Beauty is a general term that often refers to a nice appearance and pleasing looks. It is not so easy to determine what has caused or causes beauty to feature so prominently in society today. There are individuals who argue that the media has reinforced certain stereotypes of beauty but there are yet others who put forth the idea that the media merely reflects the prevailing sentiments of beauty on the ground. It is also not easy to determine exactly how much physical beauty actually impacts our lives, careers, relationships, and happiness. Although multiple studies have tackled this controversial question, there are no clear cut answers. Most of the studies draw the same conclusion that even though we tend to say beauty is only skin deep, humans put much more importance on looks than we would like to admit. Possible Areas of Discussion in Body Paragraphs
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There is no doubt that beauty plays an important role in a society where one is judged based on one’s appearance and where looks matter a great deal. The important role that beauty plays in society can be seen from the numerous beauty pageants that we hold every year such as Miss World, Miss Universe and Miss Earth, just to name a few. Beauty is certainly an important feature of these beauty pageants where women are ranked based on their looks in different aspects of the competition ranging from the swim suit to the evening wear segments. In such contests, beauty definitely has real benefits for the contestants as it helps them to achieve their desire of winning such beauty contests.
However, these beauty pageants which uphold unattainable and idealistic standards of beauty may inadvertently lower women’s self-esteem because such beauty pageants ultimately objectify women as there is such a great emphasis on looks. Such an objectification of women does not bode well in the long run for them because it discounts the intrinsic value and worth that they have as individuals. Beauty is important because without an intimate knowledge of a person’s character, we tend to judge others on shallower factors such as looks. In fairy tales, Disney princesses are often portrayed as good-looking and virtuous. We are led to believe that attractive women with their hourglass figures and flowing locks are the symbols of innocence and goodness. Since childhood, we are inclined to impart positive characteristics to attractive people and negative characteristics to unattractive people. The important role that beauty plays in society is further reinforced in the workplace.
A study emphasised this beauty bias when it concluded that taller men and thinner women earn more than their shorter or heavier peers. Nonetheless, employers alone cannot be blamed for this beauty bias. Customers too, prefer attractive employees.
We are more likely to buy products from attractive salespeople, and are more likely to tip pretty waitresses. In China, there have been individuals who reported going for plastic surgery before a job interview to increase their chances of getting the job. The great significance that beauty has in society today is both reflected and perpetuated by the media. There are numerous slimming advertisements both on television and in the newspapers which stipulate a certain definition of beauty. However, it is difficult to determine whether these advertisements create such an image of beauty in the minds of people or whether it is the mirror that reflects what people consider to be beautiful. Nevertheless, there are companies that strive to widen the definition of beauty in society today.
Unilever launched the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty in order to celebrate the different types of beauty that exist in society today The fact that the media aims to widen the scope of beauty goes to show that beauty still plays an important role in society today. However, it should be noted that placing too much importance on beauty and an obsession with it is not healthy as it is usually a symptom of low self-esteem and insecurity. Individuals who obsess over their looks would be willing to undergo liposuction, risking even death, in order to get rid of their excess fats.
In addition, there are also teenagers who hanker after unrealistic standards of beauty and inevitably succumb to psychological disorders such as anorexia and bulimia. In spite of beauty’s transience, it is pretty amazing when we consider what individuals would do in the quest for beauty. We need to examine whether it is healthy for individuals to go to such extreme lengths in order to achieve their definition of beauty. There are often underlying issues that need to be addressed as to why an individual would be obsessed with one’s beauty and the root causes are often deep feelings of insecurity. Conclusion
While there is no doubt that beauty certainly plays a significant role in our lives and careers, we should be mindful not to place undue importance on beauty. Although the quote “beauty is only skin deep” might sound cliché to some, there is an undeniable truth in the quote as beauty is impermanent and is transient. What might be considered “beautiful” today might no longer be considered “beautiful” in tomorrow’s fashion industry. As such, we should not obsess over beauty in society because of its impermanence.
Trivial examples which focus solely on people’s physical appearance and heading into an extended discussion of plastic surgery, the use of cosmetics and a general criticism of how superficial society has become. Hijacking the question and launching into a discussion of how beauty is not important because other valued traits are important instead without linking it to beauty.
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