Beauty: Analysis of the Idea of Beauty
Is beauty only skin deep? What role, if any, does society play in the views of beauty? Does body modification enhance or detract from a person’s beauty? What role does the idea of beauty play in a person’s life? The idea of beauty is something that has changed over generations, and is something that is constantly evolving to this day. The idea of beauty is shaped by media interaction, societal views, and also engaged in by body modification whether that modification be piercing, tattooing, extreme dieting, plastic surgery, or otherwise. Do we, as a society, overvalue the idea of beauty? “People use various practices to shape their bodies into culturally defined ideal physiques, and media both construct and reinforce beauty ideals.” (Jackson & Lyons, 2012) Beauty is defined by the culture a person lives in, grew up in, and is shaped by throughout life. The idea of beauty is never the same for any person, but can have similar characteristics. The media, which is a conduit of the social norm, defines beauty everyday and many feel the need to change themselves in order to fit this idea. “Within contemporary Westernized cultures there is a pervasive interest in practices aimed at altering the human physique. Such practices, which include cosmetic surgery, bodybuilding, dietary modification, exercise regimes, and eating disorders, signify a cultural fascination with (a pursuit of) the ‘perfect’ body.” (Jackson & Lyons, 2012) Some people dedicate their entire lives for the quest to find their ideal of beauty, to become that ideal and to fall into what is deemed as beautiful by societal standards set in place. But is this correct? Is the ideal of beauty presented by the media, and interpreted by the viewer, correct? Are people motivated to modify their bodies because they are dissatisfied with the image of their body? “Body image dissatisfaction is pervasive in America. We believe this dissatisfaction may motivate many...
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