Beauty–Is there an Ideal?

When someone is called “beautiful” what does that really mean? Is there an ideal look for everyone? Society puts pressure on everyone to achieve this beauty. We watched a documentary on the creation of advertisements in class. There is actually a huge process in editing photos, whether it be the skin tone or cheek bones, or even putting features of multiple people into one “ideal” person to star in the ad.

The most shocking thing to see was the before editing and after editing photos of known celebrities and that they really are no different than the normal person. Their original pictures were fixed, the skin, eyes, waistline, you name it! “Photos of models and movie stars are often so doctored that they end up looking drastically different from the subjects they are supposed to reflect and as a result, women believe that the “perfect” body and face really do exist.” In February 2003, Kate Winslet’s cover showed a very slimmed down body and the editor admitted that the photo had been “digitally altered.” But why all of the lies and all of this effort? Who is the judge of beauty? Why does there have to be one “ideal?”

Hesse- Bieber, Sharlene. The Cult of Thinness. 2007. http://genderandsociety2013.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/hesse-biber-selling-the-body-beautiful.pdf.

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