Manufactured ‘Beauty’

by Anthrogoddess

The sign there says so much in so few words; I think there should be one on every mirror in any place, where people have access to various forms of media.

The following pictures demonstrate why; they are before and after shots of models. The made up and air brushed images were apparently used in Ralph magazine once upon a time.

So if beauty is a social construction – what are we constructing? Why do we prefer women (and increasingly, men) to be fake? Are we so afraid of anything in its natural state? It would seem so, if one is to examine how we treat not just ourselves and each other, but our natural environment and animals. I guess it all comes back to a desire to control. And we have to ask ourselves if we want to be controlled by expectations of ‘beauty’.  Foucault’s theory of the Panopticon is useful here (I’m not going to attempt a brief summary, because it wouldn’t be brief), so if you want to know more, follow the link;

http://www.cartome.org/panopticon1.htm

More over, who can really be bothered taking so many hours to appear ‘beautiful’ (and constantly self-surveilling), for somebody else’s unrealistic standards.  I would never get to go tramping or mountain biking again if I spent my days trying to look like the manufactured femmes of magazines (hair and make up kits aren’t that useful in the mountains, and would probably take up too much precious space in the back pack).

I wonder how much joy people miss out on, simply because they spend so many hours and days trying to live up to unrealistic and ridiculous standards of ‘beauty’?

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