The Beauty Standard
"Does this make me look fat?” Everyone at one time or another has experienced this iconic question in some way. Your best friend may have asked it, as she was getting ready for a date or maybe you muttered these words to yourself as you stared disapprovingly into a mirror; either way, this six-word question alludes to a standard of beauty that everyone strives to meet. A standard of beauty that is almost impossible to meet. The definition of beauty has evolved greatly over the years and it differs from culture to culture. Today, western culture idolizes the woman who is “thin, large breasted, and white (tanned, but not too brown)” (WVFV, pg. 220). This woman is one that millions of women strive to look like in hopes that they will be seen as beautiful, successful, and ultimately happy. This standard of beauty is one that is enforced on women every second of every day and that threatens a woman’s body, but it is one that women can resist if they so choose to.
Everywhere a woman looks she is faced with an expectation of what she must look like to be considered beautiful. One of the biggest contributors to the enforcement of this ideal is the media. The media portrays beauty to be an “illusion of absolute perfection” (WVFV, pg. 213). Ads, magazines, and TV commercials are filled with “airbrushed and computer enhanced” images (WVFV, pg. 213). These fake images are what give women the idea that they too must look just as perfect as the girl on the front cover of Sports Illustrated. From a young age, girls obsess over the size of their breasts and the clinch of their waists. “Voluptuous stars, such as Jane Mansfield, Jane Russell, and Marilyn Monroe,” (WVFV, pg. 234) were all full breasted and worshiped by the media and society. Young women looked up to these women and felt as though the only way to be successful, happy, and beautiful was to have a fully developed chest and small waist.
Since women feel like they need to...
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