Society and Women’s Image
One of the greatest groups that receive pressure from society is women. It constantly leads them towards an ideal that is not necessarily achievable. This often brings nefarious consequences and even suicide. Therefore, it is important to study the manner in which the culture does this in under to understand it better. Three ways society puts pressure on women to conform to a certain standard of beauty is by presenting them artificially perfected images, giving them unreal role models and giving them low self-esteem.
First, the main way society puts pressure on women to conform to a certain social standard is by giving them fake pictures of women. “From cartoon characters to movie stars, you have probably been exposed to messages about what is considered attractive as far back as you can remember” (Mehta). From Photoshop to Betty Boop, culture constantly bombards women with unattainable models. Most of the time, these images are not even real; technicians have altered them in order to make them more appealing to the public. However, women are expected to look like this, even if celebrities, whose occupation leads them to be like that, are not even that perfect.
That leads the discussion towards these role models, who have an advantage because of their money, yet end up not being healthy anyways. “Celebrities and models are in the business of looking good, and they get a lot of help. Many follow special diets, and others have personal trainers who work with them for several hours a day” (Mehta). Although they have many ways for people to help them, their bodies may still not be in great shape. Often, the diets their trainers give them can be so extreme that it leads their bodies not to function well. These people have even more pressure than regular people, as the whole world is watching them. By developing unhealthy habits, they not only damage their own bodies, but those of other girls as well. They set unreal images that little girls follow, leading them to unhealthy lives.
Finally, this is also a matter of happiness, as many women feel that they have inadequate bodies, leading them to see themselves in a negative manner. “Self-esteem plays a huge role in body image, so the better you feel about yourself, the more likely it is you'll like what you see in the mirror” (Mehta). Even though these women may not be overweight, their negative feelings towards themselves may lead them to see themselves in a distorted way. Many girls see a completely other girl when they look at the mirror, especially in terms of body weight and facial feature. Thus, reality is sometimes not a factor at all, as women may see themselves in an unreal way due to their self-esteem.
In conclusion, society puts pressure on women in many different ways so as they may conform to an unreal standard with unhealthy role models and leading them towards low self-esteem. It is really important to study these factors in order to change them. People, especially women, need to be aware that this tendency is occurring so that they may counterbalance it in their lives. Furthermore, it is significant because it may lead to horrible consequences, including suicide.
Mehta, Julie. "Pretty unreal: ever wish you could look as hot as celebrities do? Well, they don't look as good as you think." Current Health 2, a Weekly Reader publication Jan. 2005: 15+.