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Home > Evolution of Beauty > Media`s Influence on the Perception of Female Beauty
Media`s Influence on the Perception of Female Beauty
Various magazines, across their covers, spill along the picture of a female celebrity sporting the current feminine ideal. These headlines and articles are so interesting because magazines are using the eternal female plight for perfection to sell countless products. Not only are they discussing the wonders of cosmetic tools, enhancing clothing, etc, but also there were no less than one hundred and twenty-seven full page advertisements in the November 2005 edition of Glamour Magazine. For every five pages within the magazine, two and a half of them are advertisements, Almost all of the current female celebrities and models in the advertisements were extremely thin, and in some cases, starved figures and much of the available literature applauds their `beauty`. Including some of the models on the cover on various magazines still look like they`re 17.

Female CelebrityAnother form of media that influences beauty perception is children`s cartoon, especially of the `Disney` variety. Children are taught at a young age to equate goodness and virtue to beauty. They also identify antagonists by their stark contrast to the beauty of the female heroines. The antagonists are often physically and aesthetically unpleasing, in the Disney film "Cinderella" the heroine is beautiful, kind and humble, the evil step-mother was very angular looking and cruel and Cinderella`s stepsisters were even uglier. Even in films that are supposedly about inner beauty, like "The Hunchback of Notré Dame" and "The Beauty and the Beast", the female protagonist is still known for her stunning beauty and kindness. Female images in children`s movies are socializing children to think that beauty and goodness go hand in hand. Not only might this misinform children, it may also lead them to value beauty above other qualities, like intelligence.

Children watch the images they see on the television screen and watch how the characters react to one another and eventually come to understand that some characters are well liked, and others aren`t. In many animated stories, children will learn that they must be good-looking to be well liked.

"Beauty is not only in the eye of the beholder, but also in their background," say the sociologists and anthropologists. People see as beauty differs dramatically across cultures, just as the origin of the concept of beauty varies in the academic world. Anita Roddick, the founder of The Body Shop, the skin and body care shop, argues that the West`s idea of attractiveness is socially constructed since the media with visions of an ideal other continually bombards them. She also adds,"Our culture tells us, repeatedly, that beauty means slim, taut and young. Those who are ample, curved, or not young must therefore be found wanting."

Some of the anthropologists definitely believe that the standards of beauty are a product of evolution. They agree that beauty has a universal definition - youth. It is the youth that has shaped up their future on account of their beauty. A survey conducted by London Guildhall University of 11,000 people showed that (subjectively) good-looking people earn more. Less attractive people earned, on average, 13% less than more attractive people, while the penalty for overweight was around 5%.
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