Being a woman in 2016 is not glamourous. Many ladies feel that they need to be on top of the latest trends—hair, clothing, the next new thing—or they feel their self-worth decreases.
In a world of Photoshop and Botox, women cling to the idea that they need to be perfect and flawless, which is a near-impossible goal. The way women have been presented in media has reinforced the stereotype that ladies need to be flawlessly beautiful in order to be appreciated and worth something.
Let’s Dig into the Research
In research, many articles agree that the perfection women crave is an impossible goal. In one article, the authors speak on the idea that women are being treated as images and objects that can be consumed by other people. They write about how media’s portrayal of women cognitively engage and reinforce the idea that there is a perfect body image and that young women, in particular, will never be able to maintain perfection, but they should still try.
These beauty messages that are fed to women at ages as young as five years old lead to health issues such as anxiety, eating disorders, depression, and reduced sexual function.
In addition to disorders, cognitive abilities are affected by the idea of the perfect body. It is not just a mental issue; it is a societal issue. Nancy Clark, an author and a sports dietician, writes about the variety of cases she has seen with women and their mindset about beauty. Clark states that fat is not a feeling, but the majority of woman say they feel fat more than anything; and these ladies feel if they can change their outward appearance they can change how they feel on the inside. Clark’s best advice was to, “stop comparing yourself to peers because you are your own person and everyone is different.”
Fat is not a feeling, but the majority of women say they feel fat more than anything.
The way media represents woman has a large impact on the mental and cognitive abilities of nearly every woman in the United States.
Media’s portrayal suggests that women can never be beautiful unless she looks like… Fill in the blank. There is always a new sort of beautiful around the corner.
Ladies, keep in mind that beauty is not a feeling. Media messages will not teach you this.
It is time for a change of mind because every woman is perfectly imperfect in her own way and she doesn’t need makeup or Botox to be beautiful. Rather, women need to be taught that being beautiful is found by being YOU.
Madison, Kendra, and Samantha did a crowdcoursing survey about people’s and society’s perception of beauty. The below graphs are the results.