In Making Faces: The Cosmetics Industry and the Cultural Construction of Gender, Kathy Peiss argues that cosmetics transformed society’s criteria and standard of beauty which segmented the industry and heightened cultural constructions of gender, class, and race. Before cosmetics were commercialized, make-up was solely worn by prostitutes, thus it was considered offensive, degrading, and improper. As the market grew, it began to represent sexuality, femininity, and womanhood. The cosmetic industry popularized the idea that beauty could only be achieved by wearing specific products, thus persuading women to believe they needed to wear makeup at all times. It led to the assertion it was a woman 's duty to be beautiful to her husband, the world,
Some women are just too obsessed with their appearance. Do you want to live in a society where some women are unable to be truthful with their appearances? Do you want to live in a society where women have figures of sticks? Do you want to live in a society where the most essential piece of equipment a woman carries with her is either make up or a mirror? Nowadays some women are so obsessed with the idea of looking perfect that they go to extreme lengths to become what they consider is pretty.
First, Friedan stresses the severity of Freud’s ideas by stating, “It is a Freudian idea...that has trapped so many American women today,” and “the new mystique is much more difficult...to question...because the mystique is broadcast by the very agents...that are supposed to be the chief enemies of prejudice…” Freud had many ideas and theories concerning why women were not happy in their roles as housewives and mothers. One such concept was penis envy, which was seized in this country as the literal explanation of all that was wrong with American women. When women showed their desire to grow, their ambitions were brushed off as penis envy, and this strengthened the mystique. Friedan argues that this Freudian thought was embraced by academics and intellectuals across America, and women accepted it since it would be difficult to counter such established ideas. When penis envy, basically the view that women could never really be man’s equal, was so prevalent, how could women grow and achieve self
The repetitive details suggest that a girl must dress and behave a certain way to avoid being branded a slut. Although these stereotypes are horrific, they are the harrowing reality women face every day. Kincaid uses repetitive details to critique women’s role in society. These repetitive details, a subset of realistic details, illuminate social issues. Similarly, many other authors employ realistic details to expose societal critiques or unwritten messages within a narrative.
The act of saying that the artist must be beautiful becomes hauntingly human. By repeating this line, Abramovic challenges conventional beauty standards and calls upon modern female desires to be physically beautiful. Not only does the performance extract from physical appearance, the piece questions whether art must be beautiful. In performance art, the actions often challenge the performer and bring it to the extreme by putting emotional and physical stress on the artist’s body and mind. Art must be Beautiful, Artist Must be Beautiful puts continuous stress upon the artist’s body by reclaiming the figure as the artist’s own and exposing the harsh realities of social expectations.
She goes on to use Abercrombie & Fitch as an example of an outside force causing girls to be sexual because they put out a shirt that says “who needs brains when you have these” on the chest. She goes on to make the point that a group of teen girls joined together to boycott these shirts, but she does not acknowledge that this boycott was led by Girls as Grantmakers, a feminist group. She wanted to work around the facts to prove that girls do not want to sexual and are willing to prove this by boycotting an institution. Laura Sessions Stepp uses examples that support “the emotional/ physical movement” by saying sex causes women to suffer from diseases and mental illness. She believes hookups cause women to become distant and no longer want relationships.
Both “A Work of Artifice” and “Barbie Doll” were made in the 1960s, which during the Feminist Reformation. Marge Piercy wrote these poems to rally citizens to strive for an overall female equality. Like “A Work of Artifice”, “Barbie Doll” arises the idea of unnatural beauty and unreal expectations. Piercy fights against the idea that as a woman of the 1960s, females were expected to be beautiful in order to satisfy the history of the male attraction. Some men and women have been so pressured by society, that they go under the knife for acceptance.
The media portrays these unrealistic standards to men and women of how women should look, which suggests that their natural face is not good enough. Unrealistic standards for beauty created by the media is detrimental to girls’ self-esteem because it makes women feel constant external pressure to achieve the “ideal look”, which indicates that their natural appearance is inadequate. There has been an increasing number of women that are dissatisfied with themselves due to constant external pressure to look perfect. YWCA’s “Beauty at Any Cost” discusses this in their article saying that, “The pressure to achieve unrealistic physical beauty is an undercurrent in the lives of virtually all women in the United States, and its steady drumbeat is wreaking havoc on women in ways that far exceed the bounds of their physical selves” (YWCA). Being surrounded by society’s definitions of beauty has definitely taken a toll on American women’s confidence.
A world where ideals of beauty constantly shift . A world where the central power gets to decide what the standard for beauty is through the media. A world where women are judged for their outward appearances and compared to the overarching base for beauty—the Western ideal. That subsists as the reality of Earth in the year 2017. Although conformity can lead to unity, the Western media’s distortion of beauty destroys all of the unique standards of beauty that different cultures have, leading many people to do plastic surgery.
A disconnect between perception and reality is also apparent in the view of gender. In society, women are especially vulnerable to labels and they are shaped by the social, intellectual and domestic stereotypes placed on them. Stereotypes can be changed by addressing the differences between the stereotype and reality. There is a word that goes with the word macho, “marianismo.” It reflects a belief in an ideal woman such as the Virgin Mary. This model woman is gentle, passive, virtuous and self-sacrificing.