The Risk of Corrupting Our Perceptivity

The Risk of Corrupting Our Perceptivity


The industry bombards women: “The reshaped bodies, the smoothed out wrinkles, all there is to alter is your mind, to alter your perception of what physical beauty is” (Not Just a Pretty Face, Malkan). Society feeds women with idealities of false perfection and forces concepts of unattainable attraction on the population as a whole. In the midst of the media’s selfish desires, standardization becomes the enemy of diversity and the media becomes the enemy of pulchritude.

Exposing the population to insular perspectives of beauty can have particularly destructive effects on adolescent females. According to the Park Nicollet Melrose Center, about 53% of 13-year-old girls are unhappy with their bodies and that number surges to 78% by the age of 17. The National Eating Disorders Association confirmed that 70% of girls as young as 6-years-old want to be thinner. According to An Introduction to Applied Cognitive Psychology, availability heuristic is a mental shortcut that relies on proximate examples that come to a person’s mind when appraising a specific topic. It operates on the fact that if something can be recollected then it must be important—or the only option. The average child matures over 18 to 20 years, and while they are developing, the concept of availability heuristic is a key element in the way they perceive information. Younger generations are growing up in societies that crave power over every aspect of human life—even something as personal as one’s perception of pulchritude. Because young girls are being exposed to a society that dehumanizes women, self-objectification is becoming a wide spread epidemic.

Somewhere along the lines, someone needs to argue the importance of autonomous philosophies. Somewhere between beauty pageants and university lecture halls, people should be expected to think for themselves and embark on paths to self-realization no matter the obstacle. The population is used to comparing themselves to airbrushed images in magazines that confirm their worst fears. People would rather contend to the idea that “Beauty ensnares hearts, captures minds, and stirs up emotional wildfires”, but when Aristotle said that, he did not realize that descriptions of flawless beauty have since catered to a limitless desire of the ideal human form. Anyone can argue that ‘Beauty is in the eye of the beholder’, but defined this way, beauty is meaningless and shallow at best. In The Beauty Myth, Naomi Wolf disregarded centuries of objectification when she claimed that beauty is dispassionate and universal entity does not exist. Intellectuals argue that beauty is inconsequential and because it cannot be learned from, it should be disregarded. So of course now people are expected to breathe a sigh of relief, because after all, the concept of beauty is a tasteless joke. They can’t though, because there is still something dissonantly incorrect with the picture; outside the realm of ideas, beauty still predominates. Appearance is still the most public part of the self: it exists as a sacrament, what the world assumes to be the mirror of one’s inner self. The consequences of beauty cannot simply be erased by denial, because beauty, no matter the latter, will continue to operate in the lawless world of human attraction. Academics can ban the idea of physical beauty from intelligent dissertation, and similarly, others can claim that it is slight and superficial, but either way, the beauty myth will continue to force us to accept reality. With the ongoing pursuit of an unflawed civilization, the media is forcing many females, adult and adolescent, into believing that beauty is simply what they say it is.

Nowadays, women are being targeted by calumnious societies who storm them with contravening theories of allure for them to ingest and pour into the generations that have not yet had a chance to define attraction for themselves. Nevertheless, the media continues to endorse their besmirched principles, leaving the society to buy into their grossly imperfect depiction. Forty years ago, when feminists threw their bras into the “Freedom Trash Can” outside the 1968 Miss America pageant, it was to protest the idea that women had become ‘enslaved by ludicrous beauty standards,’ and they were right; the quest for beauty may be a century old obsession, but in the present day, it’s not women who are ugly, it’s reality. Sociocultural standards of beauty have more of an influence than ever, and not just in how people see themselves, but if they see themselves at all.

femme rewritten banner 14 no flowers


 

Baker, Kevin, Corriene Reed, David Heathcote, Moira Maguire, and Richard Kemp. An Introduction of Applied Cognitive Psychology. Psychology, 2005. Print.
Gallivan, Heather R. “Teens, Social Media And Body Image.” Macmh.org. Park Nicollet Melrose Center. Web. 20 Nov. 2015.
Malkan, Stacy. Not Just a Pretty Face. 1st ed. New Society, 2007. 192. Print.
Sedar, Kasey L. “Female Body Image and the Mass Media: Perspectives on How Women Internalize the Ideal Beauty Standard.” WestminsterCollege.edu. n.p. n.d. Web. 5 Feb. 2015.
Wolf, Naomi. The Beauty Myth: How Images of Beauty Are Used Against Women. Harper Perennial; Reprint Edition, 2002. 368. Print.
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10 thoughts on “The Risk of Corrupting Our Perceptivity

  1. This by the nail on the head ! I feel like society has women in competition with one another and it is just disgusting to me . I can’t express the anger I feel when I hear a young African American girl want to be “lighter” because she thinks that would be more appealing to society or the fact that most women ! Now and days are afraid to show their natural hair! And embrace it . We need more powerful voices to speak what beauty really means and it had nothing to do with the physical.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Strong piece. It’s even more difficult for women living in America. Our society is worse. I come across so many girls with low self esteem. It hurts me just listening to the way they talk about themselves. Hopefully self love will become a focus for more young girls in today’s society. Then pig guys worship celebs that get plastic surgery, instead of worshipping the women they’re around.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Amazing! I’ve been trying to tell people this forever… All this ridiculous plastic surgery, and hateful comments towards a simply natural body, has such a negative effect, sadly some people don’t care, Keep writing, keep educating! I appreciate people like you, thank you

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This was honestly one of my favorite reads in a while. So insightful to all people and something that should be read by everyone. You are lucky to be as informed as you are and to have such a voice. Never give up on this gift and the gift of knowledge!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Really good piece. It’s an age old discussion but it’s nice to see women speaking out about it. Beauty standards are fluid and constantly change depending on the society and time. I personally feel that to understand beauty of the self is to be confident on one’s own beauty. If you can understand the beauty in inanimate objects and art of an abstract background, then to fully comprehend the wonderful structure of the human body (and especially of a woman’s body) is to understand one’s own beauty and to love it. Cause if you love yourself and how you look, that confidence in YOU is something that NOBODY ELSE can take away. I just hope more people get that message. I have 2 sisters and I want them to feel beautiful as they grow up, not like they’re trying to compete with some unrealistic beauty standard set by people they think they should look like just because they control the media and image distorting propaganda. Thank you for sharing this piece with me and I hope your message gets across to more people ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I really enjoyed reading about this topic! It truly is devestating that women are taught at such a young age that to be beautiful they must fit into a cookie cutter standard. It shed light on how women aren’t the only ones obsessing over their appearance. Moreover, this obsession is learned and taught, and is being passed on from generation to generation. Once all women come
    together to acknowledge the problem head on and say fuck society, we can work together to make anull these unrealistic beauty standards in our culture. Good job!! Keep up the good work 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Peace Queen,

    I thoroughly enjoyed this post. With today’s world being heavily influenced by social media, or media in general, our perception (or misperceptions) of beauty is a much needed & relevant topic of discussion. “According to the Park Nicollet Melrose Center, about 53% of 13-year-old girls are unhappy with their bodies and that number surges to 78% by the age of 17.” I found this to be quite interesting & not too suprising because at that age most girls are transitioning into puberty & junior high school. Back when I was 12 years old in middle school & began puberty, I do not remember struggling with body image or misperceptions of my beauty until I began to be teased about being “slim.” This is my natural body frame & I never felt inadequate until I noticed that other girls, specifically black, had fuller breast, wider hips, etc. From then on, I started to wish I was “thicker” instead of being slim just because of who I was comparing myself to & how I was made to feel that I was unattractive because I was slim. Now that I am an adult, and my body frame has not changed much, I’ve accepted & began to love who I am & what I look like thanks to the support of my significant other, and my recently connecting with women & girls who uplift & support each other. In conclusion, this was a great read & thank you for shedding light on such an important topic 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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