Every day young girls and women are bombarded with unrealistic Presso Graphy media representations of women. Advertisements, Miss America contests, television shows, and movies are all responsible for the low self-esteem that many women face today. In media, ‘beautiful’ women are depicted as being thin, perfect skinned, and big-breasted. The reality is, many women are not thin, do not have perfect skin, and are not big-breasted. Since they do not fit these ‘ideal’ images of beauty, many women believe they are not beautiful and do not appeal to men. This article will dispose of these media beliefs about beauty by discussing what beauty really is, how ideas of beauty differ around the world, and what men really think about beauty.
As many people know, there are two types of beauty; outer beauty and inner beauty. Outer beauty, or physical attractiveness, is the type of beauty-focused on most by the media. Unfortunately, media takes most physical attributes to the extreme. ‘Beautiful’ women in the media have perfect skin, perfect bodies, and the perfect weight, leaving women in the real world feeling insecure and undesirable. Unfortunately, media cannot be ignored. It is everywhere. It is on television, on the radio, in the movies, in ads, and even in children’s toys. This is why we must begin to emphasize the importance of inner beauty to young girls and women. Inner beauty, often ignored in media representations, includes psychological factors such as personality, intelligence, politeness, and personal charisma. Rather than focusing on unobtainable physical characteristics, young women should be focusing on attainable inner beauty.
Easier said than done, right? In today’s society, the pressure of a woman to be beautiful is stronger than ever. Unfortunately, most women are not focusing on inner beauty as they should be. So, for those women, here are two suggestions. The first is to ignore media representations. There are very few women in the world who actually fit the profile of a woman in the media. Even the women who have made it to television are often edited and airbrushed to look the way they do. The second point to establish is that ideas of beauty are forever changing. Beauty changes from time to time and from place to place. What is beautiful to one person is not beautiful to another. For example, in Western cultures, extra-long necks may not be considered a beautiful trait. However, the Kayan tribe of Thailand believes that elongated necks represent ideal beauty. They are so infatuated with the idea of long necks that the women actually wear brass rings around their necks to help give them an elongated appearance. This shows how different cultures have different ideas of beauty. The same is true for different people within the same cultures. What is beautiful to one American man may not be beautiful to another.
Similarly, most men in Western cultures have a different idea of beauty than women. When you ask a woman what would make her more beautiful, she will often describe physical characteristics such as better skin, better hair, or bigger breasts. Men, on the other hand, often won’t mention physical characteristics when asked what beauty is. Research has shown that men believe happiness and healthiness make a woman beautiful, not physical characteristics.
Regardless of time and place, standards of beauty are always there. Unfortunately, media representations are giving young women unattainable beauty ideals, damaging the self-esteem of young girls and women. Instead of trying to live up to these unrealistic ideals, understand that beauty is not static. Everyone has a different idea of beauty. Suppose one person doesn’t find you beautiful; another will. Also, focus on your inner beauty. If you allow your inner beauty to shine, you will be happier and healthier, allowing you to achieve your ultimate goal of attracting the perfect man!”Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate.”
- Sonnet XVIII, William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
- What is really being beautiful?
- Watch these women:
- She had a pure and lovely character.
- She understood men.
- She had inner happiness.
- She was a capable housekeeper.
- She was too independent.
- She lacked the girlish childlike, trusting qualities.
- She lacked the tender fascinating little way that stirs a man’s heart.
- She had an enchanting manner.
- She was childlike, girlish, trusting.
- She had tender little ways.
- She was radiantly happy.
- She was bright-eyed.
- She was dependent.
- She was a poor homemaker.
- She lacked character.
- She did not understand men.
The qualities above were rated by some men on their wives and friends. Beauty is a real mystery. Many artists can say something about this, and men can make their list about women. Yet, people have their own ways of seeing things. They have their own preferences. Many say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Some, though, rate beauty if they join contests like the beauty pageant, most beautiful body, fashion shows, poetry contests, cleanest places, most sumptuous dish, and more. Yet, ratings can be subjective, and judges give some standards on that spot.
Charm (and physical beauty) comes and is only appreciated in a matter of seconds and minutes, according to studies. Soon everyone gets old and leaves the youthful qualities. Will you still crave this kind of beauty? Everybody needs to be beautiful. Beauty is personal hygiene, too. Therefore, to be clean is to be beautiful. It gives you an air of confidence.
Now, how about being beautiful inside? I mean your heart. Is it beautiful?
What is the beauty that comes from within? Some attest it never fades. Many say it lasts for years and even after death. The frailties and unsymmetric physical self will wilt, but true inner beauty will grow and give light.
How do you find beauty in everything?
There is beauty in everything and everyone. No creation of God is ugly. It’s like seeing a problem. Look at it on the positive side. Look at what is beautiful and uncommon in others. Each of us is unique and special.
When someone says, “Your eyes are beautiful, your dress is beautiful, your office is beautiful,” give thanks. We are all part of one body. At work – try to stare at people at work. “People look so beautiful when they work, share their talents, and serve others.” How do you find beauty in everything? Remember the lines from a poem that says, “God made all things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small.” You are beautiful; I thank God for you.