The Influence of Media on Perception of Beauty

2091 WordsFeb 15, 20139 Pages
The influence of the media on our perception of female beauty Defining beauty is not without its challenges: look up the definition of beauty in any english dictionary and one will be met with an ambiguous description similar to this: ''A combination of qualities that pleases the intellect or moral sense'' (Newman 2010) acknowledges the dilemma in asking what beauty is. She maintains ''we grope around the edges of the question as if trying to get a toe-hold on a cloud''. We know it when we see it, or so we think. Philosophers construct beauty as a moral equation (Newman 2010). Plato once said that what is beautiful is good. Poets reach for the lofty, according to (Newman 2010). Jean Pullman wrote ''true beauty is how she acts,…show more content…
According to (Kite 2011) images of white women dominate the media, which creates a negative impact on women who are not of a white ethnicity. Celebrities such as Beyonce Knowles and Aiswarya Rai who are successful actresses in their own right, have experienced what is known as the whitewashing of the media (Beauty Redefined 2011). In advertisements and magazine features these women have been subjected to this harmful media representation where their dark skin has been noticeably whitened before publication. See Figure 1 and 2 where you will see two photographs of both women, one of before each were whitewashed and one afterwards.The media digitally lighten both the skin and hair colour. The transformation of both women is very disturbing. The actresses are considered beautiful women but when they are respresented as beauty icons in the media, they fit the white ideal – light skin, light-colored hair and lightened eyes (Beauty Redefined 2011). In Killing Us Softly, a documentary made by Jean Killbourne in 2010, Jean confirms this. In it she says that women of colour are considered beautiful only if they fullfill the white ideal that is light skin, hair, eyes and caucasian features (Kilbourne 2010). In Asia beauty is often equated with white skin. In fact it has spawned a lucrative and dangerous industry of skin-bleaching products (Hwang Lynch 2011). According to (Hwang Lynch 2011) the
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