Gross Manipulations

Essay by thebiggestcheaterUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, May 2005

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As mammals of nature, most humans are sexually interested in those of the opposite sex, and one way to attract one another is by physical means. Individuals who have a hard time attracting members of the opposite sex physically, are sometimes cast aside as somewhat less significant to society. For example, what determines who is the better looking person between Angelina Jolie and Bette Midler, or Mel Gibson and Rowan Atkinson (Mr. Bean)? We all read and silently answer this question in our mind, yet who and what is determining the answer? In today's American society, there appears to be a set physical standard implied by the media that both men and women look up to. The pressures imposed on men and women to "measure up" physically to this implied look, have progressed to such impossible standards, that members of society will grossly manipulate their bodies in order to fit in.

The physical standards are manipulating us by the images saturating our minds in books, magazines, clothing stores, films, and television. Even our monitors flash images of perfection at us while we surf the net. There is no "right" image, but rather a collection of attractive individuals with similar features, brainwashing us into believing that they represent the average person. So what is it that makes them "attractive"? For men, the physical standards include images such as: mature, tall, muscular, rugged, full head of hair, white straight teeth, and athletic frame. The perfect chiseled marble statue of "David" comes to mind, but for more recent examples, our current poster boys include Brad Pitt, Ben Affleck, Usher, and Tom Cruise. However, men have an advantage over women in that if they do not possess these physical perfections, they can easily be compensated by having money, power, and success. For example,