North Texas Daily

Inner appearance matters most

Inner appearance matters most

April 05
23:10 2011

OPINION

A current issue of our society is the obsession with appearances. Our culture is constantly bombarded with ads for hair dye, magazines with tips on how to reveal “natural beauty” and weight loss ads that promise results in two weeks.

In a society so obsessed with looks, it’s almost impossible to go through life never having the desire to conform to the idea of what beautiful looks like.

Photoshopped models are seen everywhere from styling clothes to leaning seductively on the hoods of expensive cars. The primary intent of advertisers is to create the idea in people’s heads that if they have this product, they will be this beautiful or attract people this beautiful.

The problem with culture’s idea of beauty is that it’s unattainable, unrealistic and sometimes even dangerous.

Models seen in advertisements are commonly thin, sometimes at a weight that is extremely unhealthy. The targeted audience of most of this advertising is women, who tend to receive pressure to be beautiful. Because of this, many girls will do anything to conform to culture’s standards.

Most young girls learn these lessons of beauty from Barbie.

“Jill Barad, president of Mattel (which manufactures Barbie) estimated that 99 percent of girls aged 3 to 10 years old own at least one Barbie doll,” according to media-awareness.ca.

Little do young girls know,  Barbie’s miniscule figure is entirely unattainable in real life. Her back would not be able to support her upper body, and her body would not have enough room to contain her vital organs.

Little girls see Barbie as the definition of happy. She’s beautiful, thin and always has a perfect plastic smile across her face. Women of all ages are led to believe that having a perfect body is the key to happiness.

People think all of their problems will be solved if they were beautiful. Fad diets, eating disorders and cosmetic plastic surgery have become increasingly popular as this belief has developed.

One in every four college-aged women use unhealthy weight control methods, according to Anorexia Nervosa and Related Eating Disorders, Inc.

Although the media are common predators for insecure women, they are not completely responsible for these dangerous trends. Even as children, we are able to detect differences among our peers.

Those who are different or “weird” are treated harshly with hateful glances or name calling, and sometimes they are even ostracized. In this day and age, it’s nearly impossible to be different without receiving some sort of unfavorable response.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs says people need to feel accepted and loved. It is fear that motivates them to act on the impulse to change themselves.

People are so afraid to be different.

The sad thing is the people so heavily discriminated against are usually no different on the inside than the people bullying them. Ultimately we are not all that different — we all desire to be beautiful and accepted.

Leo Tolstoy once said, “It is amazing how complete is the delusion that beauty is goodness.” This describes our society because those seen as beautiful are often so broken and corrupted on the inside.

If the world put as much into improving what’s inside as they did on outside appearance, the world would be a much better and happier place.

Lauren Frock is a journalism freshman. She can be reached at l_frock@yahoo.com.

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