Beauty and society..the beauty myth

Essay by arlingtonheroCollege, UndergraduateA-, March 2002

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Beauty And Women

The rights and status of women have improved considerably in the last fifty years. Women gained legal rights, reproductive rights, pursued higher education, entered the military, and the sports arena by overturning the ancient and social beliefs about the women's social role. But there is something still killing them softly, the beauty myth, which implies that women 's greatest goal in life is to look beautiful.

Women are all too often described in terms of looks, rather than what they think or what they do. A woman's accomplishments are often based upon her physical appearance rather than her personality or possible mental capability. Those who are considered to be more attractive beginning at a young age are led to believe that women are successful in part because of their appearance and monetary value. In other words they reached their goals as women. We as a society are disregarding the fact that distorted, unattainable sexist mass images are a product of the constant exploitation of women's bodies as well as our losing battle against anorexia and bulimia amongst young women today.

According to Jean Kilbourne, narrator of Still Killing Us Softly (1987), approximately 80 percent of 4th grade girls diet to become thin. These days it is quite common to find women of all ages dieting because they are made to believe that women must be beautiful and men must be strong. Kilbourne also stated that the major source of beauty myth is the media and through the media we are being exposed to 1,500 advertisements a day. In most advertisements, we find only young and beautiful women, which clearly shows that women are beautiful. People are made to believe that is how women in general should look. This leads to depressions among women who think that they...