The Truth Behind Beauty

April 20, 2010
Beauty, here in America, is defined to the tanned skin, big haired, perfected body models on the covers of famous magazines like Vogue. But what was the price for these women, having gone so far, just 1 photo of them shown in a magazine. Many women face risks and consequences of plastic surgery, tanning beds, nose jobs, and much more just so they can be “beautiful”. In my perspective, this is just the tradition or belief of all or most Americans. It is a strong belief that has sent girls and women alike in the quest to become what Americans call beautiful. What I want to show is how beauty is achieved in other cultures, in different parts of the world, and their consequences. These places are Thailand, India, and France. Together, these cultures/traditions will show what other people what beauty truly is.
As we head to the tropical island of Thailand, let us forget about what we believe about beauty. You have to keep an open mind in order to understand the beauty beliefs in Thailand. In America, ‘beautiful’ girls have tanned skin. In Thailand, the tanner skin, its represents of the lower class that you belong in. In easier terms, tan skin is the outcome of that having working in the fields. So the whiter of skin that you are, the more high class, than the more beautiful they are. Many women who want to look more high class, such as singers, dancers or others trying to become beautiful, they go to small street markets where they buy products that claim to whiten their skin. Basically, these women are going to bleach their skin. But these women weren’t aware of the risks they were taking. It was proven by scientists that small market skin-whitening products actually damaged your skin, causing deformities, like severe skin- blotching, which has happened to Thaliana women out there who were trying to be more beautiful. What’s more tragic is that many women who have been affected by the side effects have been abandoned by many of their closest friends, family and even fiancés because of their deformities or “ugliness”. As you can see here, Thailand may have different beliefs than America does, but is it possible that both these countries alike have been poultrilized by the price of beauty?
The next culture we are going to visit Mumbai, India. The Bollywood capital. Here, the beautiful people that India believes are on the covers of the TV, or their famous Bollywood movies. In India, the people who take from small to lead roles in these important films are the ones they consider beautiful. They have beautiful dark hair (and don’t get me wrong here, but great hair is essential for every woman) and gorgeous smiles. Yes, gorgeous smiles. That’s what sells it there in India. Beautiful smiles. But it’s difficult to have a beautiful smile in India. Cleft Palate is an abnormal condition in which the two plates of the skull form the hard palate (roof of the mouth) are not completely connected. It also is a severe deformity that affects millions of children in India. Yes, there are surgeries that can correct Cleft Palate, but it’s very life-endangering and very expensive. Only a few children affected by Cleft Palate are given the opportunity to have their lives changed and have that beautiful smile they always dreamed of. No more hiding their face in the gruesome dark. In result from trying to become as beautiful as a unique Bollywood idol can take a toll on many lives of the women in India.
Finally, we are ending our journey searching for the truth behind outer beauty in the breath-taking city of love, Paris. Although you may think France has the same standards of beauty as we Americans so, but thoughts can deceive you. In similarity to our American culture, models are key sight for France’s defined “beauty”. However, there is one thing that separates American models form French models: Sizes! American models come in various sizes, from Extra-Extra Small to Extra- Extra Large. But, France is more stereotyping. In their eyes, every model must be at least a size 2 or smaller. That is the most common size for a model. You might think that’s not a big deal, but there’s another side to this story.
Many French models take this “being skinny models” theme to the grave, seriously. They are criticized by modeling agencies, being told to lose only a couple of kilos (pounds in the U.S.). But it’s much more than a few kilos. Pursuing models starve themselves to be skinner. Unfortunately, they face consequences such as eating disorders like anorexia is a big negative outcome of this action. But the worst result of starving models is death. People might say, “Well, they had someone care and help them while they were getting treated”. Well they’re wrong. Modeling agencies don’t give a hoot about anorexic models because they’re used to seeing all these skinny models and I think they are happy to see even skinner models. Being a skinny model was a bigger deal than just losing a couple of pounds.
In conclusion of our journey, think about all the results of actions these women made just to be defined as beautiful. Beauty takes an important role in everyone’s culture and beliefs, but it’s your on how you want to represent beauty in your own way. There may be temptations on ways on how you want to become beautiful. But remember. Beauty is fun, don’t take it seriously, or worse, to the grave.

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