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Anorexia Nervosa: a Feminist reading of a distorted perception of beauty

Introduction

The focus of this essay is to explore the eating disorder Anorexia nervosa. Anorexia was chosen for the topic for this essay as it has both a long history in human culture but is still a very current and prevalent issue. The subject of anorexia will be explored using various sociological perspectives. First, the feminist perspective will focus on women’s experiences and explore anorexia from the standpoint of a woman as opposed to the often male-dominated perspective of traditional society (Hall and Steven, 1991). The functionalism theory interprets society as a whole made up of correlated parts such as traditions, institutions, customs, etc; therefore, this perspective will examine the association between societal pressure and media influence and anorexia. And lastly, the symbolic interaction perspective analyses symbols, subjective interpersonal significance and the interaction between individuals through communication (Van der Spuy E, M de Klerk H and Kruger R, 2003) anorexia can be explained through various symbols such as food and self-image and how these are used to communicate self-image to other individuals.

Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder characterised by extreme anxiety about one’s weight and keeping it as low as possible by very strictly limiting the intake of food (NHS, 2011).There are various statistics relevant to anorexia available in the UK. According to The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), approximately one in 250 females and one in 2000 males will experience anorexia (2004). In the UK, approximately one in every 100 women between the ages of 15 and 30 years suffer from anorexia (Disordered Eating, 2011). However, reports have shown girls as young as five years old have weight concerns and are potentially susceptible to develop anorexia (Disordered Eating, 2011). According to Beating Eating Disorders (B-EAT 2011), around 1-2% of young women are thought to be anorexic at any one time and approximately 11 people in 100,000 develop the condition each year. Approximately 40% of people with anorexia recover completely and an estimated 30% will continue to suffer long-term effects of the illness (Disordered Eating, 2011).

Anorexia is a serious health issue because it is the leading cause of mental health-related deaths (NHS, 2011). The mortality rate for anorexia is estimated to run around 13-20% per year (Howlett et al., 1995). It is also important to study because it is associated with various health complications. One of the primary complications is loss of fertility which may cause lifelong difficulties (B-eat, 2011). There are also other complications due to malnutrition such as osteoporosis which can increase the risk of spontaneous fractures even from minor traumas (B-eat, 2011).

The feminist perspective is a sociological perspective based on a female-centered viewpoint as an alternative to the male-centered viewpoint that often dominates traditional philosophy, society, and culture (Rodgers 2005). According to Hall and Steven (1991), feminism has the three basic principles of: valuing women and validating women’s experiences, ideas, and needs; recognizing the existence of ideological, structural, and interpersonal conditions that dominate women; and a desire to change these oppressive limitations through criticism and political action. As body image is part of a woman’s concept of her sexuality, it is related to her feeling feminine and attractive and consequently her self-esteem (Fobair, 2006). Feminist theory suggests that the reason women feel dissatisfied with their bodies is because of a social phenomenon and not individual choice (McKinley, 2002). Women tend to be more concerned about the appearance of their bodies than men, who are more concerned with the functionality of their bodies (Ziebland, 2002).

Landwerlin (2001) suggests that the extreme pressure of women to conform to the idea that beauty in women is being exceptionally thin has led to an epidemic of eating disorders. Women feel the need to meet impossible demands of beauty and thinness and struggle to meet the expectations of the feminine stereotype (Parker and Mauger, 1976). Women with anorexia are obsessively pursuing the ideal feminine body shape in an exaggerated manner (Boskind-Lodahl, 1976). Boskind-Lodahl (1976) suggests that anorexic women are controlling their appearance to gain the approval of others, especially men, and gain a sense of self-worth through this validiation Chernin (1986) believes that women with eating disorders are using their bodies to express unhappiness about their role in life in a male-dominated society. Because a woman’s body is representative of her identity, women are able to express confusion about her role in society through eating disorders such as anorexia (Chernin, 1986).

Conversely, there are some feminist theorists who believe that women with anorexia are not conforming to the feminine ideal, but rather rejecting it. As women with anorexia are overly thin, they actually become unattractive and challenge the concept of being valued for their appearance (Moorey, 1991). Lester (1997) suggests that by becoming so overly thin, women are flaunting the fact that society demands this viciously harmful body type to be considered attractive. It is an unmistakable statement that she believes societal pressure is causing her to starve herself and be dangerously unhealthy (Bordo, 1997). It is in a sense over-conforming to the point where the woman disappears, first physically, then spiritually. She is trying to break away from the stereotypes of femininity beauty shoved onto her from a male-centered society (Malson and Ussher, 1997).

This feminist theory that women with anorexia are actually trying to break away from conformity can be extended. To escape the feminine role that is forced onto them, women may adopt masculine characteristics as the solution (Elks, 1994). Elks (1994) believes that women use anorexia to transform their bodies into a sexless state, by denying the normal curves of a woman that are associated with feminine characteristics such as pregnancy. It is a rejection of fertility and obligation to a family as a mother or wife. By suppressing the development of hips and breasts, women are changing their bodies into a more genderless figure (Elks, 1994). All of these feminist theories suggest that women are using their bodies as a political statement. Orbach (1989) suggests that anorexia is an ambivalence about femininity, both a rejection and exaggeration of the feminine idea whether anorexia is an over-conformity or rebellion against the notion of feminine beauty, it is still calling attention to the effects of gender roles in society.

The functionalism perspective sees society as being held together by social consensus, a functioning body that is made up of different interdependent elements such as customs, traditions, and institutions (Parsons, 1975). All of these parts affect each other so functionalism reflects on both the micro-scale individual components as well as the macro-scale function of the whole. Parsons (1975), a functionalist theorist, suggested that each individual had expectations of his and others’ actions and that these expectations were derived from the accepted norms and customs of their society Parsons suggested that individuals were expected to fulfill certain roles in society and conform to that specific society’s customs and what was seen as the norm. The perfect society then, would be one where there is no conflict between the norms of society and the performance of the individual within these institutions and traditions (Parsons, 1975). In modern society, mass media bombards images of extremely thin women as being the ideal form. Anorexia can be seen as society’s struggle to align this “norm” of very thin models and celebrities to all women.

Robert Merton, another influential functionalist theorist, had similar notions to Parsons. Merton expanded Parsons’ ideas that some structures within society may be dysfunctional (Holmwood, 2005). Merton’s theory of deviance suggested that there was a possibility of discontinuity between the cultural goal and the reaction of an individual (Merton, 1957). Among these scenarios are conformity, innovation, ritualism, retreats, and rebellion (Merton, 1957). The prevalence of anorexia in society can be explained through several of these cases. Because of the widespread exposure of thin, beautiful women in the form of advertisements, movies, television and shows, the reaction of trying to conform to this image is easy to understand. Every day women see what type society labels as beautiful and strive to conform and be just like that image. Young girls and mature women alike suffer anorexia to achieve this conformity. Anorexia can also be seen as an innovation type scenario; women see the thin models and celebrities and will attempt to become this image through unaccepted methods such as starvation and malnutrition. Ritualism occurs when an individual strives to follow society’s norms but is not rewarded in the end. This is true in the cases of women where anorexia causes severe health issues and achieving the thin body type comes at a cost of morbidity and mortality.

Merton also proposed the idea that human function could be categorized as either manifest functions which are obvious and intentional or latent functions which are vague and involuntary (Holmwood, 2005). Manifest functions are what people expect whereas latent functions are unrecognized and unexpected (Merton, 1957). Dysfunction, such as anorexia, can be seen as manifest or latent as well. Anorexia as a manifest dysfunction is recognized because it is a serious medical issue documented in hospitals and primary care. Anorexia can also be seen as a latent dysfunction since it was not necessarily anticipated as a product of media bombardment of thin models and celebrities. Anorexia can be interpreted through a variety of methods using the functionalist theory. Because anorexia is a reflection of self-image that is highly affected by society and mass media culture, the functionalist theory is a competent interpretative perspective for this topic.

And lastly, the symbolic interaction theory is a micro-scale perspective, emphasizing the interpretation of symbols and self-perception as constructed by others through communication and interaction. Symbolic interaction not only examines the interaction between individuals but also within the own individual (Van der Spuy E, M de Klerk H and Kruger R, 2003). Because human actions consist of identifying the self as an object, it serves as a symbol which a woman can use to communicate to others and herself. Anorexic women are communicating their refusal to eat and the resulting thinness of her body as a symbol to others. Kaiser (1990) suggests that the self develops from the combination of the interaction with other individuals who give feedback and with those individuals with whom she compares herself. These other individuals may be friends, peers, stereotypes, etc. The woman compares herself to these other groups and takes their feedback into consideration in the development and perception of her self-image and body.

Blowers et al (2003) suggests that this external pressure from different groups causes women to internalize societal norms that thinness is beautiful and important for success for a woman. When comparing magazines read by young women and by young men, Heilman (1998) found that ten times as many promoted the thin figure in advertisements targeted to women. Through media alone, young women are more susceptible to body image issues and according to Marcotte et al (2002), young women become more depressed than their male counterparts during teen years. This depression and low self-esteem could push these girls to resort to anorexia to match the model figures seen in so many advertisements. Kaiser (1990) proposes that a symbol should communicate the same thing to others and herself. So women apply self-control to behave a certain way in order for others to have a specific image of her. Individuals who suffer from anorexia exhibit this exact behavioural pattern of demonstrating extreme will power to refrain from eating (Slabber, 1985).

Symbolic interaction proposes that clothes, food, and physical appearance can sometimes used to simplify social interactions (Van der Spuy E, M de Klerk H and Kruger R, 2003). All of these items serve as symbols which are used to communicate the self to others and to themselves. This symbol of the body is a mental picture that one has at any given time and a positive body image correlates strongly to a feeling of acceptance (Van der Spuy E, M de Klerk H and Kruger R, 2003). Dissatisfaction with their body image is correlated to eating behaviours in females as young as grade school children (Vander Wal and Thelen, 2000). Women with anorexia have a distorted body image and continue to strive to be as thin as possible (Drewnowski et al, 1995). Further encouraged by mass media and modern society’s fashion culture, women see the clothes they are supposed to wear on extremely emaciated figures (Kaiser, 1990). Kilbourne stated that women are driven by the fear of being overweight, as the intolerance against fat people, more specifically fat women, is one of the few remaining prejudices that are found socially acceptable (Benokrates 1999).

Anorexic women also view food as an important symbol in her life. She is obsessed with the idea of it and at the same time rejecting it completely because it symbolizes weight gain (Kaiser, 1990). Further obsession on this symbol turns food and the idea of eating into a neurotic fear of gaining weight which leads to starvation to the point of malnutrition and danger. This feeling of power and control over abstaining from food becomes a symbol of herself and the extent of her will power and so becomes addicting and repetitive (Wardlaw1999). The symbols and interactions with other individuals that anorexic women interpret and experience play a large role in the development and continuation of their anorexic condition. Associating the symbol of food with becoming fat, which goes against the media stereotype of beauty in women, perpetuates anorexic tendencies in symbolic interaction theory.

Anorexia is a serious health issue but with the help of various sociological perspectives, the intentions behind it can be understood so the affected individuals can be helped as best as possible. Understanding anorexia through the feminist perspective explores the topic from the viewpoint of the women, as opposed to the generally male-dominated perspective of traditional society. Feminist theory suggests that anorexic women are overly conforming to the idealised thin figure of the women to express unhappiness in the male-dominated society. Other feminist theory thought suggests anorexic women are actually rejecting the feminine role in society by becoming so emaciated; they shed their feminine shape and become an androgynous figure that rejects their role as a mother or wife. The functionalist perspective examines anorexia as one part of society that interrelates to other aspects of society, all coming together in a social consensus. This social consensus promotes various actions in individuals such as conformity, innovation, and ritualism. Women are driven to conform to the thin image of celebrities and models and use innovative methods such as extreme starvation to achieve these results. However, these results may be without reward if it leads to health problems and possibly death. Symbolic interaction perspective investigates anorexia in terms of how individuals perceive symbols and its interaction with other individuals and also themselves. Women view food as a symbol of weight-gain and grow to detest it, becoming obsessed with the idea of rejecting food. These anorexic women interpret their self-image as a reflection of what others think of them and use this feedback to view themselves. The media ideal of the thin female form influences women into viewing this as the only acceptable form of beauty in women. All of these sociological perspectives provide insightful logic into how anorexic women think and offer rationale behind their actions and motives. Studying anorexia through various sociological perspectives gives a comprehensive overview of many possible theories and explanations as to why this disorder afflicts these women. By truly understanding the underlying rationale behind these women’s actions, it is possible to help these women carefully and efficiently.

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American Beauty – Paper

American Beauty In the movie “American Beauty” there is a list of interpersonal conflicts. Lester and Carolyn Burnham are a seemingly ordinary couple in an anonymous suburban neighborhood, whose marriage and lives are slowly unraveling. They both have become so distant but remain together to keep up appearances. This relationship shows all the factors that Daniel Dana considers being a conflict. Two people are independent; they each need something from the other, both parties blame the other or find fault with them for causing the problem, one or more of the parties is angry or emotionally upset, the parties’ behaviors are affecting their relationship with each other and/or their relationships with others. ”(Dana, 2000) In the movie there are many conflicts but the interpersonal conflict that stands out is that between Lester and Carolyn. The conflict between Lester and Carolyn is hard to ignore. They have stopped communicating effectively to one another. Lester is a middle aged man, whom sees no satisfaction in his life anymore.

Carolyn is a middle aged woman, whom only shows her satisfaction, but it is a mask; to make it seem that she is happy. Lester, at first, seems to have a passive communication style, compared to Carolyn’s aggressive communication style. In the narration from Lester in the beginning of the film; he seems to be tired of his life and how it is going. They live in a big white house with a red door and a white picket fence; living the American dream. Unfortunately it is anything but. They have a daughter Jane who Lester believes he has failed. One night, Lester and Carolyn go to one of her work functions.

Almost immediately they go their own ways at the function. Carolyn is being entertained by the “King” of real estate, drinking. While Lester has found himself outside with the new neighbor boy Ricky Fitts, smoking the illicit drug marijuana. When they go home and are in bed, their problems come to fruition. At this point the “blame game” comes into the picture; with much negativity. They fight back and forth sarcastically, saying hurtful things, until Carolyn jumps up out of bed and bursts out “This isn’t a marriage”. Then Lester finally speaks up and tells her what he has been feeling for years.

One factor is the lack of sex between them. Also, he states that he has been her puppet for years; since she received her realtors license, and finally that he has been extremely unhappy. Then he continues saying that the only reason she is mad and saying anything is because he is finally fighting back. His dramatic and angry speech makes Carolyn silent. At this point in the film, I am more aware that they haven’t had effective communication to resolve their conflicts, for many years now. This situation escalated from their root cause of both of them becoming withdrawn, and not resolving their conflicts. When conflict erupts, emotions are involved, and the relationship can be threatened if the conflict is not resolved amicably. ”(Sole, 2011) I think what started their downfall, years ago, is that they avoided conflict. This can be destructive in any relationship and/or marriage. If you don’t have the skills of resolving conflict; you run the risk of ruining your marriage, separate friendships, and shatter your family. Since both parties did not obtain the skills necessary to resolve their conflicts, it resulted in Carolyn stepping out of their marriage; to have an affair with her real-estate rival, Buddy Kane the “King”, of real-estate.

Also, resulting in Lester acting out, quitting his job, smoking marijuana, buying a 1970 Pontiac Firebird, and working out to impress a 17 year old girl; what some may call a mid-life crisis. Amazingly enough, this could have all been resolved, as long as they both are willing with positive emotions during their conflicts. Research has shown that interjecting positive emotions, along with negative emotions, during discussions result in happier marriages.

I think that is Lester and Carolyn would have used some basic elements like humor, light-hearted fun, or some playfulness during their conversations, their marriage could have remained happy. Then if they could know and understand one another’s communication style, they would be better at resolving conflicts between them. Lester started out having a passive communication style, and then it quickly moved to a passive-aggressive communication style. I believed this happened because he was fed up with how his life was going and started to display resentment.

With negative feelings, this indirectly sabotaged his life. If Carolyn held an assertive communication style, rather than an aggressive communication style, I believe they would have been able to eventually resolve their conflicts. All in all, if they had effective interpersonal communication, they would have continued to go down the path, to be a happily married couple. References Sole, K. ,Making Connections: Understanding Interpersonal Communication,(2011),BridgePoint Education Inc. Retrieved From: https://content. ashford. edu/books

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Venus of Willendorf: the Image of Beauty and Survival

Venus of Willendorf: The Image of Beauty and Survival The Venus of Willendorf illustrates the characteristics of a woman in a utopian society because her figure demonstrates a society in which there is a stable food supply, and her most feminine features, breasts, hips and buttocks, are accentuated as a symbol of beauty and survival. According to PBS, “It was discovered on the banks of the Danube River, in Austria, and it was most likely made by hunter-gatherers who lived in the area. ” During ancient times, food was scarce.

People would eat whatever food they could get their hands on. When there was food available, dopamine, which is a neurochemical that plays a mojor role in reward driven learning, motivated the people to eat as much as they could. Dopamine triggers the chemical DeltaFosB. This chemical is also known as the binge chemical, “A ‘binge mechanism’ is an evolutionary advantage in situations where survival is furthered by overriding normal satiety. Think of wolves, which need to stow away up to twenty pounds of a single kill at one go.

Or our ancestors, who needed to store high-quality calories as a few extra pounds for easy transport to survive hard times. Or mating season, when there’s a harem to impregnate. In the past, such opportunities were rare and passed quickly” (Yourbrainonporn. com). The Venus of Willendorf is a depiction of how human nature takes control of the brain in the presence of a food surplus. The Venus of Willendorf is a symbol of vitality, for she would survive during famine.

Additionally, the artist who created the Venus of Willendorf was influenced by environment in which he or she lived in. “The people who made this statue lived in a harsh ice-age environment where features of fatness and fertility would have been highly desirable. In neurological terms, these features amounted to hyper-normal stimuli that activate neuron responses in the brain. So in Paleolithic people terms, the parts that mattered most had to do with successful reproduction – the breasts and pelvic girdle.

Therefore, these parts were isolated and amplified by the artist’s brain” (PBS). Thus, the Venus of Willendorf was an attractive sight for it left its possessor daydreaming of a happier civilization where children survive beyond childbirth and food is unlimited. The Venus of Willendorf was the ideal woman in a successful society at the time of its creation, for her figure evokes two very important parts of maintaining a civilization: food and offspring. Because of DeltaFosB, our brains are chemically geared to eat when there is food around.

James Kettlewell describes this phenomenon without science in regards to The Venus, “Consider when and where this Venus of Willendorf lived, when all food had to be gathered or killed, and its availability was never guaranteed. In her age corpulence would have made the most positive kind of statement. ” The Venus of Willendorf’s large figure represents food and the process of feeding. The overconsumption of food leads a concentration of DeltaFosB in the brain; when people of hunter and gatherer societies ate, DeltaFosB stimulated them to eat as much as possible.

If there were an abundance of food, the DeltaFosB response from dopamine would produce figures like Venus of Willendorf. Venus of Willendorf’s large figure stimulated the thought of food in 22,000-24,000 BC when she was erected. Advances in food storage and childbearing techniques has made The Venus of Willendorf less of idolized figure, for there is social stigma with being fat in western society, but many countries in impoverished societies idolize fat. As a rite of passage in Nigeria, girls spend time in a fattening room.

At the end of the three-month process, the women are believed to be more beautiful. Ann M. Simmons, a reporter for the Los Angeles Times visited Nigeria to write an article about the female lifestyle, “The fattening room is at the center of a centuries-old rite of passage from maidenhood to womanhood. The months spent in pursuit of poundage are supplemented by daily visits from elderly matrons who impart tips on how to be a successful wife and mother. Nowadays, though, girls who are not yet marriage-bound do a tour in the rooms purely as a coming-of-age ceremony.

And sometimes, nursing mothers return to the rooms to put on more weight” (1). The Nigerian Gross Domestic Product per capita in 2011 was $1,452, while in the U. S. the Gross Domestic Product per capita was $48,422. It seems that poverty directly affects a societies’ perception of fatness. Tonga, Samoa, and Micronesia, countries that celebrate fatness, have GDP per capitas of $4,168, $3,532 and $2,852 and overweight percentages of 90. 8, 91. 1 and 80. 4, respectively. According to toptenz. net, “Excessive fatness continues to be embraced by many countries as a sign of health, wealth and happiness. Additionally, this website continued to use Tonga and Samoa as exemplar countries that acknowledge this type of beauty. Could it be that the development of western civilization has changed the ideal citizen? In America fitness is seen as a necessity for fitting into the culture. Those who can afford a gym membership and are able to use it have more influence over the perception of beauty and fertility, for the fit citizens are often wealthier. The countries that celebrate fatness maintain a semblance of the hunter/gather society that created the Venus of Willendorf.

An archaeologist in a special for PBS said that the Willendorf is, “Indicative of a general human tendency-wishful thinking. What you are seeing is altered or modified in order to give you a heightened experience…If what’s important to is the breast, hips and buttocks, then you’re stretching them out to get more gratification from the statue than the woman sitting next to you. ” These eloquent words apply not only to the Venus, but also to the young women in the feeding huts in Nigeria. The aspects of a woman that are considered beautiful are exaggerated in order to make them more beautiful.

Besides beauty, The Venus of Willendorf is well equipped for childbearing, for she has wide hips, and her breasts are well stocked for feeding a child. In times of famine, The Venus would survive. In Nigeria, elders who give advice about being a good mother and wife accompany women who spend time in fattening huts. Being fat is part of being a good mother in Nigeria. The Venus of Willendorf is a symbol of the same traits demonstrated in Nigeria, but the image of the Venus was only a pipe dream for the Paleolithic people.

Their ideal woman would have been a spitting image of Venus, but the citizens of the long gone civilization did not have the technology to live the fantasical lifestyle of the Venus of Willendorf Words:1126 Works Cited Kettlewell, James. “Rethinking Classic Themes in Art History. ” James Kettlewell:The Venus of Willendorf. N. p. , n. d. Web. 24 Sept. 2012. . Wilson, Gary. “Start Here for an Overview of Key Concepts. ” Your Brain On Porn. N. p. , 12 May 2012. Web. 24 Sept. 2012. . Simmons, Ann M. “Where Fat Is a Mark of Beauty. Editorial. Los Angeles Times 23 Sept. 1998: 1-2. PROFESSOR SCHUTZER’S WEB PAGE. Pierce College. Web. 23 Sept. 2012. . Duvall, Susan. “Top 10 Countries Celebrating Female Obesity. ” Top 10 Lists. N. p. , 17 Nov. 2011. Web. 23 Sept. 2012. . “GDP per Capita (current US$). ” Data. The World Bank, 2012. Web. 23 Sept. 2012. . Streib, Lauren. “World’s Fattest Countries. ” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 8 Feb. 2007. Web. 24 Sept. 2012. . “Venus of Willendorf: An Exaggerated Beauty. ” PBS. PBS, 2006. Web. 24 Sept. 2012. .

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Beauty: Analysis of the Idea of Beauty

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 persons to undergo cosmetic surgery,” indicates David Sarwer, assistant professor of psychology in psychiatry and surgery at the Center for Human Appearance. “Many persons hope that cosmetic surgery will help them feel better about their appearance, which, in turn, may promote other psychological benefits, such as improved self-esteem. ” (USA, 1999) Many people turn to plastic surgery to modify their bodies because they want to be thought of as beautiful, whether it be by themselves, another person, or society as a whole.

Some people can even take drastic measures and develop unhealthy mental conditions which would make them undergo plastic surgery in a desperate attempt to “fix” themselves. “Extreme body image dissatisfaction can be a symptom of body dysmorphic disorder, a psychiatric condition defined as a preoccupation with a slight defect in appearance that leads to excessive concern and interruption in daily functioning. ” (USA, 1999) But by going through such extremes, is a person really gaining beauty or are they really demolishing what was already beautiful in the first place?

Is being dissatisfied with their body, because of the ideals of beauty pressured onto individuals by society, really a reason to change their image through such a drastic measure as plastic surgery? If body modification through plastic surgery is used to capture that “ideal beauty”, then what about other forms such as piercing, tattooing, carving, or otherwise? Are those deemed acceptable ways to encompass that idea of beauty presented by society? “Rumbling through the biker culture and punk, piercing gradually shed its outlaw image and was mass marketed to the impressionable by music videos, rock stars and models. (Leo, 1995) Such extreme forms of body modification are presented by the media and societal pressures to be acceptable, fashionable, and “in style”. As such, many people leap at the idea to become beautiful through such extreme measures. “Fashions and fetishes. […]Some ask for dramatic piercings to enhance sexual pleasure, to seem daring or fashionable, to express rage, or to forge a group identity. […]Piercing is part of the broader “body modification” movement, which includes tattooing, corsetry, branding and scarring by knife. It’s a sign of the times that the more bizarre expressions of this movement keep pushing into the mainstream. (Leo, 1995) But is that all there is to it? Media has deemed such body modification to be acceptable, and society has agreed that it is an idea of beauty. The arguments for, and against, the idea of beauty presented by the media, accepted and enforced by society, and the extremes at which people can go to gain that ideal beauty can be found everywhere. Is beauty only skin deep? Do we, as a society, overvalue the idea of beauty? Media can incite people to what ideal beauty is. Society enforces these views and pressure people into fitting it.

Body modification is used by many to gain that idea beauty. But in the end, is that ideal beauty of the skin and body correct or even worth it? References: JACKSON, J. , ; LYONS, T. C. (2012). The perfect body: Men and women negotiate spaces of resistance against beauty and gender ideologies. Women’s Studies Journal, 26(1), 25-33. USA, T. (1999, February). Focusing on body image dissatisfaction. USA Today, 127(2645), Leo, J. (1995, 7 23). The ‘modern primatives’. U. S. News. Retrieved from http://www. usnews. com/usnews/opinion/articles/950731/archive_032505. htm

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Child Beauty Pageants

Beauty Pageants: From the Title of Mini Supreme to America’s Next Top Model English 106 Cassie Robinson 3 Otober 2012 Abstract Beauty pageants have changed drastically in the past fifty years. Beauty pageants used to be all adult females who dressed in their Sunday best and walked on the catwalk at the county fair. Now, little children are decked out in glitzy outfits, have wigs that make their hair twice as long, and have teeth to make it seem like their baby teeth haven’t fallen out yet.

In this literature review, I reviewed different articles, some against child beauty pageants and some that showed a firsthand look into the beauty pageants. Based on the reviews, I have made a decision as to whether child beauty pageants are good for those involved or not. Hundreds wait in silence as the announcer walks to the stage. “And the first place award goes to…” The pause is added for dramatic effect, as if these parents and children need any more drama in their lives. Hair is pulled, tears are shed, and crowns are won.

This is just another typical weekend for those in the pageant world. The views of beauty pageants have drastically changed within the past decade. Some think pageants are used to exploit little children and are a way for mothers to live vicariously through their daughters who are winning crowns and money. Others believe they are just a more drastic way for their children to play dress up and win money while doing it. The six articles chosen for this literature review will discuss one side of the argument.

Something eye-catching in the article, “Toddlers in Tiaras,” written by Skip Hollandsworth in 2011 was the line, “And you know what I hate? All these years later, I’ve still got this anxiety about feeling like I have to be perfect” (Hollandsworth, 2011). This is how Brooke Breedwell feels about pageants now, after being a pageant queen from age three months to eight years old. After telling her mother she wanted to quit pageants and emphasizing it by throwing a curling iron at her, Breedwell finally gave up the lavish pageant life due to stress.

Even as an eight year old, the stress was too much to handle. “The promise of a tiara has always been a fast, easy sell to young girls who pine to be princesses,” (Hollandsworth, 2011) which is something all girls and their mothers want. In order to win that crown, there are many time consuming tasks that must be done before the pageant. There are layers of makeup to be put on, eyebrows to be waxed, natural hair and fake wigs to be curled, fingernails to be manicured, bronzer to be applied to arms and legs, dresses to be sewn, and dances and routines to be learned.

It is enough to stress any eight year old out. After all of this work and stress, it would be downright heartbreaking to find that someone else has beaten you for the title of Grand Supreme. This article is different from the others I chose to include in my literature review in the sense that it discusses not only the stresses that pageant girls go through, but also some of the legal situations that have been brought about thanks to the pageant world. JonBenet Ramsey is a name that is famous all around the world.

The six-year-old pageant beauty who would have gone on to be the next Marilyn Monroe who was found murdered in her home on Christmas morning. For a couple months afterwards, pageants seemed taboo, but then, even in the wake of JonBenet’s murder, pageants became even more famous. Little girls are being trained to dance provocatively and blow kisses at their judges from a young age and these videos end up online and even on TV. These videos are made to be public so others can see the awards and crowns the little girls win and anyone, including pedophiles, can access them. On TV, the shows not only give the names of these children, but they also tell you what towns these little girls live in,” (Hollandsworth, 2011) which would give these pedophiles easy access to track down the little girls. This would not be hard to do with the way our society is turning to technology. One article, “Is the Media to Blame for Child Sex Victims,” written by Mark Davidson in 1997, discusses the media’s association with beauty pageants even further. Americans support multi-million dollar activities that exploit children and promote the provocativeness of them, such as beauty pageants.

Beauty pageants, “commercially flaunt kids’ bodies, often converting preteen and preschool girls into sex puppets adorned with lipstick, mascara, false eyelashes, bleached hair, high heels, and satin-and-rhinestone gowns and professionally coached in showgirl postures and movements,” (Davidson, 1997) which leads to controversial topics like the 1996 sexual molestation and murder of JonBenet Ramsey. There are many movies, such as “Lolita” and “Pretty Baby,” that portray young girls as being involved in sexual situations with older men.

This leads to young girls growing up to believe this is acceptable. What makes this article different is that it does not revolve around beauty pageants, but around the media and its involvement in child pornography and exploitation of girls at a young age. Hollywood and the likes, “engage in massive pimping for child temptresses,” (Davidson, 1997) which intrigues young minds and makes them believe that since it is accepted in media, it is accepted in everyday society.

Only after JonBenet had been murdered did the media look for moral guidance to see if what it was displaying was appropriate. A little girl who had not even started kindergarten had to be murdered before the media questioned their morals. The press argues that, “the tiny contestants really want to participate, as if they are capable of giving informed consent to their own victimization,” (Davidson, 1997), when in all actuality, the children have no concept of what is really happening. My next article, “Toddlers and Tiaras TOO MUCH TOO SOON? written by Charlotte Triggs in 2011, is a continuation of the stresses of being in the pageant world. It is not only stressful on the children, who are the main event of the pageants, but also on the parents. These parents put their children through the pageants and shell out the money for entrance fees, homemade dresses and flippers, which are fake teeth for the girls who are losing their baby teeth. “You’re never going to win that money back, even if they win every weekend,” (Triggs, West, Aradillas, 2011) said one mother about the pageant life.

So, if there are no perks of being in pageants other than seeing their daughters win crowns, why do the mothers go through the stress and lose money to pageants? The same mother then went on to say, “But you’ve got to do it because your kid loves and excels at it and it’s something you enjoy as a family,” (Triggs, West, Aradillas, 2011). So if families are happy watching their children in pageants, then they are more than willing to put up with the stress. In addition to the stresses of ageantry and reasons for participating, things such as the confusing life moments and the decisions pageant girls go through are discussed in the article. While most girls their age are out playing with Barbies with their friends, these girls are dressed as Barbie and have a twisted view of how they should look. “Little girls should play with dolls, not be dolls,” (Triggs, West, Aradillas, 2011) said a New York-based clinical social worker. The girls are being dressed in outfits that are more suited for a stripper than a preschooler, and it can have a negative effect on them in the long run.

The girls grow up being obsessed with their appearance and may look into different ways to keep up the appearances they once had, such as plastic surgery or eating disorders. These factors will affect the young girls before they are even in high school. The next article, “Pretty Babies,” written by Rosemary Ellis in 2011, discusses the way the author viewed beauty pageants when she was younger compared to how she views them now, as an adult. When Ellis was younger, beauty pageants were only seen at the county fair, which came only once a year, in the month of August.

The fair itself was a magical time for Ellis, not to mention getting to see girls ranging from elementary to college age walk across a stage in their Sunday best and giving the judges their best smile. Today, the adult pageants are overlooked and, “the Miss America pageant has become so irrelevant that it lets ABC air the show for free,” (Ellis, 2011) because of the recent explosion of pageants for little girls. There are more than five thousand of these pageants across the country. This article differentiates from the rest in the sense that the author compared the pageants known in her childhood to the pageants that are shown now.

In the pageants now, the girls are spray-tanned and covered in makeup, and the studio pictures they take before pageants are edited so much that one would not be able to recognize the little girl if she walked up to them on a sidewalk. Ellis goes on to examine the outfits the little girls are wearing now, seeing clothing that, “gathers to suggest a bust and has slogans across the chest or rear that are more suited to a stripper than a first grader,” (Ellis, 2009). These clothes send out provocative messages not only to girls in the pageant world, but also to all little girls who see the clothing and get used to it at a young age.

Most people only see the mother/ daughter side of pageantry, never the father/ daughter side of it, which my next article, “Father Knows Glitz,” written by Joey Bartolomeo in 2010, discusses. Dads who are involved in pageants are not only single dads or gay dads; they are also just everyday, hard-working dads who love to see their daughters happy when they win an award. Not only are there soccer and football dads, but there are now pageant dads. Not all of them are dragged into it, either.

Some, like Lon Enos, a tattooed, burly man, like being the pageant dad just because “It’s fun and it’s cool,” (Bartolomeo, 2010), an opinion that would differ from the quintessential man in America who watches football or baseball on the weekends instead of competing in pageants with his daughters. Compared to the other articles, this one stands out because it gives a firsthand view from a pageant dad, rather than the typical pageant mom. Compared to pageant moms who tend to try to live vicariously through their daughters, the dads are usually more relaxed and laid back although some can be intense.

Even things such as making a dress, “I’m not spending $6,000 for a dress when it takes me three hours to make one,” (Bartolomeo, 2010) or building a new shelf for crowns and sashes become jobs for a pageant dad to do. The braver of the pageant dads will even get up on stage with their daughters and help them with their routines. “There will be enough time for them to be women. For now, let’s just allow them to be little girls,” is a quote from Staceyann Chin in her article, “Beauty and the Boob Tube,” written in 2009.

Chin came across the show “Toddlers in Tiaras” while procrastinating on a project she was working on. Much to her dismay, she was drawn in to the show, which reminded her, “of dog shows—tiny, powerless competitors trained to do as they are told, with trainers who exploit their charges to gain fame and fortune and live out some archaic dream they once had for themselves,” (Chin, 2009). Seeing the little girls being rewarded for their beauty made Chin feel uncomfortable because of an incident that happened when she was younger.

Her grandmother’s friend would have the young Chin sit on his lap and he told her if she smiled for him, he would give her a coin. Her grandmother would always take away the coins when he left, saying, “Any money you make on your back will hurt your head,” (Chin, 2009). Many of the top ranked girls in pageants receive prizes such as checks and cash prizes, signifying being paid for looking pretty. This was after they got all dressed up, went out on stage, had their eyes, hair, and legs judged by adults, and then moved their hips in a suggestive manner.

The pageant world is training the girls for a future that is not too great. Meaning, the pageant world is training them to look to others for judgment instead of trusting and believing in themselves, or that they need to look really good all the time or people will not like them. “I wanted to rush in—save these girls from an experience that would make them self-conscious about their little bellies, bottoms, and cute button noses,” (Chin, 2009) is the way most people feel while watching the show, and yet, they are hooked and cannot wait for the next episode.

It is the way the media portray the drama of the show that keeps viewers like Chin attached to the show. That is what makes this article different from the rest. It discusses the media involvement in the pageant world. Along with videos of these girls being put on the Internet, shows such as “Toddlers in Tiaras” and “Honey Boo Boo” which exploit the girls at a young age are also televised, causing the girls to live with their young pageantry for the rest of their lives, even though they may not have made the decision to participate themselves.

After walking out on stage and, “dramatically ripping off a black, sheer robe to reveal a sparkly bathing suit,” (Chin, 2009) one little girl’s mother “kept trying to make her say she loved pageants and that she was a pageant girl. The toddler would not repeat either phrase,” (Chin, 2009). Has the world of pageants changed so much that the toddlers who are the bane of all existence for the pageants do not even want to say they love pageants?

Most people believe children who participate in beauty pageants are at a higher risk of having psychological and body image issues when they get older. While most think the pageants are bad for children, there are those who believe the pageants are a job for the children and give them careers for later in life. Based on the articles I have read and reviewed, I conclude that child beauty pageants are not good for those involved. References Bartolomeo, J. (2010). FATHER KNOWS GLITZ. People, 74(16), 64-71. Retrievedfrom EBSCOhost. Chin, S. (2009).

Beauty & the Boob Tube. Advocate, (1026), 76. Retrieved fromEBSCOhost. Davidson, M. (1997, September). Is media to blame for child sex victims?. USA TodayMagazine. p. 60. Retrieved from EBSCOhost. Ellis, R. (2011). Pretty Babies. Good Housekeeping, 252(8), 21. RetrievedfromEBSCOhost. HOLLANDSWORTH, S. (2011). Toddlers in Tiaras. Good Housekeeping, 252(8), 150-194. Retrievedfrom EBSCOhost. Triggs, C. , West, K. , & Aradillas, E. (2011). Toddlers & Tiaras TOO MUCH TOOSOON? (Cover story). People, 76(12), 160-168. Retrievedfrom EBSCOhost.

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Beauty Contests Are Harmful

The old saying goes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. In other words, someone or something that is considered attractive to one person may not necessarily appeal to another. If we lived in a perfect world, maybe everyone would follow the wise words of this old saying and admit that evaluating beauty is a subjective practice. However society that does exist feels some strong compulsion to turn every aspect of people’s lives into a competition. In my opinion, the prize of Beauty Queen in one competition society could live without.

Beauty contests are an unnecessary element in society simply because they set unrealistic beauty standards for an audience of easily influenced young girls, they encourage judging on appearance, rather than on a person’s character, and mainly because they objectify women. Beauty contests are well promoted by the media, with television and images, which influence young women’s opinions on appearance. The participants of these contests are poor role models for these girls as they set impractical body weight, breast size and clear skin standards. This sets an ideal female body, which only a minority of women can realistically aspire.

This adds pressure on all women to conform which can then become incredibly harmful to young women by encouraging dieting, eating disorders and cosmetic surgery, or simply making them feel inadequate and ugly. An article, titled “Thoughts about Miss Teen USA,” out of a local American magazine was written by a young teen in 2005, who had just watched ‘Miss Teen’ on NBC. Her recap of the contest was; “White teeth. White teeth. Prom-style dress. Blonde. White teeth. Blonde. Chandelier earings. Tan. Blonde. Tan. Strapless gown. ” Followed by “That’s all you need to know”

This certainly does not promote the contest in fact quite the contrary. The statement made by this young teen is not one that is from a minority. She is one of thousands that view this as the “norm” for a woman of beauty. It is not healthy for a young teen to think there is one type of beauty or one type of accepted body. It is harmful and could lead to both physical and emotional damage. Secondly, beauty contests further the belief that looks are superior to a person’s abilities, feelings and heart. These women are judged solely on the bases of physical appearance.

The existence of talent just does not work simply because an “ugly” person just won’t win! Judging women but not men, primarily on their looks contributes to the subjugation of women because other qualities, such as intelligence, are not seen as part of ideal femininity and therefore not as things to which women should aspire. Miss USA 2002 went to a tall blonde ditzy Ohio woman, who was won over by the crowd when she made her statement that education was important and that you can tell if someone has an education by looking at them. The irony in the statement being that beauty contests are not shallow and are not just based appearance.

Beauty being seen as a high priority to men and women all over the world is harmful because it discourages women to be different and to show women are not “just a pretty face. ” Lastly, beauty contests strongly promote the negative aspect that women are seen as objects of sexual interest. These contests fail to challenge harmful political attitudes to women. They do nothing to aid the liberation of women, in fact by promoting looks as the most important feminine quality, they harm women’s liberation in general. On the 17th of February the Campus National Organisation for Women protested the Miss UF Beauty Pageant.

They handed out 300 protest flyers which stated their disgust with Florida Blue Key and the University of Florida for holding a sexist pageant where women must be inspected in swimsuits and parade around in evening gowns in order to be awarded scholarship money. This shows how beauty contests encourage women to see themselves as an object (like a car) to be judged by men. Beauty contests hurt women by treating them as objects held up to a strict standard of “beauty,” a standard that is painful, time-consuming, and expensive for women to try to achieve.

In a high percentage of Hollywood films, even those in which the woman should be portrayed as a strong willed, independent heroine, usually feature women being played off solely as sex objects. Though there is nothing wrong with a woman being classified as “sexy” it should not be the entire package. One made of uniqueness, intelligence and charm is what should be promoted. Movies such as; Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and Charlies Angels, send the same message to the young men and woman, that beauty contests do, which is that only one kind of women’s body is acceptable.

This is harmful to a majority of women as beauty contests are encouraging men to treat them as an object rather than woman with opinions and uniqueness. Beauty contests are an unnecessary element in society because they set unrealistic beauty standards for an audience. There are contests out there, which attempt to create a judgment of well-balanced people. These sorts of competitions are trying to promote the intelligence mixed with beauty side, which should be heavily commended. However, contests in which beauty is emphasised as a solitary basis for winning, like beauty contests, are dangerous and harmful to society.

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Child Beauty Pageants

Child Beauty Pageants While beauty pageants started in the 1920’s, children’s beauty pageants began in the 1960’s. This is when the predicament all began. Equally important is the definition of child abuse. It is defined as the exploitation of a child. Children in beauty pageants are exploited at a very over powering rate. Since there is so much exploitation, it should be considered child abuse. Due to parental involvement, children participate in pageants that damage them physically, mentally, and emotionally, prohibiting them from appropriately socializing in society.

Before and during beauty pageants, there are many preparations that happen. Before the beauty pageants, the children’s parents get them tans and flippers which are a type of falsified teeth. After that, the parents either wax or even clear up any imperfections they may have like wrinkles, bushy eyebrows, and/or messed up hair. At the pageants, the girls get covered with make-up in the hopes of hiding any imperfections the child may have. The child is then dressed in whatever attire they are required to wear.

For example: dresses, swimsuits, formal attire, and/or casual. After that, the girls will model their attire to the judges. Pageants will continue on into the talent portion in which the children will show their talents to judges. The talents vary from dance routines to karaoke, or even simply doing a catwalk. Child beauty pageants only judge based on looks and pure perfection. There are many damages that those requirements put on children. These requirements at times go as far to making five to six year olds look like sixteen to twenty year olds (Grosaru).

The children are made to look more mature than what they are. Writer Frank Rich says “Today the merchandising of children as sexual commodities is ubiquitous and big business. ” Referring to this statement, this shows that it also makes it easier for them to be made susceptible to pedophiles, eventually at times ending with the child being harmed physically by one of those men or women. Other than being subjected to that type of danger, the children are also subjected to cosmetic damages as well. Botox is one of the common cosmetic tools used.

This is used to make the children appear “perfect” with no marks or any types of imperfections. One mother Kerry Campbell gave her eight year old daughter Botox and her excuses for giving her daughter this drug was one to give her a head start in pageants and second because all the other moms were doing it (Thompson). Many mothers like Kerry Campbell may be doing this type of abuse to their children because simply they want their child to be ahead in the pageants. Injecting a child with a dangerous chemical just to get a ahead in a child beauty pageant is a clear example of child abuse.

The mental afflictions that the pageants cause to the children are numerous. Pageant mothers begin to create anxiety by the continuous moving from hotel to hotel. This keeps the child from having a normal home. In addition to this, there is no time for the children to socialize with friends in their own hometowns. They are not able to socialize with society at large. Now some of pageant parents argue that their children are able to make friends when they’re participating in the pageants.

This is false and quickly disproven when the children are given the infamous speech of “no other girl is your friend here. ” This speech begins to create paranoia about ever making friends or socializing with peers of their age (Grosaru). Other than creating anxiety and paranoia, there is also self destruction of self-image because they are made to think their body must be a certain way and their hair. This is called being “A little Barbie” (Nusseara). Mothers also can cause confusion within the child because of the beauty pageants.

Mothers who had only boys try to make their boys into girls by making them participate in pageants. This causes the child to have confusion about their sexuality and this should not be done to a child. Such gender confusion and lack of self esteem in the name of a pageant are s clear signs of child abuse on the part of the parent. The parent should help the child to build their self esteem and not tear it down. There is a type of Darwinism that is incorporated in these pageants which is the fear the parents have of their children being losers (Giroux).

Psychologist David Elkind says, “Parents use to be worried about if their children were good at school, but now they are only worried if their child are so called losers at school. ” Parents create this emotional destruction within the children. The children begin to fear of becoming losers or disappointments to their parents so they are continuously rehearsing how to be perfect every day. In these pageants, the moms try to relive their own fantasy of what they once used to do or what they never got to experience themselves (Grosaru).

This is abuse as the parents are only entering the child in the pageant for their selfish need to relive a glory day. The mothers go as far as lying about their child’s age to give them an advantage in the competition. This begins to make the child feel guilty about lying afflicting the emotional impairment to the child. In the 1960’s, children’s beauty pageants were created on the intention of showing off the innocence of children; when in reality it was use to exploit the children and make a profit off of them by making them dress inappropriately and not advocating their well being.

This exploitation of the children is pure child abuse and nothing else. The children of these parents should be taken away for their safety. Laws or regulations should be made to insure the well-being of the children. Children who participate in beauty pageants all suffer physical, mental, and emotional damage; which keeps them from appropriately socializing in society and developing normally.

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Cisneros’ House on the Mango Street: Beauty Comes from Within

Sometimes it is difficult to live through the travails of what life has to offer for all of us. For some who are unlucky, they have to go through numerous trials and tribulations in order to survive the rigors of poverty, dysfunctional families and societal problems. However, when we learn to see the bright side of everything, we will realize that all these bitter and difficult experiences in life can be beautiful and meaningful for us. Without these, we would not attain success or learn about our mistakes that make all of us better and stronger people.

As a quote from Sandra Cisneros’ The House on the Mango Street (1989) goes — “Butterflies too are few and so are flowers and most things that are beautiful. Still, we take what we can get and make the best of it”, this means that we can all live through seeing things as beautiful and essential. What is important is that we value the things that we have and it is up to us to make our lives better than what we deserve.

Sandra Cisneros’ The House on the Mango Street weaves a thought-provoking, coming-of-age tale of a young girl. She is not only struggling to grow up to become a fine lady like usual American girls, but she is faced with shame, guilt and disappointment as her family is embarking on to acquire a new home in America.

As the story comes to a full circle, the readers would inevitably commiserate with how the girl dealt with the scenarios she had faced. She did not only have to go through the complicated journey with her family to their new home, but she has to deal with the big disappointment that their new house is not what she hoped for. These difficulties definitely fanned some fire inside her – to become more determined and strive harder in the future. In the end, readers could predict her utter frustration why things are always tough for immigrant people like them in America.

In the story, Esperanza’s family has to undergo an awkward transition of looking for a permanent place to live. Readers will immediately infer that the young girl’s family has Chicano roots because the girl enumerated the members of the family in beginning her story — Papa, Mama, Carlos, Kiki and Nenny.

What’s admirable about Cisnero’s conversational style of story-writing is that everyone can relate to their experiences. At one point in anyone’s life, we all can identify with the travails of going through a house transfer. Anyone’s initial reaction will be to feel excited of how our new house will look like or who our new neighbors will be. Unfortunately, for the young girl, she is bound to be betrayed by her own expectations.

When Esperanza’s father announced that they are getting a new house in Mango Street, she expected that it will be in the usual American neighborhood with homes that have freshly-mown lawns and white picket fences. For the Esperanza, Mango Street is more than street sign — it is her marker that circumscribes the dream that she and her family had brought with them. This new house will simply be one aspect of attaining their dream — to have a more comfortable life in this new place, in this new country.

However, when she saw the house in Mango Street, she was disappointed. She becomes aware of her own subjective perceptions as she begins to differentiate her family’s wonderful dreams and society’s ugly realities. Thus, she becomes conscious of her parents’ inability to fulfill their promises of the perfect house. She thought that “They always told us that one day we would move into a house, a real house” (p. 223). However, the “real house” the narrator expected would be “like the houses on TV”

Apparently, when the narrator saw the house on Mango Street, it transformed from being a symbol of hope to become a symbol of poverty. The narrator associates this realization with the humiliation she has felt in the past, when her family lived in similar places. However, Esperanza realized that she can go beyond her expectations and she could make herself a better person, despite her roots and the community she’s living in.

Esperanza began seeing all the positive things around her to make her a stronger person. You can be poor but you still can do good in your studies and excel to become a successful lawyer. You can be a Latina and not get pregnant to become a young mother, but you can strive to achieve your dreams of becoming a great artist someday. Thus, in the story, we can learn that there is beauty in everything that we have. It is just up to us to use these things wisely to make the best out of it.

Works Cited

Cisneros, Sandra. The House on Mango Street. New York: Vintage Books, Inc. 1989.

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The Price of Beauty

In today’s society it is believed that being of a certain color, a certain weight, and having specific characteristics is what makes someone beautiful. The movie “Little Miss Sunshine” directed by: Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, is about a young girl named Olive who dreams of being in beauty pageants. In the first scenes of the movie it shows Olive mimicking the winner of the Miss America pageant in ah and amazement. Olive is invited to the Little Miss Sunshine pageant in California by default, which leads her and her dysfunctional family on a great journey to California.

Although the journey is filled with turmoil and loss, their main priority is to get Olive to the pageant. At first glance, Olive is not what one would think of when beauty comes to mind. She is pudgy, very tall for her age, with black rimmed coke bottle glasses, and a style only she can appreciate. By setting a specific model and certain standards The Little Miss Sunshine pageant is a symbol of commercialized American beauty. The pageant is a shallow representation of beauty in America. Children’s beauty pageants are filled with prosthetic teeth, fake and teased hair, makeup, and very risque outfits.

This is what America is portraying to society and even more to its young contestants as being beautiful. Anna L. Wonderlich of the University of Minnesota did a study on twenty two women, eleven had participated in childhood beauty pageants and eleven had not. “This study evaluated the association between childhood beauty pageants and adult disordered eating, body dissatisfaction, depression, and self-esteem. Childhood pageant participants scored higher on body dissatisfaction, interpersonal distrust, and impulse deregulation than non-participants, and showed a trend toward greater ineffectiveness. (Wonderlich)

Many of the young contestants are led to believe that if they fit into a specific mold rather than being themselves they will be beautiful. By being judged on their outer appearance, it begins to take an effect on their psyche, self-esteem levels, and the way they see themselves. When only being judged and criticized on what is wrong with them, they take that same mind set in their older and later years. By allowing the young girls to prance and parade on stage in their flashy costumes they are seen and represented as a young sex symbol. The young girls receive indecent and unnecessary attention from older men.

The former America Little Royal Miss, JonBenet Ramsey was killed at the age of six the same age Olive is portraying in the movie. Not only was her murder gruesome it is a mystery; she was found gagged and sexually molested in her parents basement. After her death the children’s beauty pageant world was put under great scrutiny for the “novelty of putting mascara on the lashes of a 6-year-old. ”(Alder) Many wondered and still do why this little girl was targeted, was it because of her participation in the beauty pageants that make her look a younger version of Marilyn Monroe?

The world will never know, the reasons behind this grisly murder, but the thought of JonBenet and beauty pageants will always stick out in the public’s mind. Olive represents an unconventional ideal of beauty. When Olive registers for the beauty pageant all the attention of the other contestants parents, and the girls is placed on her. They stare and make rude comments and gestures, because Olive does not look like the other beauty contestants that all remind one of a miniature Barbie, while in this scene Olive is still in her jeans and converses she most definitely stands out.

Olive is soon approached by a set of twin girls. “Are you on a diet?… What?….. Are you on a diet?… No!… I didn’t think so! ” It is believed that one must be skinny to be perceived as beautiful or even attractive to many. Although Olive is faced with criticism she remains confident, optimistic and strong. This is shown in one of the end scenes when she is getting ready for the pageant.

Olive’s dad- “I don’t want Olive to go on. ” Sheryl- “Are you kidding? ” Dad- “We’re not in Maryland anymore, all right! She’s out of her league here. ” Sheryl- “So? ” Dad- “Sheryl! She’s not gonna win. There’s no fucking way….. Dwayne, the brother- “Where’s Olive? I don’t want Olive doing this…. Mom, look around! This place is fucked! I don’t want these people judging Olive! Fuck them!….. She’s not a beauty queen mom. ” Sheryl- “Olive is who she is. This is what she’s chosen to do. ” Olive is off stage and is able to hear everything that is being said. The assistant comes on stage and notes it is time for Olive to go on but she does not move. Sheryl to Olive- “You don’t have to do this if you don’t want. If you want to sit this one out, that’s fine, we’re proud of you anyway, okay. ” Olive says to the assistant- “Okay let’s go. ”

Her brother and her father rush backstage to stop her from humiliating herself because she does not look like the other blonde beauties that are competing. They are afraid that she will be embarrassed and are trying to protect her, but sometimes trying to protect one only hurts them even more. Olive knows she does not look like the rest of the girls, but having her family support is what’s important to her and that they see her as beautiful for who she is. Although she does not have the expensive outfits, big hair, and the tiny physique she is who she is and that she doesn’t have to conform to those standards to be beautiful.

Beauty is not a specific characteristic; it is a combination of attributes, personality, and self-esteem. One does not have to have a specific look to beautiful, being beautiful starts in the soul if one has an ugly soul then what is on the inside portrays the outside. Although Olive may not look like the average beauty contestant, everything about her screams beauty; she is sweet, kind, caring, and has a beautiful soul; she knows who she is, and believes in herself even when others do not. By not conforming to the commercialized standards of American beauty, Olive is the definition of what beauty should be.

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Inner Beauty Is the Real Beauty

When I was young, I read many kinds of books, including fairy tales. Most of the books described heroes who were handsome and heroines who were beautiful. So, I believed I had to be beautiful if I wanted to become a great person. It was a hard time for me. Whenever I looked at someone who was more beautiful than me, I was stressed. As I grew up, I began to realize outer beauty was not so important to make someone good. I remember a friend of mine who was so beautiful that every classmate wanted to talk with her, but she was very arrogant.

She believed that she could do everything she wanted because she was so beautiful, but she lost friends one by one. My poor friend! But she learned a good lesson: inner beauty is more important than outer beauty. After she learned that, she changed her attitude and made friends again. In the Korean version of the story Cinderella, there are two stepsisters. One was very beautiful and very kind. Another was very stingy and bad.

Because the prince wanted to find the girl with a missing shoe, the prince and the beautiful sister of the two stepsisters got married and lived happily ever after. In many novels and fairy tales, as in Cinderella, the main characters are usually beautiful or handsome. Beauty is representative of good deeds and kindness. In our society, beauty also gives us many advantages such as having a good social life, making friends, getting a job, and getting a promotion. Whenever, we look at good-looking guys and girls, we usually form stereotypes.

We think he or she is a good and kind person. This is why cosmetic surgery is so popular in our society Whenever I see TV advertisements, I feel that these things make us believe beauty is very important–especially physical attractiveness. Although we say that inner beauty is more valuable, we often look to plastic surgery to make us more beautiful. There seems to be a boom in plastic surgery. It is surprising to realize the number of people who try it is increasing day by day. It is true that attractive people get a job easily.

For example, we know good-looking guys usually get higher scores on job interviews. So, what is real beauty? I want to say that inner beauty is the real one because if someone has beauty in his soul, he looks like a really beautiful person. The beauty looked at with eyes doesn’t last forever. Instead of concentrating on outer beauty, we should concentrate on inner beauty. The point is that inner beauty is more important than outside beauty. So, if we make the effort to make our minds beautiful, we’ll be happier.

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Beauty: the Evolution of Perception

Vennette Gonzalez Mr. Warner English 111 (032W) 19 November 2012 “Beauty”: The evolution of perception When looking in the past to see how people lived and viewed the world, there is one commonality that stands out. A woman’s beauty says a lot on how the culture and the people of that society perceived themselves and others. These past perceptions affect how current society and culture is perceived not only by the individuals of our generation but by our future generations as well.

This paper will address how we as society view beauty as it has changed over a period of time, how these changes came about, and how the media played a role in this beauty evolution. How this beauty evolution begins starts in childhood. One of the first memories that children have is the reading of fairy tales. These stories set a foundation as to what we perceive as beauty. “Children’s media has been found to be powerfully responsive to social change and not simply in a way that mirrors society (Baker-Sperry and Grauerholz 714). With this early exposure to what is portrayed as beauty, it is established early in the developmental years of childhood of how a woman should look as well as act. “Children’s fairy tales can provide insight into the dynamic relationship between gender, power, and culture as well as the cultural and social significance of beauty to women’s lives (Baker-Sperry and Grauerholz 712). The cultural and social significance can be seen as “girls and boys are taught specific messages concerning the importance of women’s bodies and women’s attractiveness (Baker-Sperry and Grauerholz 724). ” These fairy tales were created to accommodate the cultural values and conflicts of the era, and establish the values of what our society deems as appropriate and what is acceptable for our young children to grow into as well as establishing a baseline for beauty.

As our children grow, they carry these values and ideals with them. These fairy tales portray women as meek and powerless, who are damsels in distress in need of a knight in shining armor. With maturity some of these values and ideals change; however, Baker-Sperry and Grauerholz state that “The feminine beauty ideal is the socially constructed notion that physical attractiveness is one of woman’s most important assets, and something all women should strive to achieve and maintain (711). This belief is still prevalent in today’s society. This does not mean that “there is a direct relationship between cultural values concerning feminine beauty and women’s behavior and identities, but the feminine beauty ideal may operate indirectly as a means of social control insofar as women’s concern with physical appearance (beauty), absorbs resources (money, energy, time) that could otherwise be spent enhancing their social status (Baker-Sperry and Grauerholz 723). The impacts of this ideal feminine beauty not only affect our children, but it also affects how they perceive themselves and how the future generations will perceive us. “The feminine beauty ideal can be seen as a normative means of social control, where by social control is accomplished through the internalization of values and norms that serve to restrict women’s lives (Baker-Sperry and Grauerholz 712). This ultimately means that girls who are exposed to these fairy tales develop a belief that there are certain expectations that need to be upheld and if these expectations are not met then they will lack the power to succeed. “Workers of above average beauty earn about 10 to 15 percent more than workers of below average beauty. The size of this beauty premium is economically significant and comparable to the race and gender gaps in the U. S. labor market (Mobius and Rosenblat 222). According to Naomi Wolf “More women have more power and scope and legal recognition that we have ever had before; but in terms of how we feel about ourselves physically, we may actually be worse off (Wolf 16)” She also goes on to state “There is no legitimate historical or biological justification for the beauty myth; what it is doing to women today is a result of nothing more exalted than the need of today’s power structure, economy and culture to mount a counteroffensive against women (Wolf 19). ” Due to this, beauty is now linked with power in the sense that the more beautiful you are the more powerful you are.

This idea that beauty is power became more noticeable during the woman’s movement according to Wolf (19). She states that “By the time the women’s movement had made inroads into the labor market, both women and men were accustomed to having beauty evaluated as wealth (Wolf 26). ” This influx of women in the work force changed how young girls related to the fairy tales they once read. They no longer had to portray the roles of the damsel in distress, but had to use their beauty to gain power and attention.

This evolution from the damsel has led to a more independent woman who uses her beauty to get what she needs. “Before women entered the work force in large numbers, there was a clearly defined class of those explicitly paid for their “beauty”: workers in the display professions-fashion mannequins, actress, dancers, and higher paid sex workers such as escorts. Until women’s emancipation, professional beauties were usually anonymous, low in status, un-respectable (Wolf 33). ” Now our young girls want to look like all the actresses, musicians, models etc… that they see on TV, movies and in magazines.

I think these changes occurred once the fairy tales were no longer in written media, where we used what was written down and our imagination to create our ideal of beauty. Once these fairytales became a visual (movies, TV. and magazines) our young girls wanted to copy what they saw. In 1969 Vogue offered a new look for women’s magazines (Wolf 73). “Vogue began to focus on the body as much as the clothes, in part because there was little they could dictate with the anarchic styles (Wolf 73). ” “The number of diet related articles rose 70 percent from 1968 to 1972.

Articles on dieting in the popular press soared from 60 in the year 1979 to 66 in the month of January 1980 alone. By 1984, 300 diet books were on the shelves (Wolf 73-74). ” The timing of this influx of dieting articles is due to the popularity of a model named Lesley Lawson otherwise known as Twiggy. She hit the height of her career in 1966 where she was on the cover of Vogue magazine. She was the ideal beauty of that era where being boyishly thin was in. Whereas a decade before having womanly curves was the idea of what beauty was for example the pin-up girl Betty Grable.

She was what was considered the ideal of that era. The images of both of these women show the significance of how models, actress and movie stars affect the women and youth of our society. Both of these women were portrayed in women’s magazines or movies. “A woman reading Glamor is holding women-oriented mass culture between her two hands (Wolf 76). ” With the mass media evolving and able to mass produce the media quicker than ever, the new ideals of what our young women view as beauty changes at an even more rapid pace. With the introduction of the internet mass media is now instant, and on demand. Glamour, beauty and the perfect body: these are the values upheld within our culture as necessary to the fulfillment of desirable femininity (Wark 41). ” With this beauty evolution consistently changing it also reflects the changes in the values that we as a society hold. The mass media will always be an integral part of our Beauty evolution as it reflects society’s values. Works Cited Baker-Sperry, Lori, and Liz Grauerholz. “The Pervasiveness and Persistance of the Feminine Beauty Ideal in Children’s Fairy Tales. ” Gender and Society 17. 5 (Oct 2003): 711-726. http://www. jstor. org/stable/3594706. Web. 19 November 2012. Fox, Greer Litton. Nice Girl: Social control of women through a value construct. ” Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 2 (1977): 805-817. Print. Mobius, Markus M. , and Tanya S. Rosenblat. “Why Beauty Matters. ” American Economic Review 96. 1 (2006): 222-235. http://www. jstor. org/stable/30034362. Web. 19 November 2012. Wark, Jayne. “Wendy Geller’s 48 hour Beauty Blitz: Gender, Class and the Pleasures of popular Culture. ” Art Journal 56. 4 (1997): 41-47. http://www. jstor. org/stable/777719. Web. 19 November 2012. Wolf, Naomi. The Beauty Myth: How images of Beauty are used against Women. New York: HarperCollins, 2002. PDF File.

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2 Random Speeches Bob Marley and Beauty (Ideas)

Speech September 27, 2012 Bob Marley the Rastafarian I. Nesta Robert Bob Marley was born February of 1945. Bob Marley was born in Jamaica. You might know him as a singer, song writer, a rhythm guitarist, and lead singer of the Wailer’s. He stayed with the group through most of his life. Bob is the go to guy for spreading Jamaican music and the Rastafarian movement. Some of his most popular songs are: I Shot the Sheriff, No Women No Cry and Jamming to name a few, I listen to some of his music, which for me is inspirational. Gives me something to think about, what was going on in his mind mentally and the thoughts about war, peace and love.

II. One of my favorite quotes from Bob is “I don’t have prejudice against white people because then I would have prejudice against myself. My father is white my mother is black. I’m not on the black men side or the white men, I’m God’s side. Bob Marley was raised Catholic, but became a devoted Rastafarian and started growing dreads, which is very important to them, it’s like the anatine tuning meaning you’re into the universe. Rastas are also vegetarian. Bob was a jiglo with eleven kids, some you might know like Damien Marley and Ziggy Marley. III.

Rastafarians also were avid pot heads which is a Rastafarian belief were ganja or that kush is a holy sacrament. The difference between Rastas and non Rastas are that they smoke for religious and medicinal purposes. Another quote I like is “why do government people want the herb to be illegal, why something that makes people so happy, so relax so illegal? Some people smoke weed because you rebel makes you question what is and what isn’t. Exercise your mind frees your mind in a society that tries to involve it’s self in everyday life telling you what is right and wrong! ” IV.

In July 1977 Bob found out that out that he had cancer all throughout his body, he even had spots his brain the size of quarters that the doctor didn’t understand how he last so long without any medication or medicine assistance. He was buried near his birth place; his last words were to his son “mommy can’t buy life”! I know that for me inner beauty supposed to shine through to reveal your outer beauty; and it’s taken me awhile for me to truly understand why men and women choose physical beauty over inner beauty. Physical beauty and inner beauty can be similar and dissimilar.

Inner beauty are the actions we take, whether it’s giving up a smile to a stranger, eating the right foods, wearing clothes that shows our physique, or using the right hair tools: such as curling irons, flat iron, and gel. These are things we do to take care of ourselves, and they add up to make us the unique person that we and you are! Physical and inner beauty can be similar or dissimilar: they both attract people. People in general are attracted to both physical and inner beauty. I may be drawn to Morris Chestnut’s appearance; while my big sister will love his personality. Physical and inner beauty are both equally important though.

Let’s take for example: Beyonce, who many young girls and women admire for her unique sense of style (myself included). I’ve never met her in person, but it seems to me that she has this balance of inner and outer beauty. As the face of L’Oreal, a brand known for their quality cosmetics: hair and nail colors; we have seen Beyonce’s alter ego Sasha Fierce! She’s a bad Bitch! She also appears to be very comfortable in her own skin either portraying Etta James in Cadillac Records or Deena Jones in Dream Girls. When I watch Beyonce being interviewed, she seems very genuine, candid, and confident when sharing bits and pieces about her life.

I sense that she pay close attention to details: hair, make-up, perfume and the clothes she wears. Finding balance between inner and outer beauty doesn’t just happen overnight. It’ll take some inner soul searching and discovering of our own uniqueness: hat beauty could be in the form of how we dress or the way we shine! Most importantly it’s the way we feel about ourselves, and having the awareness that beauty consists of both the inner and outer, we are the first step to becoming more authentic and the real person that we were meant to be, Beautiful!

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Defining Beauty Through Lucy Grealy’s Autobiography of a Face

The Oxford Dictionary defines beauty as “a combination of qualities, such as shape, color, or form , that pleases the aesthetic senses, especially the sight” (“beauty”). In “Autobiography of a Face,” Lucy Grealy expands this definition by exploring her own interpretation of beauty throughout the various stages of her life. As she examines life before her diagnosis, she mentions little about beauty as a factor in her development. She was a “tomboy par excellence”, more concerned with play than lusting after David Cassidy (15).

While Grealy is subjected to extensive surgeries and chemotherapy she continues to be unconcerned with appearances, though she was “still keeping myself ignorant of the details of my appearance, of the specific logic of it ”(104). She was aware of her looks from the taunts and teases of classmates, but remained intentionally unable to judge herself with the harsh eyes of post-pubescence. It wasn’t until Grealy experienced her first Halloween that she realized just what an impact her association of beauty had on her.

Under the concealment of her Eskimo costume, she realized “just how meek I’d become, how self-conscious I was about my face until now that it was obscured (120). ” As time goes on, other people seem to compensate for Grealy’s lack of concern with her odd appearance. Her mother purchases turtlenecks in an effort to alleviate attention from the scar. As puberty reached her peers, she accepted that she “would never have a boyfriend, that no one would ever be interested in me in that way (159). Grealy accepted ideal of beauty, throughout her adolescence, concerns only the opposite of what appearance she could hope to achieve. This is a feeling that can be echoed through the hallways of every high school across America, but strikes particular chord in Grealy’s psyche. It is not until reaching college that she feels fully comfortable in her outward appearance. Sarah Lawrence was a campus where the students were wrapped up in asserting their own individuality and bizarre aesthetic, and Grealy thrived in this environment.

Grealy’s personal definition of beauty cemented itself in individuality, as she grew unconcerned with the frivolous nature of the physical aspect of it. She concludes this beautifully by writing that society “tells us again and again that we can most be ourselves by acting and looking like someone else, only to leave our original faces behind to turn into ghosts that will inevitably resent and haunt us. (222)” Word count: 414 Works Cited: Grealy, Lucy. Autobiography of a Face. New York: Perennial, 2003. Print. “Beauty. ” Def. 1. Oxford Dictionary. 2012. Web.

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Beauty Is Skin Deep

Beauty is Skin Deep Abstract Beauty is skin deep; refers to the outward beauty of a person. We know and realize that a person can be beautiful on the inside. A person with a beautiful mind, we can say him/her as a nice person. But when we listen something beautiful we generally indicate that something outward appearance. So beauty is skin deep; this statement tries to highlight that person’s outward appearance counts for nothing but it is what lies beneath the skin, the real person himself or herself is what actually matters.

And I believe the underlying message of this saying is true. In my research I tried to justify this statement by applying different theories and real life examples. I tried to see what people think about the definition, dimension and criteria of beauty and also tried to know how they perceive it in their lives. After doing research I have confirmed that this statement is justified ethically because most people had gone with my opinion. Table of contents ItemsPage no. Introduction & background 4-7 Methodology8 Data analysis & presentation8-10 Different theories11

Real life examples11 conclusion12 Appendices13-14 Reference list15 Introduction & background Beauty means a person whose physical appearance would be appealing to a majority of people. Many people think that a person is only beautiful by their outside appearance such as weight, height, hair length, or face complexion. They do not pay attention to the important characteristics that make and mode a person. They feel that beauty is based on appearance alone. But on the other hand think differently. But some people think beauty is all about what is on a person’s inside.

Inside beauty consists of the person’s love for themselves, their love for others, and lastly their personality. All these things create a beautiful person. In short beauty is- 1. A combination of qualities, such as shape, color, or form that pleases the aesthetic senses, esp. the sight. 2. A combination of qualities that pleases the intellect or moral sense. Quotes about beauty- Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all. Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know. (John Keats) Beauty is but a flower Which wrinkles will devour. (Thomas Nashe) There is no cosmetic for beauty like happiness. Marguerite Gardiner) All the beauty of the world, ’tis but skin deep. ( Ralph Venning) From a study we found that •Seventy seven percent strongly agree that beauty can be achieved through attitude and other attributes that have nothing to do with physical appearance. •Eighty-nine percent strongly agree that women can be beautiful at any age. •Eighty-five percent state that every woman has something about her that is beauty. This study shows that two thirds of women strongly agree that physical attractiveness is about how one looks, whereas beauty includes much more of who a person is.

Women rate happiness, confidence, dignity, and humor as powerful components of beauty, along with the more tradition attributes of physical appearance, body weight and shape, sense of style etc. Researchers have found that good looking students get higher grades from their teachers than students with an ordinary appearance. 1. Begley, S. (2009). “ The link between beauty and grades” Newsweek. 2. Courtney, V. (2008) “Focus on the family”. “What is Beauty? ” B Publishing Group. Furthermore, attractive patients receive more personalized care from their doctor.

Studies have even shown that handsome criminals receive lighter sentences than less attractive convicts. Studies among teens and young adults, such as those of psychiatrist and self-help author show that skin conditions have a profound effect on social behavior and opportunity. How much money a person earns may also be influenced by physical beauty. One study found that people low in physical attractiveness earn 5 to 10 percent less than ordinary looking people, who in turn earn 3 to 8 percent less than those who are considered good looking.

Discrimination against others based on their appearance is known as lookism. The topic is too some extent controversial. Because some people say yes beauty is only skin deep nothing much more. On the hand, some say that although beauty is skin deep but it has much more significance in our lives. Their opinion is beautiful people are always treated beautifully. So they become compassionate individuals who treated others well. Some people give their opinion neutrally. There are some opinions of people based on some secondary sources.

Agreeing to the statement some said if someone looks beautiful on the outside that does not mean they will also beautiful inside also, they might be so despicable in the inside, or if someone is very ugly, may be nice in the inside. It is like the saying: Don’t judge a book by its cover, instead, don’t judge a person by its cover. Some people directly and clearly said that the only thing should matter about a person is their personality. Personality is the main factor which makes a person beautifully. 3. Lorenz, K. (2005). “Do pretty people earn more? ” CNN News, Time Warner. 4. Coast, P. (2009).

Image Survey Reveals: Perception is reality when it comes to teenagers. PRNewswire. On the contrary to the statement Social psychology disagrees. It says that beautiful people actually are friendlier and nice. It is known that we subconsciously consign positive features such as friendliness and intelligence to beautiful people. Generally people treat these people nicer than treat others. So the result of having been beautiful and therefore nicely treated children they develop a positive self-image and they become mature, thoughtful, compassionate individuals who can easily treat others well as they have learned others treat them.

In this way this beautiful people become friendlier and nicer than less beautiful people. Some people disagree with the above thinking. They think that people who experience little difficulty he/she can often become incredibly uncharitable, self-centered individuals. Some people gave their opinion in the light of their experience. They said if someone look factually, it can be noticed that at school when there is done a drama topics on this, the words beauty is only skin deep, it implies that beauty cannot be on the inside. So if someone has beauty, it will only be on the inside.

But if someone is not beautiful on the outside, then he/she can’t be beautiful on the inside either as well. Methodology For my research purpose, I have divided the data collection procedure into two parts. I have used primary data to get the real picture of peoples mind. I have also used secondary data to collect various types of information about my topic. Primary data I did a survey on some 20 people where there were men and women of different ages, income and different educational background. For doing this I designed a questionnaire with different types of question which eventually helped me to answer of my research questions.

Secondary data For my secondary research, I used web blogs, online articles, and online magazines, different theories, abstract of research findings etc. Data presentation and analysis according to my research In my research I have tried to define beauty, its elements or characteristics and try to find out how different types of people perceive beauty. To the end I had been addressing the following research questions according to the Bangladeshi people. What is beauty? Majority agreed with the 2nd question’s statement.

They said that someone is really good looking but total jerk and a person with ugly looking but super nice, and then they would choose the ugly person who had a great personality. According to them the criteria to judge one’s beauty should be his/her personality. Their logic was beauty is something which goes over time but one’s inner beauty is something which does not go over time. They think that beauty is something which includes happiness, confidence, dignity and humor. Few people went with the option c. According to them physical appearance is the first thing to see than the other options can be realized slowly over time.

So they choose physical appearance as beauty. Beauty can gain genetically or not. Some people agreed with this statement and some did not. Some said that as beauty is the mixture of personality, humor, behavior, proper education and lastly the physical appearance so most of these cannot gain by genetically. People have to achieve those. On the hand some people said it can be gained genetically like height, complexion etc. How can anyone value the beauty or determination of the value of beauty? There are some interesting opinions which I have got.

According to some people’s opinion especially male’s to marry or to make a relationship they first see at the physical appearance of women. Few people said that physically beautiful persons are self-worth; they think they are prince or princess and deserve to be universally treated better than anyone else. Sometimes they believe they have the right to treat others like dirt. So according to them most physically beautiful persons are bad in relationship. Some people said that most beautiful people are good in their relationship as they are treated well by others in their lives so they also learn to treat others properly.

Some people of my survey responded neutrally as they choose may be! According to some people they want to marry someone who has all the criteria in the person. Some people said personality is very important as a good personality holding person can be understanding, friendly, compromising which is very important to stay together. They believe that outward beauty might be disturbing when he/she cannot do compromise or not be understanding. Among twenty peoples, four peoples said that they got preference sometimes like they easily got attention in class from the opposite sex.

Seven peoples said that they never got this type of preference. Nine peoples said that they are not sure about this matter. Eight peoples said that they got refused by others but they are not sure for which reasons. Four peoples said that they refused others for this reasons. And the rest of the people said no, they did not refuse other’s proposal or did not get refused by other for this reason. Beauty is skin deep- agree or disagree. Majority agreed with this statement. Their logic was beauty is something which comes first in front of someone.

So for sometimes it carries some significance but ultimate beauty is the inner thing which never goes with time. They said outward beauty is superficial thing. But some people choose the third option. They said that beauty is something that depends in the eye of the beholder. Different theories Beauty is skin deep- this phrase can also be justified by some ethical theories. Ethical theories are the rules and principles that determine right and wrong for any given situation. And the normative ethical theory is something which proposes to prescribe the morally correct way of acting.

Here, Beauty refers the inner beautifulness of a person which refers to the behavior, dignity, proper education, confidence, humor, inner happiness, faith etc. Good behavior, self-confidence, good sense of humor, respect to others, truthfulness, faith, good education makes a person beautiful and this beauty comes through the way of morality. If there were no ethical and moral issues in our lives, then what is right and what is wrong we could not understand and could not identify who is good and who is bad. Ethical theories have given that guideline which differentiates between right and wrong.

A person has morality and ethics cannot do whatever he wants, he maintains all his relationships properly, his ethics always obstacle him to do wrong things. In thus way a person with ethics become a beautiful person. Real life examples From my experience I can say that beauty is only skin deep. My mother is not a beautiful woman but my father loves her a lot and they lead their life happily together. I think and can realize that it’s not the beauty rather than simplicity, understanding, sacrificing, and intelligence are most important issues which make them happy in their married life.

I can recall some of my relatives who divorced. My maternal cousin, married his girlfriend who was very beautiful lady, but they divorced after highly three months of their married life. I surprised how they took the decision, how they lose their love to each other… Now I am going to tell one of my friends name Siddiquea who is black and fat also. But she is the nicest person I have ever seen. She is polite, intelligent, reliable, friendly, truthful person. Every person of her known likes her a lot. She is the most respectful person to them.

Whenever i see her, I see a smiley face and I surprise how she could hold it all the times. And I can say that beauty is only skin deep Lastly I can strongly say beauty is skin deep when I turn into my personal life and see my beloved person who always gives me this realization. Conclusion In the conclusion, if we think for a while about the beauty and hear from someone that you are beautiful then we must fall in confusion that is he/she indicates it as inner beauty or outward appearance. Mass media and modern culture have snatched the authentic and proper definition of beauty.

Beauty is defined by God and God alone. He sets the standard for beauty and gives us clues throughout Scripture as to what defines a beautiful woman. But unfortunately many people cannot get the key component which is faith. It determines a person’s happiness, confidence, humor and dignity. It is just as the Proverbs 31 passage concludes, “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a women who fears the Lord is to be praised” (prov. 31:30). Through the research it is found that people believe in one’s inner beauty and it is the main quality of someone.

But they also mentioned that outward looking or physical appearance is getting first priority in all the sectors in our lives as outward beauty comes first in front of people first and then his/her inner qualities. Finally they also said that an ugly people can become a nice and beautiful person to others when he/she has good qualities because those good qualities make him/her extraordinary and respectful person to others. Appendices 1) Beauty is only physical appearance- a) Agree b) disagree 2) Beauty should be inner beauty of mind not physical appearance. a) Agree b) disagree 3) What should be the criteria of judging beauty? a) Physical appearance b) personality c) both 4) According to you which option/options will fall in the features of beauty? a) Happiness & confidence b) dignity & humor. c) Physical appearance d) a and b both 5) Beauty can gain only genetically. a) Agree b) disagree 6) Do you think physical appearance is very important issue to marry or to make a love relationship? )Yes b) no 7 )Do you think beautiful (physical appearance) persons are always good in relationship? a)Yes, always b) no, not at all c) yes to some extent d) may be, may be not 8) Do you think beautiful (physical appearance) persons are always bad in relationship? A) Yes, always B) no, not at all C) yes to some extent D) may be, may be not 9) Do you have any experience which helps to realize you that beauty (physical appearance) is more important? ) Yes b) no 10) Do you have any experience which helps to realize you that inner beauty of mind is more important than outward’s? a) Yes b) no 11) Suppose you want to marry someone then what issues you will give more preference? A)Physical appearance b) family background c) personality d) all 12) Did you get any personal preference in any place like university, office, hospital because you are a beautiful lady or a handsome guy? ) Yes, always b) yes, sometimes c) no, never d) may be, not sure 13) Did you ever refuse someone’s proposal of love only because he/she was not beautiful like short in height, complexion etc.? a) Yes b) no 14) Did you ever get refused by someone because you are not beautiful physically? a)Yes b) no 15) Beauty is skin deep. A) Agree B) disagree C) other opinion Reference 1. Begley, S. (2009). The link between beauty and grades” Newsweek. 2. Courtney, V. (2008) “Focus on the family”. “What is Beauty? ” B Publishing Group. 3. Lorenz, K. (2005). “Do pretty people earn more? ” CNN News, Time Warner. 4. Coast, P. (2009). Image Survey Reveals: Perception is reality when it comes to teenagers. PRNewswire. 5. John Keats, Poems (1820), “Ode on a Grecian Urn”, last lines. 6. Marguerite Gardiner, Countess of Blessington, Desultory Thoughts and Reflections (1839), p. 90. 7. Ralph Venning, Orthodoxe Paradoxes (Third Edition, 1650), The Triumph of Assurance, p. 41.

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Definition Paper- Beauty Is Not in the Eyes of the Beholder

UC-110 31 October 2012 Beauty What does it mean to have beauty? What is beauty really? Questions like these can be explained through the definition of beauty. The problem is that beauty in today’s society has acquired multiple meanings. How many times has one heard the phrase, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, or how about, beauty is on the inside? These happen to be common misconceptions. The true definition of beauty is ironically hidden behind a mask of deception. Glancing through history brings to light the harsh reality of what beauty was and still is today.

Individuals need to look beyond the common myth that beauty is merely subjective. Beauty is a perceptual quality that is a product of innate human design. Love it or hate it, from the moment you opened your eyes, beauty was already defined. Going back in time and reviewing the evolution of beauty demonstrates the definition, as well as disproving beauty is merely subjective. The Darwin theory of beauty is scientific evidence that there is a reason for universal aesthetic pleasure.

Dennis Dutton, a scientist and philosopher states, “Beauty is an adaptive effect in which we extend and intensify in the creation of works of art and in the identification of human beings. ” Dutton pronounced this statement after studying the universality of beauty across a wide range of topics. It is impossible that humans all perceive the same qualities as unique and aesthetically pleasing when we live in such diverse places. Sexual evolution plays an important role in defining beauty as a product of innate human design. The peacock for example contains beautiful feathers that in no way help with basic survival.

However, the peahen is extremely attracted to the peacock because of its feathers, they are aesthetically pleasing. The peacock proves that mammals are born with qualities that bring about pleasure rather than survival. Humans are in this category with mammals. Humans contain symmetrically pleasing elements that have little to do with survival. These elements are what prove that beauty is innate. Beauty may have scientifically evolved into what individuals perceive it as today, but the aspect of science has been removed from the concept itself.

Confidence is another concept that finds itself in the same position as beauty. Confidence, by society has been changed to be a quality in which anyone can radiate through their “swag. ” In reality, just like beauty not everyone can radiate confidence. Christopher Cardoso reported, “Confidence and positive self-image is just a balance of hormones. Oxytocin is responsible for what a lot of us think is confidence around our peers. ” Beauty is the same way, “It turns out standards of beauty are not only the same across individuals and cultures, they are also innate.

We are born with the notion of who’s beautiful and who’s not” (Satoshi Kanazawa). In fact studies have shown that infants (who have had no environmental exposure) stare at the faces of adults that are considered beautiful by other adults longer than those who are not considered beautiful. An infant is incapable of developing perceptual knowledge based on its environment about what is aesthetically pleasing. Without determining the effects and causes of this definition, it would be unjust to define beauty as a perceptual quality that is a product of innate human design.

Models starve to be perceived as beautiful, while others make a living on determining who will be considered aesthetically pleasing. The society in which we live in from Australia to the United States all puts beautiful people and items on a pedestal. Unfortunately, because beauty is not in the eyes of the beholder, people will search their whole lives to become roles in society that require beauty. Devoted to a lost cause, some will never be successful. Beauty has become an industry of manipulators that try to prove to those who were not born with the innate quality of beauty that synthetic things can get them there.

In societies that can sometimes over look individuals’ feelings and emotions, a scientific definition of beauty might appear harsh. This explains why alternate definitions have shown prevalence, with beauty as a subjective concept. As it can be useful to define beauty in terms of the “beholder,” it is more important to recognize a definition that is scientifically proven. It is important that individuals can accept that beauty is in fact a perceptual quality, but one that is a product of innate human design. Works Cited Cardoso, Christopher. “Hormone Oxytocin Nasal Spray Makes People More Sociable and Confident. IsaA? de. N. p. , 5 Oct. 2012. Web. 27 Oct. 2012. <http://www. isaude. net/en/noticia/23466/general/hormone-oxytocin-nasal-spray-makes-people-more-sociable-and-confident>. Denis Dutton: A Darwinian Theory of Beauty. Perf. Denis Dutton and Andrew Park. TED Conferences, LLC, n. d. Seminar. TED: Ideas worth Spreading. Web. 24 Oct. 2012. <http://www. ted. com/talks/denis_dutton_a_darwinian_theory_of_beauty. html>. “Psychology Today: Health, Help, Happiness Find a Therapist. ” Psychology Today: Health, Help, Happiness Find a Therapist. N. p. , n. d. Web. 05 Nov. 2012. <http://www. psychologytoday. com/>.

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Child Beauty Pageant

Formal Outline: Child Beauty pageant Introduction: 1. How many of you guys have heard or seen the show Toddler and Tiaras? It’s a show where toddlers and young children take stage wearing make ups, spray tans and fake hair to be judged on beauty, personality and costumes. Tiaras are following families on their guest for sparkly crowns, big tittles, and lots of cash. 2. Preview : I think child beauty pageant is absolutely unacceptable. Children should be on the play ground playing games, be active and have fun not, wear makeup and have fake tan and get judged for their “beauty”. . Thesis: We should show and teach the younger generation that beauty is not everything; we should not let little young girls participate in beauty contest. They are growing too fast, they don’t even understand the whole thing and usually they are dragged by their parents & you don’t even know if that’s actually something the child wants to do. Body : 1. First main point : Is beauty everything? What are we really teaching these young kids? When a interviewer asks most child beauty contestants “which one would you rather be? Smart or beautiful? and most of them answered beautiful, this is something not a little 5-8 year old should be responding. It’s scary enough to know that they have an idea of what beauty means, this is something we should only worry about when we are older. * Sub point: These beauty pageant contests has taught them that being beautiful means being fake and superficial. * Sub point: They are growing too fast, makeup and hair products can do a lot of harm to little kids face and their hair. * Sub point: I understand that some pageant are for scholarships, good cause and family bonding time but there are always other ways you can do those things.

I think entering a beauty contest is little bit extreme and can really ruin how kids feel about themselves and the world. * Sub point: It wouldn’t be bad if they are doing natural beauty contest, I don’t have anything against them but most of the child beauty pageant are not. Transition: some parents take the beauty pageant too far and far too serious because some of them took drastic measures. Second main point: Botox 1. This is one of the most ridiculous I have ever seen and heard “a mother injected her 8-year old daughter with Botox. ” (Good morning America)

The mother said “I knew she was complaining about her face, having wrinkles, and things like that when I brought it up to Britney she was all for it” 2. What kid needs Botox for wrinkles? And do these parents do whatever their children ask for? I don’t want to judge how to raise their own children but injecting your own kid with Botox is crossing the line. She also admitted that she was actually encouraged by other stage mothers and they do it to their children. 3. The Botox procedure is done by the mother herself; she is not even a doctor? When they asked little Britney if Botox hurt she said “ yes but its less than getting her legs waxed”

Transition: Is it really for their children? Why are these parents taking it so far? Third main point: 1. Of course all these pageant moms say they are doing this for their kid, but teaching their kids to being superficial and fake is not the right way. They want their kid to win, they make it important for their kids to win and these young kids are being pressure to win “beauty” contest. The parents usually say it makes their daughter feels beautiful, confidences and get use to pressure, what if they lose? What does that do to the kid? 2. These kids are not ready for those things; they need to learn those slowly.

Growing up too fast is bad for them and giving them a mental picture that beauty is everything. Conclusion : Which brings me back to my first main point: that we should be teaching our kids to have fun and tell them how education is important and outside beauty is important. The only beauty they should know is about inner beauty and being a nice person not about make ups and being skinny. Clincher: In conclusion, I hope all of you guys feels the same way as me or at least close to it because these little kids don’t need to be judged on their “beauty” don’t let them ruin their childhood and say NO to child beauty pageant.

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An Analysis of Marquez’ The Plane of the Sleeping Beauty

The short story by Gabriel Garcia Marquez which is entitled The Plane of the Sleeping Beauty written in June 1982 may be interpreted as a depiction of our colonial history and its legacy to the world. While reading his work I find myself searching for the true individualities of the main characters. This is also what I consider to be the problematic of the story. It hopes to unveil a reality of human existence that is often rooted in our historical structures- where countries have crossed cultural boundaries and homogenized economies making some of them quite unhappy. The author presents such scenario combined with his emotions toward it through symbolisms in the guise of the character and events. Indeed the setting, characters and context of the story harmoniously created the characters’ dilemma- the discomfort of their lost identities in a continuously globalizing world with flashbacks on the impacts of colonialism and wars.

I would like to focus on three aspects of the literary text in explaining the problematic; the setting, characters and context. The story is narrated by the author who is also one of the main characters. He is subtly confirmed Japanese though unnamed, in the latter part when he said: “Who is going to believe it,” I told myself, with my own passion exacerbated by the champagne: “Me, an elderly Japanese by now.” The other main character is a lady who is not also introduced by the author but instead referred to as the Sleeping Beauty. This is proved by the title itself and the plot which seemed to have concentrated on her or filled with her quintessence. At the beginning of the story is already a romantic description of this mysterious character:

She was beautiful elastic with tender bread-colored skin and green almond eyes. Black hair long and smooth fell to her back, and she exuded an aura of antiquity that in it of itself could be Indonesian and not from the Andes. She was dressed with taste-lynx jacket, natural silk blouse adorned with tenuous flowers, crude linen pants, and lined shoes the color of bugambillas.

Also in another section of the story the author narrates:

She had on her neck a chain so fine that it was all but invisible above her golden skin, perfect ears with no earring holes, rose fingernails in good health, and a smooth ring on her left hand.

While both characters have no names, they suggest however nationalities that are nonetheless experiencing confusion. Nation is defined as “a group of people who share a common cultural inheritance” (Heywood 106 ). The cultural inheritance becomes the source of common identity for all the members of the group and may come in the form of language, history, poetry, music, race or ethnicity, etc. The confusion arises in the mixtures of influences that are manifested in the characters’ languages and experiences. For instance, the lady appears Indonesian to the Japanese, but may be perceived Latin American in the narration:

She then put on her lynx jacket, walked nearly on top of me with a conventional apology in a pure Castilian straight out of the Americas, and walked off without saying goodbye…

The lady has used other languages as well in the story like French and English.

The man on the other hand exposing his knowledge of Japanese and Western forms of literature has interestingly revealed fascination over Chinese mythological beliefs- all of which present a fusion of cultures;

I thought, reciting into the crest of foam from my champagne the skillful sonnet of Gerardo Diego…last spring I read a beautiful novel by Yasunari Kawabata concerning the ancient bourgeois of Kyoto that paid enormous sums to spend the night speculating the most stunning women of the city…

and in;

“Dammit,” I said to myself, with great scorn. “Why was I not born a Taurus?!”.

The setting has more to explain actually-previously the airport then the plane. The airport signifies to me the ability of countries to transcend borders. In particular, the Charles de Gaulle de Paris airport as a chosen background where all succeeding events are to be witnessed somehow represents a historical moment when freedom is aspired by most regions. Especially that France is known for its love for liberty and freedom. The entire commotion as imagined by the author is a semblance of World War II whose outcomes and length were initially perceived uncertain and infinite, respectively. For instance;

…Only then did she mention that the airport was about to close and all flights have been delayed…”As long as God desires” she said with a grin. “It was announced on the radio this morning it will be the biggest snowstorm of the year”. She was wrong. It was the biggest of the century [such is also the case during the Worl War].

and in;

Outside I found an unpleasant spectacle. All kinds of people were overrunning the waiting rooms, camped in the stifling corridors and even the stairs, and spread out on the floor with their animals, children and luggage. Since communication with the city was interrupted, the palace of transparent plastic felt like an immense capsule launched in the storm [something like missiles and ammunition]… By lunchtime the collective conscience resembled a shipwreck. The lines stretched endlessly in front of the seven restaurants [the seven continents of the world]… in less than three hours they had to close them down because there was nothing to eat or drink [such is the devastation on the part most especially of the colonized regions] …

But the scenario in the so-called first class waiting rooms is different- which to me reflects the experience of those countries now known to be in the First World category. If the Sleeping Beauty was a place, it must be those places in the world which are rich in natural resources and potentials for development, yet both admired and captured by imperialists. Truly, the author was anticipating for her to belong to them, first-class nations (yet the woman isn’t to be found there) in the space described in the story as follows:

In the first-class waiting room however, spring was tangible that there were live roses in the vases and canned music felt as sublime and sedative as its composers intended. Suddenly it occurred to me that this was an adequate refuge for the woman…But the majority of the crowd was down-to-earth men [probably symbolizing men who have succumbed to the colonizers losing their dignities] reading newspapers in English [the dominant language of the world] while their women were thinking of other men, [symbolizing patriots and true nationalists] contemplating the icy factories and the vast seed plots of Roissy devastated by lions [representing the effects of colonial past, that of economic dependence and abused laborers and farmers]…

The man, the Japanese symbolizing the same country which chose to extend territory instead of being colonized by the Westerners in its Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere theme (the attempt for Japan to colonize its Asian neighbors) has indeed taken the path less traversed:

“Pick a number,” she told me, “Three, four or seven”.

“Four”.

“You are the first one to not choose seven”.

But this later has been contradicted when the man realized inside the plane when he encountered the Dutch woman’s eyeglasses, “But I retraced my steps, picked them up, and put them on her lap, suddenly thrilled that I had not chosen seat number four earlier.” What this suggests is that Japan although guided by its dreams of Asian development through Asians themselves (as shown in its fascination in the woman representing the developing countries be it South-East and East Asian, Latin American, South African, or Middle East) and its hatred in previous intruders manifested in his irritation against the fat Dutch woman (the Netherlands also once colonized Indonesia) has failed to avoid the course of the French, German, Dutch, British and other previous colonial powers .

Besides, it is quite amusing to realize that the main character could also speak and understand the now considered global language- a sign of acceptance and engagement in the globalized system. Is it the author Gabriel Garcia Marquez who is feeling the disappointment in the main character against what it represents? This may be true. What is certain however is the melancholy of the woman who as described in the narration below has resorted to a deep slumber in order to veil its passivity and discontent of the results of history:

She did everything in a methodical and parsimonious manner, as if there was nothing anticipated for her since birth. Lastly, she lowered the curtain in the window, declined her seat as far back as it would go, covered herself with a blanket…and slept without a moment’s breath…for the eternal eight hours and twelve minutes of the flight to New York.

Yes, the plane is going to New York. The man, the woman, and the rest of the passengers are bound to the United States. Could this represent the fate of most countries- following the American ideals? While most of them seem to have forgotten the past, most have tried to belong to the present global order although with less analysis and a lot of difficulties to the extent of losing true identities, like the Sleeping Beauty.

The author was successful in his presentation of a hopeless romantic tone with underlying themes that are both historical and political. The audience may be more interested to know that Gabriel Garcia Marquez was identified as a supporter of Latin American revolutionary movements and whose literature introduced the so-called, “magical realism”. The challenge here is really for the readers to be able to challenge the paradigm presented in the story, which beforehand must be decoded. A lot of the symbolism in the story has yet to be discovered. My interpretation here offers a new form of conflict that could only be resolved by historical, political and economic understanding and awakening.

…because the only thing I desired in the last hour of the flight was to see her awake, even if she was infuriated, so that I could reclaim my freedom, and possibly my youth…

Works Cited

Heywood, Andrew. Politics. New York: Palgrave, 2002.

Marquez, Gabriel Garcia. “The Plane of the Sleeping Beauty”. June 1982.

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Beauty Pageants

Children’s beauty pageants have been around for a long time. Toddlers and Tiaras is a show, based on mothers living their dream lives through their children. The mothers dress their young girls as if they are grown models. My out look on the whole situation is that little 5 year old girls, should not be competing in beauty pagents. Fake teeth, tans, eye lashes, and hair make these children look as though they are in their teens. No child should have to compete in looking “beautiful” or “the best”. Children their ages should be happy and not care what people think.

Most children in their age groups are playing outside, not caring what their hair and makeup looks like. They are little girls, not teenagers. The parents of these little girls expect more from these children then they should. The outer beauty of these girls, seems more important than inner. I don’t agree with the way these children are being raised, but it’s the parents who choose to do this to their children. As for these children, as they grow up they will be held high above everyone and will not understand what it’s like to work for things.

One of the arguments against children’s beauty pageants has to do with pedophilia and that this may encourage that. What I’m most concerned about is the message that it sends to girls and the unhealthy relationships that it perpetuates between parent and child. The worst part of the whole situation is that the children are going on stage dancing provocatively and “flirting” with the judges. As young as these children are they should not even know how to dance or “flirt” like they do. While I don’t believe that it encourages pedophilia, it certainly will give that child a warped sense of the importance of female sexuality.

Throughout the show there are many pageants distributed, but the ones that I’ve seen on the shows are the “Glitz” pageants. During the “Glitz” pageants the girls are expected to have spray tans, pounds of makeup, flippers; fake teeth, and fake hair. Its one thing to apply some lip gloss and a few hot rollers. It’s another to make a 5 year old resemble a Vegas show girl. If there is going to be a pageant for children that involves beauty, at least it should involve the child’s natural beauty and features.

One of the arguments for pageants is that it promotes self confidence and that the children have fun doing it. As this may be true, the children are being taught at a very young age that it is okay to dress, dance and act inappropriate to get attention. The only thing these pageants are teaching children is that wearing pounds of makeup, and looking like a Barbie doll, is okay. As these children grow, they will hold themselves above everyone, and will expect everyone to treat them as if they are perfect.

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Beauty and the Labor Market

Since ancient times, man and woman alike value beauty in the same level as they value their possessions and even their family. This is easily seen in works of art, in works of poetry and other forms of literature that praise beauty. Balladeers have sung its ability to intoxicate more potent than wine and its capacity influence man and his many endeavors.

The subject of beauty is very important in human history because the human race is given to marriage and it is the reproduction of children that allows the said specie to continually dominate the earth. It is therefore not surprising how much money and effort is given to the pursuit of beauty and the celebration of the same.

In the late 20th century, two men, Daniel Hamermesh and Jeff Biddle were also stricken by the allure of beauty but pursued it from a unique angle. These two researchers proposed the idea that if discrimination – with regards to race, nationality, etc. – exists in the workplace then there is surely discrimination when it comes to an employees good looks or the lack thereof.

Both men went further as to say that good looks not only allowed men and women possessing of this enviable quality to get good jobs but they also are able to increase their income more successfully than those whom Hamermesh and Biddle described as homely in appearance. But before proceeding to find evidence or contradictions that will shoot down their thesis, Hamermesh and Biddle went on a lengthy discussion strengthening their position that there is indeed a way to do an empirical study of the said subject matter.

Methodology

Hamermesh and Biddle were right on target when they remarked in the beginning of the paper that there is no going forward without having established the fact that beauty can be measured. The first thing that they did was to look for related literature that would support their claim that beauty can be measured statistically.

They went further as to say that not only does beauty a trait that can be measured scientifically but more importantly, perception or standards of beauty is something that does not abruptly change or shift easily in a short period of time. In other words a generation or two of Europeans, Americans, and Canadians will have the same standard of beauty at least in the 20th century when the study was made.

Then Hamermesh and Biddle scrutinized the methodology used in the multiple tests to determine a “beauty standard” and they were satisfied with what they learned. In fact, in Part II of their study they made the following discovery:

Within a culture at a point in time there is tremendous agreement on standards of beauty,

and these standards change quite slowly. For example, respondents ranging in age from seven to fifty who were asked to rank the appearance of people depicted in photographs showed very high correlation in their rankings (see Background portion of study).

Now, in order to make their study reliable and the results credible Hamermesh and Biddle made their case airtight by looking closely at their respondents and the other variables that would affect their results significantly. An example of this is the exclusion of those who have questionable health status for this would surely affect their performance and would have made the study unreliable to say the least.

But both men did not stop there they also presented other factors that would have made their analysis unacceptable. They pointed to the fact that there can be other forces involved in the hiring of employees possessing above-average good looks. And these are namely: 1) there are industries that require good looking people and 2) in the case of overcrowding a manager may use the criteria of good looks to choose among the many applicants competing for limited jobs.

Significance

The world of business is surely indebted to Hamermesh and Biddle and those who wanted to offer something new to the growing body of knowledge concerning what would increase the productivity of a particular enterprise. In the beginning of this study the two proponents were correct in saying that in the area of discrimination in the workplace there is very little if at all, a systematic analysis on the effect of a person’s looks on the quality of job that he or she will get and subsequently the degree of success that will be achieved in his or her lifetime.

This study is also helpful in providing more data to those seeking to resolve issues concerning an employers alleged discriminatory actions with regards to an employee unable to rise atop the corporate ladder due to the misfortune of being born with a rather homely appearance. This study would form the foundation of future inquiries as to the role of beauty in the corporate world.

Analysis

The study was a great challenge for the two researchers because they decided to tackle something as difficult as trying to catch the wind with bare hands. They aimed for the impossible – to measure beauty and ugliness. If this is not enough their study was made more complicated by putting another hurdle and it is to understand the correlation between beauty – or the lack thereof – and productivity in the workplace.

It does not need further discussion to conclude that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and that what is attractive to one culture may be offensive to another. In fact a mere two hundred year gap in history is enough to totally transform standards of beauty. The researchers admitted early on when they cited that paintings made in the 17th century depicted a rather different standard when it comes to what feature makes a beautiful man or woman when being compared to what is celebrated today in the media and the arts.

But they pulled off a rather convincing argument using a highly controlled study where people from all ages – 7 years old to fifty years old – where able to demonstrate that indeed for a given generation there is a standard of beauty that does not change even after the passage of time. Here is the beginning of their problem.

They said so themselves that in the time of the famous artist Rubens beauty is measured by the plumpness of the lady and not by the reed thin supermodels that are highly esteemed in modern times. So how can they be certain that their standard does not change after thirty years or more? Moreover, they have concluded that either Canadians have a slight difference in their outlook regarding beautiful people or that they are not comfortable in being brutally frank when it comes to judging another person’s appearance. This shows subjectivity arising from differences in culture etc.

Now, for the sake of argument, this paper will allow that Hamermesh and Biddle were both correct in their analysis that there is indeed a standard of beauty that is both measurable and unchanging. Then this will lead the discussion to another perceived weakness in their work which is the fact that they conducted their study within European culture and there is no data to support the fact that they considered the preference of Asians.

Another possible weakness in their methodology is the fact that they were not able to clearly establish the standard of beauty in a way that their study could be replicated in the future and in different regions of the world. What occurred was that in order for their results to be accepted as scientific then they would have to assemble a similar group of respondents every time they would try to replicate their study in other locations outside the U.S. or Canada.

Another problematic aspect of the study is the fact that a person uses more than beauty to complete a job. Mental capabilities and social skills play a major role in the development of a person’s career. The study is not that complex to separate intelligence quotient and beauty. There is no way to just simply observe beauty in action apart from the use of mental faculties.

Throughout the course of the research the duo were struggling in putting together a very convincing argument that indeed beauty alone is the major factor in achieving success. There are just too many variables involved in the process of doing a job whatever it may be. In the end Hamermesh and Biddle were almost back to square one for they were not able to come up with anything that is radically new except for reinforcing the already known idea that there are some jobs that require attractive people in order to be more productive.

Hamermesh and Biddle tried an escape route by saying that they do not have to demonstrate the validity of their claim because according to them people spend a lot of time and money in grooming aids and purchase of good clothes in order to enhance their physical beauty. But it can be argued that grooming and beauty are two different things. A celebrity which many considers beautiful can wear a plain shirt and still people would find her attractive.

Hamermesh and Biddle were both correct in their final analysis that there is a need to study, “…relationships between looks and earning within particular narrowly – defined occupations” (see Part VIII).  Moreover there is a need to extend the timeline of their study to determine if attractive employees were able to sustain a high level of success and that their increase in income is not merely a result of a quick promotion because the manager was biased to people with good looks but soon regretted his actions when he found out about their performance.

Works Cited

Hamermesh, D. & Biddle, J. Beauty and the LabourMarket. American Economic Review 84.5

(1994): 1174-1194.

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Beauty is not so easily measured

While love is something that can be sensed as being palatable and felt directly within one’s self, beauty is not so easily measured—an aesthetic that is judged by each person according to his or her own likes or dislikes. Kawabata Yasunari’s classic short stories “The Man Who Did Not Smile” and “Immorality” both look at love and beauty and how they are measured, each in a poetic and colorful way.

“The Man Who Did Not Smile” is a 1929 short story, or “palm of the hand story,” as Yasunari called them (Ljukkonen, online), about a film writer and his relationship to beauty via his movie that is being filmed, and via his relationship with his wife and children.  It is a story about beauty and this man’s relationship to beauty, and the psychological relationship he has to the idea of beauty and what is behind the idea of beauty.

Yasunari wrote “The Man Who Did Not Smile” as a first-person account from the film writer’s standpoint.  The man is on location for a film he has written about patients in a mental hospital, and is in the process of discovering a final scene for his film.  He finds it one morning while “gazing out on the Kamo River,” (Yasunari, 1929/1990, p. 128) upon waking, finding himself amid the memories of a previous day and recalling a mask that he had seen in a display window.  It is that image that gives him the idea for his final scene of the movie, “a daydream” (p. 129) filled with masks of smiling faces.

The search for the masks to be used in the film becomes the central drama of the story—and the protagonist’s relationship to those masks once he takes them to his wife and children after the filming of the movie is complete.  The masks are delicate and the actors must handle them carefully.  Yet, there is some power within those masks.  The film writer decides to buy them so they can be handled without fear of them being destroyed, and it is in the power of those masks that the protagonist realizes his own relationship with beauty.

“Well then, I’ll buy them.  I did actually want them.  I daydreamed as if awaiting the future when the world would be in harmony and people would all wear the same gentle face as these masks.  (p. 131)

His children love the masks, but he refuses to wear them.  His wife agrees to put one on, and it is in that moment that he discovers his true relationship to his wife’s beauty.  “The moment she removed the mask, my wife’s face somehow appeared ugly” (p. 131).  It is as though he is seeing her face for the first time—and his own idea of her beauty, or, in this case, the “ugliness of her own countenance” (p. 131).  As his wife lay in the hospital bed, he is faced not only with a new idea of beauty, but his own sense of self—one that might appear as “an ugly demon” (p. 132) to his wife.  He would be exposed to his real self, his true nature.

Psychologist C. G. Jung writes that the mask can be seen as the outer persona we show to the world, the way we want to be seen (Jung, 1929/1983, p. 96).  “The mask is the ad hoc adopted attitude, I have called the persona, which was the name for the masks worn by actors in antiquity” (Jung, 1921/1983, p. 98).  The narrator is forced to confront not only what lies behind his wife’s beauty/ugliness, but also his idea of his own beauty/ugliness.  The “beautiful mask” (p. 132) reveals another question, too:  whether or not the face he sees on his wife could be artificial, too, “just like the mask” (p. 132).  It’s a perplexing question, but one that reveals, like the mask, much about the filmmaker’s relationship to himself and his world.

While the idea of beauty colors Yasunari’s 1963 “palm-of-the-hand” story “Immortality,” the concept of eternal love is the central theme.  In this short story, two lovers have reunited after being apart for at least five decades—but their reunion comes in the afterlife, as they are now each dead.  Yasunari presents a portrait of an eighteen-year-old girl and a man sixty years her senior walking through some woods in a land they’d both known together while alive.  The scene is haunting as the girl is not aware the man has passed on into the afterlife until the end, when, upon that realization, the two “go into the tree and stay” (Yasunari, 1963/2005, p. 326).

The love between the two has been eternal, in a sense—the girl killed herself because of her love for the man when they had to separate, and he wound up spending much of his life on the land overlooking that spot in the ocean where she died. The man has returned to the land where she died to reclaim her.  He wants to be with her forever.  However, he doesn’t know he is dead, and neither does she. Once she realizes he, too, is dead, they are able to reunite into eternity in nature, merging themselves into an old tree where they will live forever.

Like “The Man Who Did Not Smile,” Yasunari uses the idea of beauty and the mask that we wear—Jung’s “persona”—as an aspect of “Immortality.”  The girl tells the old man, Shintaro, that she has lived in the afterlife with the image of him as a young man.  “You are eternally young to me,” (p. 325) she says, even though the man is now old.

If I hadn’t drowned myself and you came to the village now to see me, I’d be an old woman. How disgusting.  I wouldn’t want you to see me like that.  (p. 325)

For the girl, memories are important.  Her spirit carries them as she lives in the afterlife.  Scholar James Hillman says that memories are important for the soul, carrying with them energy that thrives for the departed person.  The girl realizes this, too, in a way:  “If you were to die, there wouldn’t be anyone on earth who would remember me,” she says (p. 325).

The soul, they say, needs models for its mimesis in order to recollect eternal verities and primordial images.  If in its life on earth it does not meet these as mirrors of the soul’s core, mirrors in which the soul can recognize its truths, then its flame will die and its genius wither.  (p. 159)

The girl imagines ugliness representing old age—that ancient mask we all wear once we have passed from the prime years of our life.  Even though the old man is wearing that mask, she doesn’t see it:  she has only her memories carried with her at the time of her death, so she sees him as an eighteen-year-old, also.  For the man, he never experienced his lover as an old woman; thus, her youth is indeed eternal for him.

Yasunari uses few characters in both stories, keeping each “palm-of-the-hand” short and simple.  The narrator in “The Man Who Did Not Smile” is joined by the mask buyer, his wife, and his children in the tale, while it is only Shintaro and his young lover in “Immortality.”  We do not see deeply driven characterization in either story, as Yasunari essentially paints portraits of each actor through their thoughts and actions.  Like a beautiful painting of a sunset or sunrise, we must use our imagination amidst the texture and colors of the painting to grasp its deeper meaning.

Indeed, Yasunari’s beautiful use of words shines in both stories in his colorful imagery.  It is simple:  “An old man and a young girl were walking together,” he writes to begin “Immortality.”  He ends that story almost the same way he begins “The Man Who Did Not Smile”—with the picture of the sky.

The color at evening began to drift onto the small saplings behind the great trees.  The sky beyond turned a faint red where the ocean sounded.  (p. 326).

“The Man Who Did Not Smile,” on the other hand, begins with the image of the sky as well.  “The sky had turned a deep shade; it looked like the surface of a beautiful celadon porcelain piece” (p. 128).  It is a daydream of sorts, a beautiful portrait into which Yasunari takes the reader as he moves through the inner world of the film writer.

Both stories are magical.  It is the “magic of those trees” (p. 325) that captures the imagination of Shintaro and his young lover.  Those trees are part of land his family owned, and he later sold to the men who turned the land into a golfer’s driving range.  The trees are on land overseeing the ocean where the girl jumped to her death.  Trees are sacred and magical in many mythologies.  Buddha gained enlightenment under the Bodhi Tree, and many myths use trees as the focus for rebirth (Anderson, 1990, p. 25).  In the same regard, the ocean, too, is a mythical place:  from where gods and goddess reside and in the Greek legend Odysseus sailed before being reuniting with his lover (Anderson, p. 25).

The magic of “The Man Who Did Not Smile” comes in the healing properties of the masks.  It is through the image of the mask that the film writer is able to create an ending for his story—a “beautiful daydream” (p. 128) to conclude the “dark story” (p. 129).  The masks represent his own distrust of himself and the world around him, covering with an artificial beauty the truth that lies behind them.  The masks magically hide what is true and meant to be revealed—whether it is an “ugly demon” (p. 132) or an “ever-smiling gentle face” (p. 132).

What is also interesting about “The Man Who Did Not Smile” is in how the film writer’s screenplay is based on a scene inside a mental hospital.  We learn later that his wife is in a hospital of sorts—and we never learn the exact nature of her illness.  Could it be a mental hospital?  And might her hospitalization also be a reflection of his “gloomy” personality (p. 129)?  He’s afraid of what is hiding behind the masks—so much that his initial reaction to putting on the mask himself is fear.  “The mask is no good.  Art is no good” (p. 132).  Masks and art each reveal the hidden dimensions.  The film writer himself uses his films to balance his own “gloomy” personality.  Yet the shadows of life are revealed through film and art, and are experienced in hospitals.  Each is an aspect of “The Man Who Did Not Smile.”

Yasunari gives much to think about regarding our relationship to each other and ourselves in “The Man Who Did Not Smile,” and to our relationship with the magic of eternal love in “Immortality.”  Both reveal the hidden aspects of our existence on earth, offering us a short look at the feeling of living in a world of melancholy and loneliness amid what we call beauty.  Our own mortality rises from the depths of eternity through these stories, and it is in the hidden beauty of our daily lives that Yasunari’s works can be realized.

Bibliography

Anderson, William.  (1990).  Green man:  The archetype of our oneness with the earth.

London:  HarperCollins.

Hillman, James.  (1996).  The soul’s code.  New York:  Warner Books.

Jung, C. G.  (1983). Definitions.  (R. F. C. Hull,Trans.). In  A. Storr (Ed.). The essential

Jung:  Selected writings.  (V. S. de Laszlo, Ed.) (Pp. 97-105).  Princeton:  Princeton University Press.  (Original work published 1921).

Jung, C. G.  (1983). The relations between the ego and the unconscious.  (R. F. C. Hull,

Trans.). In  A. Storr (Ed.). The essential Jung:  Selected writings.  (V. S. de

Laszlo, Ed.) (Pp. 94-97).  Princeton:  Princeton University Press.  (Original work published 1929).

Ljukkonen, Petri.  (2005).  Yasunari Yasunari.  Retrieved November 19, 2005 from

http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi/Yasunari.htm.

Yasunari, Yasunari.  (1990).  The man who did not smile.  (L. Dunlop, Trans.).  In

Palm-of-the-hand Stories.  (J. Martin Holman, Trans.).  (Pp. 128-132).  San Francisco:  North Point Press.  (Original work published 1929).

Yasunari, Yasunari.  (2005).  Immortality.  In (G. Dasgupta, J. Mei, Ed).  Stories about

us.  (Pp. 323-325).  Nashville:  Thomas Nelson Publishers.  (Original work published 1963).

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Plastic Surgery: Beauty or Beast

Stephanie Ferrone Mrs. D’Addario ENG3U October 26, 2012 Beauty or Beast? Her thin, fine lipped smile transformed into an “Angelina Jolie” like pout. Rosy, red, round, cheekbones as high as the Himalayans stick out on her face. Her jaw line is sharp and defined. Everywhere she walks she turns heads, people stare. What are people thinking? Beauty or beast? A girl as described above would be the typical face of a cover girl, that would be plastered on the front page of magazines everywhere. These magazines call out to teenagers and woman, brainwashing them to think that if you want to be beautiful, you have to look a certain way.

Plastic surgery is a harmful way to convert yourself into society’s unrealistic depiction of beauty. Having cosmetic procedures done can have many health risks, can create a false idea of beauty, as well as an addiction to this unhealthy habit. There are many health concerns associated with cosmetic surgery. Plastic surgery can cause excessive bleeding, scarring, necrosis which is the death of tissues, as well as more serious effects such as nerve damage which can eventually lead to muscle paralysis. In some extremely rare cases, uncontrolled bleeding can even lead to death.

In 2007, hip-hop superstar Kanye West’s mother, Donda West, passed away at the age of 58 after receiving a breast reduction and tummy tuck. She suffered extreme bleeding after going home to recover from the operation. According to the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, one of 51,459 patients dies from cosmetic operations. Plastic surgery can be terribly dangerous to your body, but it can also be equally dangerous to your mental health aswell. Media and society have raised the bar for every teenager and woman.

Ordinary people are constantly being bombarded with ads on how they should look, and what society believes is beautiful. Plastic surgery creates a false idea of beauty, which is impossible to live up to. According to The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, from 1997 to 2010, the increase in cosmetic procedures has increased by over 115 percent. Due to the increase of plastic surgery, teens and women are more exposed to it, which is making them be more critical toward their bodies. Being unhappy with your physical appearance leads women to get cosmetic procedures.

Women go into the operating room with high expectations, thinking that once they look a certain way it will change their life, fix their problems and open up doors for them. It is important to understand that there is no such thing as physical “perfection”. Plastic surgery is only a mask that women use to hide their flaws and insecurities. Most woman do not understand this, and if their results do not turn out the way they desired it to be, it can be very devastating for some patients and lead them into depression.

The Aesthetic Surgery Journal states that 13 percent of plastic surgery patients are unhappy with the outcome of their procedures. If women continue to be unhappy with their physical appearance it can be followed by a serious addiction to cosmetic operations. Cosmetic surgery addiction is the ongoing desire to receive plastic surgery to the point of excess. Addicts are usually physically distinguishable because of their fake, unnatural appearance. Nearly half of plastic surgery patients have had more than one cosmetic procedure.

The percent of patients in 2008, returning for another surgery after their first procedure has increased from 37 to 44 percent since 2002. It most cases, people with Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) suffer from plastic surgery addiction. Symptoms of BDD are constant low self esteem, obsessive thoughts about body defects, and envying the physical appearance of others. Unfortunately, most people suffering from BDD will not seek psychiatric help, and will continue to receive cosmetic procedures even if advised not to by their surgeon. Cosmetic surgery addiction can be very dangerous to ones physical and mental health.

In conclusion, plastic surgery can be incredibly risky for your health, can create a completely unrealistic idea of beauty and can lead to a serious uncontrollable addiction. It is not worth to lose your life just because of the desire for high cheek bones and plump lips. It is important to remember that the idea of physical perfection does not exist and that looking a certain way will not change your life for the better. Most of us are so focused on comparing our body to others and obsessing over our physical appearance that we often forget beauty comes from within.

So with all this being said, how do you define true beauty? Works Cited “Cosmetic Surgery Addiction. ” – AllTreatment. com. N. p. , n. d. Web. 21 Oct. 2012. <http://www. alltreatment. com/cosmetic-surgery-addiction>. Flinn, Mary. “Negative Psychological Effects of Cosmetic Surgery. ” EHow. Demand Media, 18 Mar. 2009. Web. 21 Oct. 2012. <http://www. ehow. com/facts_4855098_negative-psychological-effects-cosmetic-surgery. html>. “Health Risks of Cosmetic Surgery. ” Health Risks of Cosmetic Surgery. N. p. , n. d. Web. 21 Oct. 2012. <http://www. onlymyhealth. om/health-risks-cosmetic-surgery-1301554772>. “Kanye West’s Mom Dies after Cosmetic Surgery. ” NY Daily News. N. p. , n. d. Web. 21 Oct. 2012. <http://www. nydailynews. com/entertainment/gossip/kanye-west-mom-dies-cosmetic-surgery-article-1. 260506>. “Plastic Surgery: Beauty or Beast? ” Plastic Surgery: Beauty or Beast? N. p. , n. d. Web. 21 Oct. 2012. <http://www. apa. org/monitor/sep05/surgery. aspx>. “Plastic Surgery Demographics. ” : Who’s Getting Cosmetic Surgery? N. p. , n. d. Web. 21 Oct. 2012. <http://www. plasticsurgeryportal. com/articles/plastic-surgery-demographics/87>.

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The Meaning of Beauty

The Meaning of Beauty Man vs. Woman From the beginning we are taught that God created man, and from man he created woman. It’s funny how different a man’s thoughts can be compared to a woman’s, considering the woman was created from the man. Their views on beauty, amongst other things, prove to be a perfect example of this. Centuries ago the Greeks saw “[B]eauty as a virtue: A kind of excellence” (Sontag 117). While this is still a shared view between men and women today, they share different views on how this excellence is achieved.

Both men and women agree that beauty has two parts, inner and outer; yet men recognize beauty as success, leaning more towards inner beauty, while women recognize beauty as how one looks, leaning more towards outer beauty. It has been observed that “[w]e not only split off—with the greatest facility—the “inside” (character, intellect) from the “outside” (looks); but we are actually surprised when someone who is beautiful is also intelligent, talented, good” (Sontag 118).

Both men and women make this mistake, it never fails to amaze people that a person can be smart and good looking at the same time. Society has made it seem like the good looking get everything handed to them because of their physicality; however that is not always true. It is just the fact that it is human nature to immediately observe and judge by the outward appearance according to the worldly views instilled in people growing up, for example: magazines, TV, internet, etc.

Both men and women would agree that for millennia “beauty has continued to lose prestige” (Sontag 118). Women not only have different expectations of beauty compared to men, but also seem to be confused by the definition of beauty itself. Sontag states that a whole society has identified being feminine with caring about how one looks (118). “Hollywood” has seriously messed up the views of women on the topic of beauty: For the ideal of beauty is administered as a form of self-oppression. Women are taught to see their bodies in parts, and to evaluate each part separately.

Breasts, feet, hips, waistline, neck, eyes, nose, complexion, hair, and so on—each in turn is submitted to an anxious, fretful, often despairing scrutiny. (Sontag 119) For women it is not just the thought of a bad appearance during the day, but also the question of how the millions of pieces are contributing to it. Unfortunately, their solutions are not always the wisest. Instead they do what they believe will cure their problems the fastest. Weather it is not eating for that day or coating their faces with make-up in order to cover up that one, little blemish.

Women mistake their appearance to be their only form of power. Most women believe “it is not the power to do but the power to attract” (Sontag 119). No matter how hard a woman works and how far she goes, she must always show that she works just as hard to be attractive, “[d]amned if they do—women are. And damned if they don’t… [N]othing less than perfection will do” (Sontag 119). A woman can be told thousands of times that there is no such thing as perfection, yet that is what she will always strive to achieve. Men, on the other hand, have very different views on beauty.

Men are not beautiful; they are handsome: “Handsome” is the masculine equivalent of—and refusal of—a complement which has accumulated certain demeaning overtones, by being reserved for women only…[T]heir essence is to be strong, or effective, or competent…[W]hich is to be identified with caring about what one is and does and only secondarily, if at all, about how one looks. (Sontag 118) Men do not focus on how they look physically, but on what and how much they accomplish. A man would rather be seen as strong and dependable in comparison to skinny and well liked.

Men have the view of, take it or leave it. They are more focused on their success, rather than their appearance: In men, good looks is a whole, something taken in at a glance. It does not need to be confirmed by giving measurements of different regions of the body, nobody encourages a man to dissect his appearance, feature by feature. As for perfection, that is considered trivial—almost unmanly. Indeed, in the ideally good-looking man a small imperfection or blemish is considered positively desirable. Sontag 119) Men know that there is no such thing as perfection; therefore they see no reason to shoot for something impossible to obtain. Women see the imperfections in themselves as unacceptable, yet find the blemishes of men attractive. The opposite opinions of men and women on the topic of beauty have continued for years and show no evidence of changing. While men spend their time climbing the career ladder all the way to the top, women focus more on how they will look climbing that ladder.

Men have sustained the belief that beauty is seen as success, while women continue to believe that beauty is all about how one looks. Men and women still hold to their original ideas of beauty, but have found certain ways to individualize themselves too. As time goes on it is becoming clearer that beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder. Works Cited Sontag, Susan. “Women’s Beauty: Put Down or Power Source? ” 75 Readings Plus. Ed. Santi V. Buscemi and Charlotte Smith. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2010. 117-119. Print.

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Analysis of Mise-En-Scene in the Film ‘American Beauty’

How does mise-en-scene create meaning and provoke response in the opening of American Beauty? The opening scene of American Beauty shows a teenage girl lying in a bed, venting her feelings towards her father. In this, the audience sees her in dull clothing and colours, minimal make-up and has greasy-looking hair. As she sits up, her hair falls around her face and she stares directly into the camera, giving a sense of unease to the audience. The next shot is an establishing shot, showing the street where the main character, Leister, lives.

Its fall/autumn time and the trees are bare or dying, possibly indicating and foreshadowing a death later on in the movie. Also the streets are very linear, all vertical and in uniform, as it were. The opening very much portrays emptiness and dysfunctional family relationships. A perfect example of this would be the bedroom shot; the room is very empty and bland. The colour scheme looks very neutral as the walls, carpets, sheets and even lamps are creams and white- a clean look.

The bedroom is also divided and symmetrical; the audience gets the feel that the relationship between Leister and his wife is not very close and intimacy is lacking. Also, the lamps and bedside tables placed either side of the bed suggests separation and how their relationship seems very “Mr&Mrs”. Leister is also a disruption to the room- his checked pyjamas are in linear and in uniform with the rest of the room- as he looks out of place, sprawled in the bed, sheets ruffled and contrasting with the colour scheme of the room.

When Leister then moves into the shower, the audience sees him ease his face into the pouring water, suggesting how he might ease his way into life situations slowly and cautiously. The next shot pans across the room as Leister masturbates in the shower, indicating the lack of intimacy in his relationship and that he feels the need and obligation to satisfy his own sexual needs. The shot shows the shower doors and the vertical lines around the door frame, looking like bars almost, suggesting he is enclosed. This sense of enclosure and being trapped is repeated and a recurring theme throughout the sequence.

This opening introduces the family’s lifestyle and sets the scene for the audience, from the shot following Leister’s shower, the audience gets the sense that the wife is the head of the house as she gardens in a bright, contemporary looking garden. The camera goes to a close up on the rose as the woman clips it from the bush. This rose is called American Beauty which is also the name of the film. She is dressed in a plain grey suit and a clean white apron, again fitting in with the colour scheme of the interior decor.

She also wears pearl earrings and a pearl necklace with her hair perfectly framing this and has impeccable make up, indicating what the perfect American housewife should resemble. She also converses with the homosexual neighbours about the secret to her roses flourishing so well; she seems happy and overly enthusiastic. The audience then see a shot of Leister, again, enclosed in an environment- this time the window. The audience sees him behind the window panes, in between two bright blue shutters, indicating his isolation and loneliness within his own home. The colour blue is also an interesting choice by the director.

Blue suggests calm and tranquillity within the home, and also reflects on the colour of the perfect blue sky. Leister seems to fit in as he reflects on his own life and his past happiness, and also seems unsettled within himself, contrasting to the natural connotations of the colour blue. Following this shot, the daughter, Janey, is introduced as she types on her computer in her bedroom. Janey wears a jumper with roses embellished across the top half, with stripes down the arms, it is a very ‘busy’ jumper and again her sleeves represents a similar linear lifestyle to that of the rest of the house.

The camera then moves to a point of view shot so the audience can see what she is looking at- as she shuts down a list of some sort, a web page on ‘Breast Augmentation’ is shown for a few seconds, giving the audience enough time to read the title of the page and respond. This is deemed to be something a teenaged girl uncomfortable in her own body would typically look at. Janey then walks over to her mirror and turns to the side and stares at her breast and visually inspects them in disgust.

She seems disheartened and is dressed in a pair of beige/khaki trousers which completely contrast to her jumper, making her look ‘frumpy’ and out of place. The outside of the house is then shown in a long shot as Janey and Leister exit the house to the family car. The house looks bright and contemporary with bright blue shutters, a red door to compliment the roses in the bushes, perfect green lawn and a white picket fence, again representing enclosure, the feeling that Leister is trapped in a cage. The house looks like a family home that wishes to portray friendliness and welcome guests.

Also, the family car is much too large for the family; there is too much space inside. This shows how empty the family life is and suggests the proximity of relationships within the family. The family positioning in the car is also odd, the wife in the front seat driving, Janey in the passenger seat and Leister taking a nap, hugging his suitcase to his chest in the back seat; Leister has almost taken the child’s role in the family. The camera then shows the audience the view from the back window, and focuses on one small, lonesome cloud that has broken away from the others.

This could show Leister’s isolation and how he feels like he is ‘sedated’, cast away from the other people and disconnected and alone. Overall, this opening sequence really uses mise-en scene to provoke empathy for Leister and to an extent, Janey, and show a deeper meaning into the family’s lifestyle. The director has used mise-en-scene throughout the opening sequence to show how dysfunctional a seemingly ‘perfect’ family is and unravels family problems and struggles within the first four minutes just by using props, patterns and structuring settings.

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Pet Shop Boys and Beauty

Success & Jealousy in Beauty Beauty, written by Jane Martin in the mid nineteen hundreds, is an ironic play about two successful women, Bethany and Carla. Both women were the same age yet complete opposites. They also had completely different personalities and were unhappy with their lives. Martin casted and characterized them this way to illustrate a few themes. The drama was mainly centered on the theme that no one is ever happy unless they get their wishes granted. However, in these two women’s cases, getting what they wanted caused them to realize there is nothing wrong with being different.

These two themes can be seen through the two character’s success, jealousy, and a genie. Bethany and Carla experienced success in Beauty. Carla was a famous, “beautiful catalogue model that was going to become a big time model soon after speaking with Ralph Lauren” (Martin 735). On the other hand, Bethany, the smart one, “received a $40,000 job offer straight out of college. She also published several short stories” (735). Carla was characterized as the perfect and beautiful success story, while Bethany was characterized as the ugly screw-up.

However, neither person was happy in their respective positions. Carla was always annoyed, “and always hung by her fingernails in modeling. She felt like she had zero privacy, and guys would hassle her on the street and pressure her from the beginning of a relationship. She never was able to have a long relationship” (736). Likewise, Bethany did not see herself as a success story because, “she did not see herself as a beautiful individual” (736). They both envied each other’s success and looks. This alone shows the reader that the characters were very jealous of each other’s lives.

Jealousy is very noticeable in Beauty, especially when it comes to Bethany. Bethany was extremely jealous of, “Carla because she looked beautiful. She represented that beautiful person that knocks a man across a room twenty-four hours a day. Beautiful was in the major leagues, whereas pretty was in the minor leagues as a way for people to simply discover each other” (736). Bethany just considered a self a disgrace and a piece of trash. Carla explained, “Bethany is beautiful and she has the charm, personality, and is perfectly pretty” (736).

Of course, Bethany places a stereotype on beautiful by saying, “it is the real deal. Carla gets discounts on makeup for no reason. Parents treat beautiful children better and they even statistically get paid more. Beautiful people can have sex any time, any place” (736). Carla, confused, did not understand why Bethany wanted to be just like her. Bethany hated Carla most of the time because of her beauty. This leads Carla to go on a rant about beauty and why it is so difficult to live and be beautiful simultaneously. Carla tells Bethany to be herself and she will have an amazing life.

Bethany begs to differ and says, “it is what everyone wants to be. Money can only make you buy things. Beauty makes you the center of the entire universe. All eyes are always on those individuals that are beautiful” (736). Carla says, “Bethany will hate her life is she was beautiful. She would be miserable and unhappy” (736). Bethany then pulls out a genie in a bottle. Bethany, determined, reiterates, “Carla’s thoughts do not matter. Carla was just lying about everything, which explains why she had no friends or a long relationship.

Bethany wanted to be just like Carla, and she had a god dam genie and only one wish to make” (736). Bethany indeed used her one wish and wished that she was just like Carla. The genie is used as a symbol to symbolize the fact that Bethany got everything she wanted to be happy. The genie allowed Bethany to “walk in Carla’s shoes”. Bethany and Carla looked at each other and realized they had swapped roles. Both women stated, “We have each other’s jewelry, legs, nail polish, clothes and shoes. We can see each other! ” (737). Upset, Bethany stated, “She wanted to be beautiful, but she did not want to be Carla. (737). In the end, both women realized they regretted getting what they wanted because they both had the same thing that every other human had. They both realize that their happiness was not good because it only showed that they both just had a plethora of different problems. Beauty is practically a real life drama that actually occurs every day in the world. There are hundreds of thousands of people that are not happy with their current situations in life. Many of them just want to be so much more successful, and, in Bethany’s case, more beautiful.

Too many people think that success and having good looks automatically lead to unlimited happiness. Sadly, this is a lot more false than true. People will only be happy if they are themselves and are different and unique. After reading Martin’s play, one can see that the two women are just like two people in the real world. They both have experienced success and jealousy. Too many people worry too much about their image and appearance. The genie in the play showed what happens sometimes when someone is given everything they ever dreamed of having.

The genie granted Bethany’s wish so she could realize how it felt being in someone else’s place or position. Afterwards, she saw that being different was okay and actually better than she initially thought. She realized that she did not want to be anyone but herself. Overall, Beauty illustrates a real life event that teaches people a valuable lesson: One should be happy and unique because there is nothing wrong with being different. Martin, Jane. Beauty. Literature and the Writing Process. Ed. Elizabeth McMahan, Susan X. Day, Robert Funk, and Linda S. Coleman. Backpack ed. Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall, 2011. 733-737. Print.

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Physical Beauty to Inner Beauty

We are human beings, we need both physical beauty and inner beauty. We are not angels to search only for inner beauty. Also we are not devils to search only for outer beauty. We have eyes, first of all we look at someone physical, but as the time goes by we know the real people whether having inner beauty or not. The three aspects i am going to discuss are respect, confidence and relationship. The three aspects i am going to discuss are respect, confidence and relationship. The are many different between physical beauty and inner beauty and the most important is respect.

Inner beauty is responsible for providing the person with more respect and status in society. Also physical beauty play role but if you’re not good with your soul then the outer beauty role remain for less period but if you are good at your soul then you are talked everywhere. We may find a good and charming looking person but unless he or she is not good at soul we can not play a relationship. The other different is to be in confidence. The physical will always attract because of the hormones in our bodies but I also think that people have different ideas of what they are attracted to.

But today’s society and cultures play a huge influence on what people should think is attractive but the people that today’s society and culture call beautiful exhibit strong confidence in how they appear, so confidence will play role in it too. The last different is in relationship. When you meet someone for the first time, you will acknowledge their physical beauty first and then after you talk to him/her for quite some time you will acknowledge their inner beauty like their personality, their wit and etc.

You might not agree with me on this case because some of you might say that inner beauty is the real beauty. But if you ask people around I bet they will say the same thing. The first trigger will be physical beauty. You can take e. g. from the story of Cinderella. Prince choose chooses Cinderella when he spotted her with beautiful dress and make up nicely not with kitchen uniform, I wonder if the prince will even ask her dance if Cinderella’s wear her apron.

The outer beauty will always attract but the inner beauty is what will give relationship long evity. In conclusion, we can say inner beauty has higher meaning on how we look at what is attractive. We should be more interested in the inner beauty first before seeking what is on the outside because beauty open locked doors, many people look for external beauty and they forget about feelings but in the end when the beauty is over, the same doors will be closed

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Beauty Pageants May Not Be Safe

In countries all around the world, beauty pageants are held as a long-standing tradition. Often, young women participate in these pageants. While pageants are said to present a sense of self-esteem and value for the participants, these competitions often cause damaging emotional issues for an already trying adolescent life. One young participant anonymously said, “I used to think I was pretty, but once I got on stage and didn’t hear my name called the world came to an end and from then on, I’ve called myself ugly everyday” (Anonymous, 2010).

When a girl feels as if she is being valued solely on her looks, she may change her personality and dietary habits to an unsafe level to continuously garner attention. The beauty pageant process is far from the safe harmonious competition it attempts to promote. As the rest of this essay suggest, damaging emotional scars often remain after the competitions are long gone, and pageants themselves harbor predatory dangers to young naive girls. The first kind of emotional damage young girls face is an overemphasis on physical appearance and a willingness to maintain beauty at any cost.

When a female participates in a beauty pageant, she is taught to win by looking attractive. These young girls are conditioned to believe that the only way to look pretty is to starve themselves so that they can achieve a ‘perfect figure’. Although there are many different types of eating disorders in the world, the biggest one of all for beauty pageants is anorexia. Anorexia is the third most common chronic illness among adolescents (Mirasol). Outside of eating disorders, anxiety and stress are common for participants.

In a 2009 interview on Good Morning America, Brooke Breedwell, a pageant queen at the age of five, now twenty, explained there was a price to pay, “Pageants have put a lot of stress and anxiety on my life I feel the need to be perfect at everything, and I know that’s not realistic. You can’t be perfect at everything. ” Brooke Breedwell also claimed her mother “pushed her too hard. ” When a mother enters her daughter in a pageant she expects her to win.

Most girls receive the ‘no other girl is your friend here’ speech, which cause them to be untruthful by offering fake smiles and false hugs around other participants. It also creates a distant form of interaction causing the females to be shallow, hyper-competitive adults who are never satisfied. The second kind of emotional damage young girls face is an uncharacteristically elevated ego for a teenage or even pre-teenage girl. When a female wins a pageant, she may conclude that she is better than everyone all of her peers.

While some might believe it to be healthy to compete in pageants because it creates confidence and it builds character, it’s not. Pageants teach young girls that self worth is in physical beauty only. Parents encourage their daughters to compete in these competitions and do whatever it takes to win. In some cases, mothers try to live vicariously through their daughter, by entering their daughter in such competitions. This confuses many girls because they don’t know if their mother is their coach or their parent.

With young girls participating in televised beauty it is hard to keep pedophiles away. Some pedophiles are driven out to live their fantasies and with young girls on air exploiting themselves it’s easy too. When girls participate they put on clothing that is meant to look ‘sexy’ and ‘inviting’. Girls prance along a stage in alluring clothing welcoming anyone to watch. Girls in pageants have yet to develop their own sense of self and are conditioned to be more pleasing to adults for attention and rewards. An entire television show is dedicated to young girl’s beauty pageants.

Each week, viewers are able to watch little girls dress up in bikinis, mini dresses, and other revealing clothing that their mothers choose for them to wear. In conclusion, beauty pageants cause self-hatred and uncertainty of a female’s own body, which could create shallow adults who are never satisfied. Carleton Kendrick, a family therapist says, “…the hard fact remains they are called beauty pageants and they have been and always will be based on using arbitrary standards of ‘beauty’ to make one contestant better than all the rest” (Kendrick).

Beauty pageants can cause eating disorders and unrealistic expectations of a female’s own body. Beauty pageants can also cause a female to self-hate if she doesn’t win, or enlarge an ego to an unhealthy level. Unfortunately, if a child participates in beauty pageants that may air on television, anyone can watch including pedophiles. Females should love their own bodies and not care how others judge them upon their appearance.

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Response to the Story “Beauty: When the Other Dancer Is the Self”

“Beauty: When the Other Dancer is the Self” written by Alice Walker, is a gentle and easy to understand story. It is not that the story is a boring and no highlight. When reading the book, it’s like I am hearing my friend’s story. Alice’s emotion changed totally different before and after the “accident”. Before the accident, she described herself as if she was the most beautiful and intelligent girl in the world. When Alice was only two and a half years old, when her father was chosen which kids to take with him to the fair, she knew that it would definitely be her, because she was the “prettiest”.

When she six years old, she learned by heart the longest Easter speech. In her beautiful dress, Alice rose to give a speech in a “great wave of love and pride and expectation”. People praised her to be the cutest things and she was proud about that. The way Alice described herself and how other people applauded and admired her show a very confident and sometime a bit of haughty in her. Two years later, Alice was an eight years old tomboy. Like almost other kids, she was trying to follow whatever her older brothers do. But because she is a girl, so instead of getting a gun, she could only play with her bow and arrow.

This is the turning point of the story, when the “accident” happed and completely changed Alice’s life. She was shot in the eye by the BB gun of her brothers. The doctor said that Alice would likely to be blind, not only one but both eyes. She was terrified but what she care the most is not about whether she could see or not. It is her beautiful that she cared about. She scared how people would look at “the glop of whitish scar” on her eyes. She was no longer the prettiest and the cutest girl. For six years, Alice did not raise her head and stare at anyone.

The scare took everything from her: her beauty, her pride and her person from inside. Alice asked her mother and sister whether she changed. What does she really mean by the word “change”? Her beauty or her personality? The answer was “no” but this was because Alice’s mother and sister did not want to hurt her or because they really thought that she had never changed? What they saw in her is her personality not her appearance. However, Alice at that time was only a little girl. I do not expect she will care or think deeper about things and people around her.

The eight years old girl only cared that people would never admire or applauded her again. To the little Alice, beauty was too important. She hated her eyes, she abused it every night and she “praised for beauty”. Six years later, Alice was lucky enough to find a good doctor and got her glop removed. This event, on more time, change her life or in another word, her attitude toward life. Alice moved from a closed person who only saw the world with black color into a positive and active person. She won the boyfriend of her dream, made plenty of friends and got extremely good result in study.

The appearance was no longer important to Alice. She talked about her beautiful classmate with a sarcastic voice “Ironically, the girl who was voted the most beautiful in our class (and was) was later shot twice through the chest by a male companion, using a “real” gun, while she was pregnant” Nineteen years later since the “accident”, Alice was no more a little girl; she had a little daughter named Rebecca. Still, deep inside her, the scare that her different eyes would make her little baby felt ashamed and she prepared herself for that.

But no, Rebecca did not scare of her mom. Instead, the baby saw a whole world in that eye. She saw her mother eye as the most wonderful thing on earth. This totally pulled Alice out of the past. She was no more afraid of her difference. She understand that the most cherish thing of a person is not the out-side appearance but it is the beautiful personal inside. Again, Alice saw herself as a beautiful, whole and free person. The story ended with a happy ending that Alice finally found herself and gained back her confident.

However, I question myself that what if, Alice was never found such a good doctor, and the scare would never be removed. Will she change? Will she realizes that the inner personality is the most important? Apparently from the story that Alice only changed when she got some part of her beauty back. Maybe because at that time she was just a small girl who did not understand much about life and what is the true value of it. If the scar still there, maybe she would change someday when she grew up and maybe she would never change.

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Different Ideas of Beauty

Exploring the different ideas of Beauty. Within a span of four months, we have explored the idea of beauty and the various definitions of it. We have learned that beauty can be interpreted in various way and found in anything. Like the saying goes “beauty is the eye of the beholder,” the notion of what is beautiful can be very subjective depending on the ones personal preferences at the same time we can have a collective evaluation and agree on something that every one considers to have some sense of artistic feel to it.

In Edmund Burke’s book the philosophical enquiry, he share his ideas on “what is beautiful,” when explaining the traits of the sublime. In his philosophical work on the sublime and the beautiful, he tries to explain the distinctive qualities of the two categories, thus giving a new idea of beauty to explore apart from the conventional kind. He explores the sense of beauty one finds in the vastness of things. Beauty in the fear of the unknown and greatness.

Burke’s philosophy shakes the conventional aesthetic attitudes of the people. For example, normally when we think of beauty, we associate it with things that provide us pleasure, however, burke forces us to get in touch with our other senses. He claims that the “Awe” moments created by things with great magnitudes and power, enforcing fear and excitement, the sense of an overwhelming feeling of astonishment can also be considered to be beautiful.

Additionally, studying the shock of the new, I personally have learned to appreciate and for a aesthetic attitude towards the visual art. Art is a means of communication for the artist to their audience. I learned that the notion of beauty can id different within this field as well, that not all art works are pleasing in to the eye.

Apart from the collaboration of the colors, brush strokes, and frames, it is also the messages and the context the painting was created in that draws the people to it, regardless of if the painting is something anything that has a grotesque attribute. This leads to the poems of Mary Oliver, we read. Here she talks about beauty in nature, even in death, which is very peculiar. From this course, and the reading materials, I have learned that finding beauty in things, associating the term with anything is a difficult task.

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Beauty Pageants

Child beauty pageants are known all around the world. They are advertised through magazines and reality shows. The young girls are marked up to be someone they are not. They resemble Barbie dolls with the fake lashes, fake boobs, fake nails, the pounds of makeup, spray tans, hoops, fake hair extensions, flashy and not age appropriate costumes. I am personally not a fan of the child beauty pageants for several reasons. I feel as though the children are being robbed of their childhood. The young girls should not be looked at in heels and a crop top.

It is completely and utterly inappropriate. Many of the girls are forced into these pageants. Child beauty pageants are a form of child abuse and should be stopped. The young girls involved in child beauty pageants have an image in their heads that beauty consists of fakeness. Girls at the age of two are strutting around stages with seductive costumes. “Teaching young girls a very narrow version of beauty, transforming their bodies so that their beauty can be measured and judged, or to use their sexualized bodies to earn money for the family is disgusting. Girls have a hard enough time with dealing with self esteem and living up to certain standards that they do not need to think that spray tanning your skin and wearing loads of makeup make you beautiful. “The toxic culture of the pageant world, the judging of beauty, is confusing to young children who have not reached emotional- intellectual milestones of understanding reality and competition. ” Natural beauty is a topic that should be stressed and taught to these girls.

These child beauty pageants are not just emotionally harmful but they are also dangerous to these young females. The procedures that some of these contestants go through to win is mind blowing. “When you add to this the chemically dangerous spray tans, butt glue, eyelash glue, hairspray, and cosmetics applied to these tiny, developing bodies, it is not a stretch to say these pageant programs are both emotionally and physically abusive. ” Entering a child into these beauty pageants is morally unjust.

What these young girls learn only harms themselves, their self confidence, and their future. They’re learning that physical beauty is the primary judge of their character which is very immoral and wrong . Child beauty pageants encourage sexuality at a young age. They also create harm for that child, especially if that child is being forced by their parents to compete. “As Jessica walks off the stage empty handed, she looks at her mom with teary eyes as if she has failed both herself and her mom.

Many children like Jessica are forced into beauty pageants each year. Children at such a young age do not have the experience to learn that they are still a worthy person even if they lose the contest. All Jessica sees are other children leaving the stage with a sparkling trophy and their parents running over to them and giving them a big hug, while she walks off the stage with nothing and she sees her parents turning away. ” This is one of the primary reasons I absolutely despise these child beauty pageants.

Instead of Jessica enjoying her childhood by interacting with other children, having play dates, learning life skills, playing sports, watching cartoons, or playing pretend “Barbie” with her friends, she is the “Barbie”. Competitions claim to boost self esteem and encourage self confidence, but they do the opposite if you are not the winner. The pressure of winning put on them by their parents causes more stress than normal children would have to handle. Think of it this way. These young girls go through hours upon hours of practice, often taught by a professional.

They then endure makeup sessions, buying clothes for their wardrobe, trying on high heels, physically staying in shape even if her body isn’t fully developed yet, going through a pageant coach to go over the routine, exposing her body to such inappropriate clothing, and even taking criticism from her own parents. Is this and more really worth a crown and a bit of cash? Does this crown teach your child life lessons, respect, and how to live her life? All these beauty pageants do is lead these young girls down the wrong road.

In fact, some of these children can barely talk and have just learned to walk. Participating in these events later in life is absolutely fine, but at such a young age, nothing good comes out of child beauty pageants. The only positive aspect of these competitions could be an increase in self-esteem in both the child and the parent, but that “winning” factor only lasts for so long. Each year, child beauty pageants attract an estimated three million children, mostly girls, ranging from six months to sixteen years old. The oal of these pageants is to compete against your age group whose winner receives a crown, cash, and some happy parents. Is the collection of these “prizes” worth sacrificing the childhood you are supposed to love? The majority of the time all the work put into this outrageous event comes crashing down and you are left with a sobbing two year old that now feels worthless. This is not what childhoods should consist of. Child beauty pageants are a disgrace and they are a great excuse for your child to become ignorant and cocky as they grow older.

I just wish they never existed so each individual child could fully experience his or her childhood the way it was meant to be. People should grow into these types of events based upon what they want to do with themselves, not allowing a young girl to be exposed to makeup, dresses, and self worth. Beauty lies within us not within our appearance, and that is the unfortunate message these young girls are being taught. Child beauty pageants will always exist in our world, it is just up to the parents of that child to direct them in the right direction towards a successful and happy life.

Works Cited Page 1. Cartwright, Martina M. “Food For Thought. ” Child Beauty Pageants: What Are We Teaching Our Girls? N. p. , 12 Aug. 2011. Web. 22 Nov. 2012. . 2. Sengupta, Saptakee. “Beauty Pageants for Children. ” Buzzle. com. Buzzle. com, 03 Sept. 2010. Web. 22 Nov. 2012. . 3. Russell, Maranda. “Children in Beauty Pageants – Is It a Bad Idea? ” Examiner. com. N. p. , 5 Jan. 2011. Web. 22 Nov. 2012. . 4. Schultz, Kristen, and Ann Pleshette Murphy. “Beauty Pageants Draw Children and Criticism. ” ABC News. ABC News Network, 24 Feb. 0000. Web. 22 Nov. 2012. .