Good Example Of Argumentative Essay On Beauty Reflection
Society has always differentiated between beauty standards of men and women. People have interpreted the beauty as per standards that change time to time. Nevertheless, female beauty has been under serious scrutiny than that of males. The reason of such a trend is due to the historical male dominance which required satisfying aesthetic tastes of men. Female beauty standards often depend on race and skin color. Due to traditional standards and interpretations, beauty of black women is universally underestimated. Racial inequality is the cause of the unjust beauty standards that was established by the European society, and is still in practice. This paper proposes a discussion on beauty reflection and analyses beauty standards in respect of different beauty standards.
Dark skin colored women have long been devalued and considered to fall short of universal beauty standards. The main cause of this predicament lied in the fact that society establishes beauty patterns that are based on racial discriminations. Undoubtedly, the roots of beauty standards are rooted in racial discrepancies that come from the Europe and USA. America is known to be the only country where racial discrimination penetrated in every aspect of social life. Starting from slavery and ending with emancipation in the 19th century, the American society was segregated according to race. Unfortunately, the black were defined as subordinate, and thus beauty standards did not presuppose any physical characteristics of a black person.
It also must be noted that beauty standards are defined by the Eurocentric values. These values exclude the possibility of black women to be considered beautiful. It is evident that “race is socially constructed based on physical characteristics, most notably skin color and hair type, but also eye color and the size of noses and lips” (Robinson-Moore 70). Since black women are known to possess certain physical characteristics, they do not meet the universal beauty requirements. Black women have different noses, lips and hair. Society is trying to impose its standards since it started manipulating masses. Thus, it is difficult for a black woman to meet the standards of the European beauty simply because it emphasizes on skin color. This, again, is caused by the racial inequality that is still present in the American and other societies. Since, black people have been persecuted and discriminated for ages; it became difficult for the society to accept them as equal.
One more proof that society is one of the main factors indentifying beauty standards is the influence of mass media on the overall perception of beauty. The mass popular culture has a tendency of imposing particular beauty patterns that are proclaimed to be perfect: long hair, long legs, buxom chest and white skin. Though there are black stars like Beyonce or Jennifer Lopez who have won the hearts of the millions of world citizens, still the white beauty remains to be universally accepted. Jenifer Lopez has proved her talent in a number of Hollywood movies and made thousands of people amative but still she does not get the place that she deserves.
The Hollywood early image of the black beauty may be found in the movie entitled “Imitation of Life” by Douglas Sirk where Sara Jane, “a tragic Mulatta”, struggles with her African identity and want to pass for white (Robinson-Moore 73). Thus, in order to influence the national consciousness, media representations of popular women have become whitewashed. Women with lighter-colored, straighter hair became to be appreciated more than those of the black color.
It means that still society is trying to say that even if a woman is black she still needs to stick up to the white beauty standards and look “whiter”. Black women have to accept these standards in order to be considered beautiful. Again, social inequality adds weight to the problem since people who define beauty are mostly white. One the one hand, this seems to be natural: people of white color have always been dominating, and they have gained more control over the world society. On the other hand, it is unjust that those who do not have enough influence in the society have to suffer.
One of the brightest examples of social inequality influencing the beauty standards may be traced from the “The Blacker the Berry” novel written by Wallace Thurman. The story is about Emma, a lady with extremely dark skin who lives in the African American community where lighter skin is more appreciated. According to Robinson-Moore, Emma’s “dark skin was so offensive that it virtually hid her beauty” (72). The preference of whiter skin, again, stemmed from Eurocentric values highlighting the white beauty. In general, Eurocentric paradigm of beauty seems to ignore the fact that people all over the earth have different skin colors and that each race has the right to exist.
A commercial from soapmaker Dove was in dispute as it portrayed three women in its commercial. The black woman was portrayed as Before effect while the white woman is portrayed as After effect of the using the soap. The advertisemsnt shows the mindset of society. People still believe that white eomen are more beautufull and people should do everything in order to be white. Soap makers and cosmeticians keep encashing such mentality of people and keep maiing money in name of making them white (Daily Mail).
A commercial from electronic house Sony also appeared encouraging the racial discrimination. In this advertisement awhite woman appears holding in very dominating positin and she holds the face of a black woman. The black woman is portrayed as helpless. The slogan of the advertisemst says “PlayStation Portable White is coming”. The commercial is very offending and highlights that black people have no importance. The advertisement suggests that white people are powerful and they only deserve to stay in the society (Block).
The Eurocentric beauty standards influence the American society. America is known to be the savior of democracy but American society still believes in dual standards of beauty. Beauty, as well as race, is constructed by the society. Color only shows a person’s natural characteristics, but it does not define whether a woman is beautiful or not. Whiteness appears to be beauty itself and it also implies a high status. Eurocentric beauty standards show that white color is something that each woman should strive for if she wants to be considered beautiful.
It is true that “Eurocentric beauty paradigms communicate that lighter skin tones and longer, straighter hair is the standard for female beauty, perpetuating a valuation of both skin color and hair texture among U.S. blacks” (Robinson-Moore 76). That is why cultural dominance in the United States makes black women suffer since they do not fit in the standards of beauty of the dominating white culture. It is not a secret that attractive people achieve better results because they are welcomed by the society and are highly appreciated in the community. Thus white women are considered to be beautiful by default, and even if they lack something, they are given preference than black females.
After observing beauty standards and related aspects, it can be concluded that beauty standards stated by the Eurocentric society is a negative idea. Such standards harass black females and they face refusal and social bias because society cannot forget the social stigma of the 1800 when blacks were considered to be unattractive. The trend should be changed and there is a need of changing the mindset of the society that devises the people on the basis of color and not the talent. All in all, racial inequality seems to be the main voice of the American society, and Eurocentric beauty standards happen to make this voice even more visible. A common question that emerges is that why people segregate the society by setting unreasonable beauty standards.
Block, Ryan. "Sony Under Fire for "Racist" Advertising." 06 July 2006. Engadget. 13 April 2015 <http://www.engadget.com/2006/07/06/sony-under-fire-for-racist-advertising/>.
"In hot water again, Dove? Soap giant accused of racism over body wash advert." 25 May 2011. Daily Mail. 13 April 2015 <http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1390312/Soap-giant-Dove-accused-racism-body-wash-advert.html>.
Robinson-Moore, Cynthia L. “Beauty Standards Reflect Eurocentric Paradigms—So What? Skin Color, Identity, And Black Female Beauty”. Journal of Race & Policy 4.1 (2008): n. pag. Print.
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