Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The Perception of Beauty

Today we are surrounded by technology and the media everywhere we go, every time we sit to watch television, or pick up our smart phones. Mediated popular culture has become infused into our lives 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Through this we are able to share a piece of our lives with those around us as well as involving ourselves with others lives. Some we may know, others we may not. Most of us can probably agree that we grew up being connected through a source of technology and new media whether it was email or possibly MySpace. Today we are able to access friends who have moved across the country, people on the other side of the world, gain access to information, view advertisements, online shopping, and more.

Through being involved and seeing what other people have such as personal belongings and physical attributions, has led the mind of many to believe they have to look a specific way to be "beautiful" or behave a specific way to be with the "in" crowd. You can admit that you too have probably been found guilty at some point or another wishing you had someone's physical attributes, or possibly their belongings. I mean, we all do it, right? Just when do you take a step back and realize it has gone too far before changing a piece of you that is fine to begin with?

This clip showed a young woman who was self conscious of her body who received plastic surgery so she would be able to gain more confidence by now having what she wanted. This is the perception came from friends and undoubtedly the media. Because of comments made toward her, the young woman reported having low confidence because of her small chest size and being tired of friends who made comments continuously.

This isn't the first, or the last, time someone will receive plastic surgery treatment to shape them exactly how they want to look. It has almost been embedded in us that if we don't have what we see our idols have, we are not good enough. Therefore this trend will continue changing many who are beautiful, no surgery needed.

Within popular culture is the persuasiveness to be able to shape peoples beliefs and behaviors. After satellite TV was introduced, women dieting went from 3 percent to 66 percent in just two years. In addition to this, 15 percent of women confessed to vomiting to be able to control their weight gain. Sad, but true, this is the reality we are seeing from those who believe they need to be something than that of which they already are.

Most female actresses are underweight, as well as models around the world. In fact in some parts of the world, there have been laws created in which models have to be of a healthy weight in order to walk the runway or participate in photoshoots. Although the weight of the woman may be unhealthy, women tend to look up to them and idolize them, imagining themselves to be their weight and size because they are viewed as "gorgeous", "beautiful", "stunning", etc. In a result looking at themselves in a mirror and not feeling satisfied with their personal image.

They way our minds think, we would view the final billboard and think that model is "perfect". However, edits changed her to be who she was on that final shot. From advertisements, magazines, television, movies, etc. we begin to believe that this is what is beautiful and we have to be skinny and wear a certain amount of makeup to be "beautiful". We begin to think that we need to have that body type of a model, or our favorite actress. Yet, those many of us are looking up to are not as perfect as we make them out to be. Here we have seen that with technology, they are able to be transformed to have the "perfect" look.

(Watch until 2:22)
"Image is powerful," and "Image is superficial" - Cameron Russell

Discussion Questions: 
In what ways do you feel the media has influenced women that may change behavior and beliefs?
Have you felt the need to change something about your appearance or jump on the latest trend?

1 comment:

  1. I agree with this undoubtably. The media has influenced what we all consider to be "beautiful" in every direction you look. For myself personally, I have always wanted to have long hair because that is what every "beautiful girl" had. Friends and family always tried to convince me differently but I had learned and truly believe that I needed long hair to be beautiful. All the media surrounding me taught me of this false truth.

    I read a quote the other day that stated: "Imagine if women spent as much time trying to perfect what is on the inside rather than what they see on the outside, how beautiful they would become". This really spoke to me because I want my own self confidence to come from something other than the way I look.

    Our differences are what make us beautiful and I do think that the industry is slowly (very slowly) starting to celebrate this as well. Campaigns like Dove and other companies are joining the effort to stop the criticism of women and help us all understand that we are all beautiful in our own unique way.