The Beauty Myth
Women cannot find strong role models in today's society without getting a false impression. Too often the role models are of women of unrealistic beauty. Take for instance the big screen: a bunch of skinny women with flawless faces, and not a spec of cellulite. Finding role models on the glossy pages of magazines and posters has become even more prominent. Gazing at these "role models" has become an act in which shapes the way women look and feel about themselves in today's beauty conscious society. American women base their lives on a myth, a beauty myth, which impairs their self-image and distorts their views regarding their peers.
America stereotypes women to fit the myth by suggesting that they either have beauty or intelligence, but cannot have both. Women believe that the women featured in the magazines are the models of what a male finds attractive. In reality, that's what the advertisers want the reader to find attractive. If women believe skinny is the only way to go, they are going to buy their product that "promises a slim new you". Unfortunately, the media pushes an unnatural body type, making it difficult to accept natural beauty: It is estimated that 8 million Americans have an eating disorder, seven million women and one million men. One in 200 American women suffers from anorexia, and two to three in 100 American women suffers from bulimia.
Ten years ago 330,000 Americans underwent plastic surgery. This year that number has increased to over 6 million, of which 335,000 are under the age of 18. The increase in numbers of plastic surgeries could be attributed and/or directly proportionate to the increase in extreme makeover shows. According to Charles Cooley, “a person’s sense of self is derived from the perceptions of others.” I will use Charles Cooly’s looking-glass-self theory to argue that mass media has created a social mirror for millions of women, the consequence of which is a “cosmetic surgery addiction”. Cooly’s...
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