Is Beauty Only Skin Deep?

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Is Beauty Only Skin Deep?

Even as children our male heroes were buff, tan, and attractive, princesses had large breasts and unbelievably small waists, while the villains were monstrous and often deformed. The models and figures we often see in the media have, along with unrealistic, unhealthy lifestyles, the advantages of photo shop and airbrush on their side. Losing weight no longer has to be a battle with exercise and dieting, when you could simply have a tummy tuck and liposuction for only $12,000(smartummytucks.com). “Simple” facial plastic surgery is becoming as popular as having your teeth whitened. The world we’re living in portrays being beautiful as successful, and beauty is becoming an unattainable image of perfection that is accepted as the standard.

Victoria’s Secret models walk down the runway in sleek lingerie and sexy underwear. Their bodies are completely exposed, from their great breasts to their rib cages. That’s right, great breasts AND rib cages. Thanks to the breast-shaped pouches made of a silicone outer shell filled with a silicone gel or saline that have been implanted into their once smaller breasts, this dynamic duo is possible. Of course, the new Miraculous™ push-up bra that they are marketing must have some positive effect on the bust increase as well. Many spectators have questioned the diets of these models. One in particular, Heidi Klum, follows the New York Body Plan, which promises a radical makeover in two weeks. Alcohol, bread, dairy products and sweets are totally forbidden, and the max calorie intake is 1000 a day (fitness-diet.com).

Magazines, billboards and other print media push a fantasy world on us filled with perfect, bronze complexions, smooth skin, and unbelievably thin, toned frames. Never will you find a blemish, cellulite, stretch mark, or any other imperfection on a model in a magazine. Public health officials in France want to combat eating disorders by enforcing magazines to say to what extent their photos have been retouched.

“These days, altered images are ubiquitous; the fairytale world threatens to engulf our own. The illusion is more complete, too — with digital technology it’s harder to see the smoothing. Stalin would have drooled at the possibilities.” (David Airey)

Newsweek Magazine states that the retouching of photos has become so mainstream that it is not only expected but demanded by publicists. Magazine editors don’t feel that they are deceiving readers because they assume readers know the photos have been altered in one way or another (fitness-diet.com). But do the readers know the extent to which these photos are changed? As you’re checking out in a grocery store, a gorgeous, tan model wearing a skimpy bikini on the cover of a magazine catches your eye. What are you more likely to instantly think: “her skin has been airbrushed and her stomach, thighs, legs, and arms have been “liquefied”, reducing volume to make her appear so thin and toned”, or “I want to look like that,” “I want my girlfriend/wife to look like that”? Alexis Beck, Clinical Nutritionist, deals with eating disorders almost everyday. She believes that even if woman and young girls do know the extent to which photos are altered, it doesn’t penetrate. Just as television sitcoms or series will pull you in knowing they’re fictional, these images still leave you yearning even if you realize they’ve been distorted.

Since March 9, 1959 the Barbie doll has been a part of countless young girls lives. She comes with an incredibly controversial reputation, stemming from her long legs, tiny waist, plentiful bosom, slender neck and flowing blonde locks. Not everything is as it seems. If this picturesque doll were to be a person in real life, her feet would be a child’s size three; her bust would be 39 inches (bra size FF), her measurements 39-20-33. If she were to have the hips of an average American Woman, she would be only slightly shorter than the tallest woman...
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