The Achievement of “Beauty”: Influence from the Media

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The achievement of beauty may be approached in many different ways depending on one’s definition of what beauty really is and thus, one may obtain beauty through unhealthy procedures such as surgery, pursuing abnormal diets and usage of drugs. Yet, these measures may lead one to an even worst physical state or a negative effect on his or her overall health. Essentially, people will refer to the easy and quick tactics of obtaining their goal, and some will go as far as using drugs. Significantly, these acts are caused by the media where they reveal celebrities with beautiful body with the secret of drug usage. Also, if the obtainment of drugs is not available, people will consult to numerous of dangerous and abnormal diets. In consequence, these diets will not only be harmful to the body but in reverse, produce a negative effect such as the development of eating disorders which, in the end result in diseases. “More than one out of three "normal dieters" progress to pathological dieting. One fourth of those will suffer from partial or full syndrome eating disorders”. (Ideal Fitness line 15) Moreover, not only does achieving beauty mean losing weight, but it also refers to changing physical aspects of one’s own body in order to feel beautiful. Again, with the exposure to the media and advertisements, many individuals are easily led into relying on surgical procedures to transform into what is considered “beautiful”.

Beauty…is beauty really defined through the eye of the beholder or is beauty purely skin deep? What are the possible ways to determine the level of someone’s beauty? It is sought to be very easy to see that this world is infatuated with what is called “beautiful” people, but how do you become one? Body image is a pressing issue that plagues women and men alike. The problem can start at a very young age and grow into a deadly obsession that can cause eating disorders that can in turn become fatal. Around the world, both men and women are bombarded by ever changing images of "beautiful people." The ideal body type is transformed by the media and perpetuated by the consumer in magazines, television shows, music videos, and all other forms of media. These images are seen by the world as the physical attributes that make a woman beautiful. This image is ideal, and has always been depicted by the culture of arts however, has drastically changed through the centuries and, on occasion, has taken a less realistic, unnatural, and unhealthy turn. “Today, many women would prefer to be thin than healthy.” (Kilbourne 15) The media portrays celebrities such as Kate Moss and Pamela Anderson as beautiful and hence, their psychological impact is found evident in the number of recorded eating disorders and plastic surgeries. “In the United States alone, in 2004, approximately 7 million girls and women were reported to struggle with eating disorders.” (Gurze line 8) This shows that with the influence of the media, more and more individuals have come to the conclusion of thin, as being the new beautiful. Not only does eating disorders are created through the media, but it also promotes cosmetic surgeries. “During 2003, women had nearly 7.2 million cosmetic procedures, 87 percent of the total. The number of cosmetic procedures for women increased 16 percent from 2002.” (ACSN line 10). Studies show that exposure to images of the beauty ideal increases dissatisfaction, depression and anger and lower self-esteem in both women as well as men. “When women are dissatisfied with their own bodies, pictures of ultra-thin, mostly white models in magazines, TV, etc., can reinforce those negative feelings. These images can make them feel worse about their size, the colour of their skin, or other physical features.” (CWHN line 11).

In the United States, statistics shows that “since 1997, there has been a 293 percent increase in the total number of cosmetic procedures and surgeries.” (ACSN line 5) The increase demonstrates that the obsession to...
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