Societal Standards of Feminine Beauty Essay

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While women have made historical strides in the past decades, the culture at large is bound to the narcissistic constraints about how women should look. These unattainable beauty standards, largely proliferated through the media, have drastic impacts on women and their body image. Societal standards of feminine beauty are presented in all forms of popular and alternative media, bombarding women with images that portray the ideal body. Such standards of beauty are almost completely far-fetched for most women. A majority of the celebrities and models seen on television and in advertisements are well below what is considered normal for American women. “The average American woman is 5’4” tall and weighs 140 pounds, while the average American …show more content…

“More than half of teenage girls are, or think they should be, on diets. They want to lose some or all of the 40 pounds that females naturally gain between ages 8 and 14. About 3% of these teens go too far, becoming anorexic or bulimic” (Being Truly Beautiful). Mainstream magazines and advertisements are another potent source of idealized images of women. “Findings of one study indicate that 83% of teenage girls reported reading fashion magazines for about 4.3 hours each week” (Thompson & Heinberg, 1999). Female’s motivation behind reading these magazines and advertisements are to obtain information about beauty, fitness, grooming and style. Magazine and advertisements are marketed to help women better themselves by providing information and products that are supposed to make them look and feel better. “Women read these magazines with the hope that is they follow the advice given, they will be more acceptable and attractive” (Serder, Female Body Image and the Mass Media: Perspectives on How Women Internalize the Ideal Beauty standard). Marketing strategies lure women into purchasing these forms of media, and most have the potential to be a powerful influence on women’s sense of self-satisfaction with their appearance. The social comparison theory offers some level of explanation for how media images actually come to impact the way women feel about their bodies. “Social comparison theory examines how individuals evaluate themselves in relation to peers,

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