Distorted Perception of Beauty

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Society has always valued beauty. In literature, attractiveness often symbolizes an admirable protagonist, while ugliness indicates the abominable antagonist. As children we are taught, without even realizing it, to prize beauty. People of every race and culture have gone to extremes in the name of beauty – from foot-binding in China, to hazardously constricting corsets in Victorian times, to lip discs in South America and Africa. While these rituals have been around since ancient times, they have only recently become accepted – and even desired – by society. I consider myself open to the world around me and enjoy all forms of media, like the next person. But in this matter, media is the most influential factor that promotes a false interpretation of beauty. Air-brushed models with perfect facial features, glorious hair, luscious red lips and a lovely figure…don't exist. Sorry to break it to you, but they simply don't and we find ourselves caught in the middle, idolizing the lies involuntarily because they've become what you should look like. What you should be.

These programs created a generation that isn't fazed by Botox and mutilating people's bodies, because in the end, it all comes down to the process of beautifying average humans in belief that this is the sole key to a better life. Now, not only do they accept it but they embrace it as a solution to all their problems because mainstream publicity has encouraged a society that values appearance over ability.

Our reality television shows are modern fairy tales. They all use a common formula: take an average, unhappy individual, alter her appearance, and after a surgical transformation she is magically a success. What surprised me tremendously is how much people all over the globe, dream about the temporary confidence that comes from a new nose, vibrant hair or an hourglass figure. Little do they know, their insecurities are symptoms of underlying psychological issues, such as depression, that should be professionally cured, not denied and silenced.

We all seek approval, even if it's a subconscious desire; everyone wants to be deemed acceptable. These methods even seem like the best ways to get that craved acceptance, but they're not. Why would you want the acceptance of someone who doesn't see your inner true self?

Doesn't it hurt to see young girls starving themselves because that girl on the cover of that magazine is doing it and she looks gorgeous? Doesn't it kill you to know that over one-half of the teenage girls and nearly one-third of the teenage boys use unhealthy weight control behaviors such as skipping meals, fasting, smoking, vomiting, etc… just to be approved of. 95% of those who have eating disorders are between the ages of 12 and 25 and the mortality rate associated with anorexia is 12 times higher than the death rate associated with all causes of deaths for females aged 15-24.

This is what our society is coming down to; teenagers and young adults hurting, altering and starving themselves for approval. Is this what we want to be remembered by, a pressuring society and suffering of innocent people? It's not worth it, it genuinely isn’t. We need to change the direction the media is headed towards because it certainly will get us nowhere.

Happiness can be achieved, for everyone. People need to embrace their differences instead of being ashamed of them. Only when we are at peace with ourselves will we be truly radiant.





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