, and establish the values of what our society deems as appropriate and what is acceptable for our young children to grow into as well as establishing a baseline for beauty. As our children grow, they carry these values and ideals with them. These fairy tales portray women as...
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