Standards of Beauty in the Media

When it comes to the media, we are used to seeing certain standards of beauty. When we see an ad for food, clothes, or even cars we see slim women with flawless skin. The truth is the average woman isn’t a size 2. This standard of beauty is not realistic and puts a negative image in the minds of young girls and women.

For most girls, going through their teenage years can be very difficult. When they see a girl their age in a magazine with “the perfect body” they begin to believe everything they read or hear. For example, a girl who is insecure with her body might buy a certain beauty product or outfit if she sees a skinny woman in the ad. These young girls are at risk. Research shows that exposure to images of thin, young, air brushed females are linked to depression, loss of self esteem, and unhealthy eating habits in young women and girls.

Most of the images of female beauty used in the media are unattainable for all but a very small number of women. Many of the images of women seen in magazines and television ads have been retouched and are not representative of what the women in the picture actually look like. Photo retouching can make the females in advertisements seem slimmer, tanner and basically flawless. The truth is that most of those women don’t even look like their own photos in reality.
Although in America we have certain standards of beauty, there are many different ideals of beauty across the world:

  • Thailand the women of the Kayan tribe have a standard of beauty that doesn’t rely on someone’s height or weight. Known as “long necks,” women from this tribe put brass rings around their necks and add more as they age. The rings give their necks an elongated appearance. The most beautiful women are said to have the most rings.
  •  In Ethiopia, the women of the Karo tribe place scars on their stomachs to attract a husband. This scarring process starts at the young age of 5 and is finished when the woman is ready to be married and have children.

As you can see, there are standards of beauty that involve more than weight and height. The more aware we are aware of these different standards of beauty, the more we can see ourselves as individual beauties. Diversity is a beautiful thing and everyone has their own beauty that makes them unique.

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