Hey guys! I just found this off of Twitter and thought it was appropriate. More hope for media and the portrayal of beauty, perhaps!!
Plastic surgery is no longer about fixing cleft palates or reconstructive surgery after breast cancer. No, plastic surgery now has everything to do with vanity. With the media constantly telling us what is beautiful, we become insecure with our own looks and want to look more like the classical beauties of our time. One study was done to see what influences celebrities have on the decisions patients make. The survey was sent to over 20,000 surgeons in 84 countries (“Celebrity Influences on Plastic Surgery”). The surgeons were asked to connect celebrities with the popular procedures and these are the results, all which came from “Celebrity Influences on Plastic Surgery.”
One of the biggest defenders of plastic surgery is that if it makes a person feel better about themself, then they should be able to do it. However, this survey clearly shows that people are not fixing the small imperfections they see in themselves. Instead, they are modeling a body part after someone who’s beautiful through the media’s eyes. The reason they are unhappy with their crooked nose or thin lips is because they are comparing themselves to celebrities.
For an extreme example of this obsession, we can turn to the recent headlines of a
man spending over $100,000 dollars on plastic surgery to look like his idol Justin Bieber! 33-year-old Toby Sheldon spent all that money along with 5 years of his life dedicated to trying to make his looks more like the singer (The Hollywood Reporter). He has had work done on his eyes and smile as well as Botox (The Hollywood Reporter). He has admitted to being afraid of aging, but apparently isn’t afraid of bankruptcy (The Hollywood Reporter).
In my next post I will talk about the more “traditional” ways of trying to look like the stars.
“Celebrity Influences on Plastic Surgery.” Search.proquest.com. PR Newswire, 28 Jan. 2008. Web. 29 Nov. 2013.
The Hollywood Reporter. “Justin Bieber Fan Spends $100K on Plastic Surgery to Look Like the Singer.” Billboard.com. N.p., 22 Oct. 2013. Web. 29 Nov. 2013.
As I mentioned in the previous post, not all celebrities are embracing their true beauty like Brad Pitt and Jessica Simpson. One such person would be Amanda Bynes. Amanda used to be such a good role model, however now I would hope that young girls and women alike would not listen to what she says. I don’t want to say that she is a bad person, however, her Twitter is not very positive…at all!
Some things that she goes on to say are, “If you look good words can’t hurt you (Bynes). I just weighed myself and I’m 114! Only 14 lbs closer to 100 (Bynes)! It doesn’t matter if you feel sexy if you don’t look sexy (Bynes). There’s a surgery for everything that’s wrong with you (Bynes)! If you’re not hot I don’t value your opinion (Bynes).”
When I first saw those quotes on her Twitter feed I was shocked! What happened to the sweet girl from the movie She’s the Man? I don’t even know her and I felt like I had been insulted. When she talks about trying to get down to 100 pounds, I momentarily questioned whether I should be trying to do the same thing. When she says she doesn’t care about opinions if they don’t come from a hot person, I felt like I had to defend myself. The biggest one to me was that you have to look sexy to feel sexy. I immediately was yelling at my laptop saying, “NO YOU DON’T!!” These small sentences hold a lot of power. Power she may not even realize she has. If she could generate those types of emotions from me, imagine what type of things she could make other women do.
On her feed she also goes on to talk about surgery. Her nose surgery, her “corrective” surgeries, so many plastic surgeries!!! I will talk more about plastic surgery in my next post.
Bynes, Amanda (amandabynes). “If you look good words can’t hurt you.” 10 Jul. 2013, 9:29 p.m. Tweet.
Bynes, Amanda (amandabynes). “I just weighed myself and I’m 114! Only 14 lbs closer to 100!” 3 Jul. 2013, 10:57 a.m. Tweet.
Bynes, Amanda (amandabynes). “It doesn’t matter if you feel sexy if you don’t look sexy.” 20 Jun 2013, 9:59 p.m. Tweet.
Bynes, Amanda (amandabynes). “…There’s a surgery for everything that’s wrong with you!” 19 Jun. 2013, 9:01 p.m. Tweet.
Bynes, Amanda (amandabynes). “If you’re not hot I don’t value your opinion…” 19 Jun. 2013, 12:24 p.m. Tweet.
In my last post I stated that I would make the connection between the models in media to younger girls. Well, the sad truth is that body dissatisfaction is becoming more and more common with young girls. Nearly half of females ages 6-8 have stated they want to be slimmer (Serdar). 40% of 14 year olds want to loose weight and 2/3 of adolescent females reported dieting at some point in their lives (Serdar). This dissatisfaction can be related to watching TV or reading magazines. According to Serdar, kids that watch more TV along with music videos are more likely to be unhappy with the way they looked.
I know that when I was eight years old, the way I looked was the last thing from my mind. I was more concerned with dressing and playing with my Barbie. However, is it possible that Barbie could in fact also be promoting an unrealistic body image? Take a look at this picture and judge for yourself what Barbie in real life would look like.
I don’t think anyone looks like that, or would want to for that matter, but the problem is that Barbie represents a miniature version of perfection. I am not suggesting that every parent should boycott Barbie, but I am trying to make a point that the “perfect body” is surrounding us at a young age in multiple forms, not just TV. For a better understanding of how impractical Barbie’s measurements are, here is a comparison of average measurements shrunk down and compared to the doll.
I think that Barbie is a great toy, along with her movies and music, etc., but maybe parents should talk to their kids about her and make sure they understand that she is just a toy. By reassuring your child at a young age what is real and what isn’t, they may be able to make that distinction better when they grow up. Obviously, they understand that she isn’t a real living person, but I am talking about the fact that she wouldn’t be realistic if she were real. In my next post I will talk about more things we may believe to be real, but actually are fake.
Serdar, Kasey L. “Female Body Image and the Mass Media: Perspectives on How Women Internalize the Ideal Beauty Standard.” Westminster College: A Private Comprehensive Liberal Arts College in Salt Lake City, UT, Offering Undergraduate and Graduate Degrees in Liberal Arts and Professional Programs, including Business, Nursing, Education and Communication. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Nov. 2013.
Before we dive into the research, I want to give a little insight into why I, personally, have a problem with media and the way it portrays beauty. I am a very influenced person. Not meaning that if you offer me drugs or alcohol, I’ll take it because I can’t think for myself, but I mean influenced by the world I see. If I watch a movie about outer space, I’ll want to be an astronaut. If I see a picture of the Alps, I will want to climb them. If I see a surfing movie, you can bet I’ll be practicing my balance for the next few weeks. I associate the things I see and automatically build a life and a story behind them and this is where the problem lies.
On TV or in magazines we see beautiful people all the time. We hear about their jet setting adventures and the extravagant lives they lead. The pictures we see and the articles we read are all we know of them personally. To me, I know I see those pictures and associate their hair or their great skin or perfect bodies with their success. It becomes a blurred line in my mind where it is almost like, “If I could dress like them and act like them, maybe I’d have their life too.”
Obviously there are a lot of reasons to why people feel bad about themselves when seeing the “perfect woman” on screen, but for me it is almost like a reminder that I will never acquire the life I want, due to the fact I will never look a certain way. I hope that one day this divide will be broken and every woman can say they are properly represented through the media’s eyes and remember that beauty does not equal success.
I am going to embark on a project to analyze media’s role today in the portrayal of beauty, aimed specifically at women. The goal of this project is not necessarily to point fingers at media, but to show the consequences they have created by only advertising a certain type of “beauty.” I hope to do this by using sources such as websites, videos, and case studies.
I consider myself very independent from what the world may think of me, however, I too have found myself questioning what I look like. Am I pretty enough, am I skinny enough, is my nose too round, is my hair too crazy? I quickly am able to get society’s voice out of my head and feel content again, but my concern is with the women that can’t. I would venture to say that almost every woman, whether consciously or subliminally, has been at least slightly affected by media, and that is why I care about this topic.