This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Women, Beauty And Self Esteem Essay

5170 words - 21 pages

Ambrose Bierce (1958) once wrote, “To men a man is but a mind. Who cares what face he carries or what he wears? But woman’s body is the woman.” Despite the societal changes achieved since Bierce’s time, his statement remains true. Since the height of the feminist movement in the early 1970s, women have spent more money than ever before on products and treatments designed to make them beautiful. Cosmetic sales have increased annually to reach $18 billion in 1987 (“Ignoring the economy. . . ,” 1989), sales of women’s clothing averaged $103 billion per month in 1990 (personal communication, U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, 1992), dieting has become a $30-billion-per-year industry (Stoffel, 1989), and women spent $1.2 billion on cosmetic surgery in 1990 (personal communication, American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons, 1992). The importance of beauty has apparently increased even as women are reaching for personal freedoms and economic rights undreamed of by our grandmothers. The emphasis on beauty may be a way to hold onto a feminine image while shedding feminine roles.

Attractiveness is prerequisite for femininity but not for masculinity (Freedman, 1986). The word beauty always refers to the female body. Attractive male bodies are described as “handsome,” a word derived from “hand” that refers as much to action as appearance (Freedman, 1986). Qualities of achieve­ment and strength accompany the term handsome, such attributes are rarely employed in the description of attractive women and certainly do not accom­pany the term beauty, which refers only to a decorative quality. Men are instru­mental, women are ornamental.

Beauty is a most elusive commodity. Ideas of what is beautiful vary across cultures and change over time (Fallon, 1990). Beauty cannot be quantified or objectively measured, it is the result of the judgments of others. The concept is difficult to define, as it is equated with different, sometimes contradictory, ideas. When people are asked to define beauty, they tend to mention abstract, personal qualities rather than external, quantifiable ones (Freedman, 1986, Hatfield & Sprecher, 1986).The beholder’s perceptions and cognitions influence the degree of attractiveness at least as much as do the qualities of the beheld.

Because beauty is an ideal, an absolute, such as truth and goodness, the pursuit of it does not require justification (Herman & Polivy, 1983). An ideal, by definition, can be met by only a minority of those who strive for it. If too many women are able to meet the beauty standards of a particular time and place, then those standards must change in order to maintain their extraordinary nature. The value of beauty standards depends on their being special and unusual and is one of the reasons why the ideal changes over time. When images of beauty change, female bodies are expected to change, too. Different aspects of the female body and varying images of each body part are modified to meet the...

Find Another Essay On Women, Beauty and Self-Esteem

Dating and Self Esteem Essay

778 words - 3 pages Single adults partake of many activities to seek dates and find mates. Many useadvertisements in local newspapers to attract possible candidates for a relationship.Others go to single's clubs and bars to find their potential soul mate. The type ofactivities people choose are dependent on the person's self-esteem and self-confidence.The information for this research was obtained from the article "Self Esteem of PersonsSeeking Dates Via Bars

'confidence' and 'self-esteem' Essay

991 words - 4 pages quite the opposite. This type of situation highlights the differences between the words "self-esteem" and "confidence": self-esteem is manufactured and disregards the outcomes, while confidence is earned and is primarily concerned with previous results.The Oxford English Dictionary defines the word "self-esteem" as "favourable appreciation or opinion of oneself" (Volume 9). As the definition states, self-esteem is simply how one thinks of

Self-Esteem and Grading

824 words - 4 pages Death of a Salesman, and research performed by the American Psychological Society (subsequently renamed the Association for Psychological Science) show how grades and self-esteem share a direct correlation. In Death of a Salesman Biff and Bernard both demonstrate how grades and self-esteem correlate. In Death of a Salesman, Willie Lowman’s son Biff fails math in high school, because of this failure. Biff loses his self-esteem and therefore is

Grades and Self-Esteem

1954 words - 8 pages Death of a Salesman, and research performed by the American Psychological Society (subsequently renamed the Association for Psychological Science) show how grades and self-esteem share a direct correlation. In Death of a Salesman Biff and Bernard both demonstrate how grades and self-esteem correlate. In Death of a Salesman, Willie Lowman’s son Biff fails math in high school, because of this failure. Biff loses his self-esteem and therefore is

Obesity and Self-Esteem

925 words - 4 pages very negative self-image. This can lead to an array of problems that affect the person in a way that is much more direct and difficult to deal with than physical problems. While the problem is known to affect men, it strikes women much more often. The models and celebrities in the media that set the standard for what women should look like are thinner than 90-95 percent of the American female population (Seid p.6). This is an unrealistic

Self-esteem and Academic Achievement

2617 words - 11 pages The purpose of this present study was to examine several empirical studies in the relation to a set of self-esteem variables (ethnic identity, acculturation, and language) and academic achievement of adolescents and emerging adulthood from mainstream United States and three diverse ethnic groups (South Koreans, African Americans and Latinos). The findings and implications of the study including recommendations for future research in this area

Self-Esteem and Social Media

1601 words - 7 pages Self-esteem and Social Media Social media has taken over the world of communication and has changed the ways in which we communicate on a daily basis. It is extremely influential on our lives because of how easily we are able to access these mediums of communication. I’m intrigued by the effects that social media has on people’s perceptions of their self-worth. Almost all of the social networking sites seem to measure, at least to some

Facebook Activity and Self-Esteem

1901 words - 8 pages Method To look at the relationship between Facebook activity and self-esteem levels, we asked students in a research methods class to participate in an experiment. The independent variable was Facebook activity and had four levels. Specifically, we manipulated whether the participants looked at their own profile page, photos and possibly updated their status (Personal Profile Condition), their friends’ profile pages and photos (Friends

Romantic Relationships and Self-Esteem

1069 words - 5 pages Attachment style could serve as an indicator of other aspects of romantic relationships including intimacy, dating goals, and well-being. It was hypothesized that individuals who associated with having either a secure or dismissive attachment style would also elicit high levels of dating goals as well as intimacy levels and would have higher levels of self-esteem. It was found that attachment style had an effect on self-esteem as well as

Low Self-Esteem and Eating Disorders

2211 words - 9 pages of beauty: the Kate Moss stick figure. As their bodies grow, girls begin to see themselves as fat, and their increased dissatisfaction with their physical appearance can serve to damage or wipe out self-esteem. Button has found, through questionnaires and interviews of schoolgirls in England, that as early as age I I- 12, girls begin to be self-conscious about their body shape and size. Up to 43% were classified as having low self-esteem and were

Perspectives on Gaming and Self-Esteem Issues

671 words - 3 pages alter our mind. I strongly disagree with what write has to say in his essay. It is easier to get caught up in an addiction then too get rid out of one. Once it has captured the mind, it is like a chain that holds one back until it gets help. Gaming can not only create an addiction, but it can lead into violence or even murder. People with low self esteem can be influenced to go on their own little adventure and commit a crime. Or even if the game

Similar Essays

Self Esteem In Women Essay

1071 words - 4 pages adjusting to these changes, which can damage our confidence as well as affect our self esteem. Self-esteem Self esteem basically means that we should like ourselves, feel positive about yourself and respect your own worth. Feeling positive about yourself can determine how you perform. When we respect ourselves and feel really good in ourselves, we will do better at school, enjoy life, make new friends quickly, and we are more consciously aware and in

Are Media Representations Of Women Affecting Teenagers' Self Esteem?

761 words - 3 pages . Swimming, again in a tight swimsuit.All these sports are shown regularly on T.V or in magazines and newspapers. Adolescent girls would be overwhelmed with the images of these fit women representing certain sport several times a day. Unfortunately, a drop in self-esteem and physical activity isn't the worst-case scenario for these media pressures. Statistics from Canada have shown that 31% of 11 year olds, 38% of 13 year olds, and 48% of 15 year olds

The Puck Bunny Phenomena: Women With Low Self Esteem

3298 words - 13 pages their fear and stress varies and may depend on their motivation for marriage. A “culture of adultery” permeates professional sports today, says Ortiz, an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Oregon State University. “At home and especially on the road, these athletes deal with boredom, peer group pressure, team loyalty, opportunity, sense of self-importance, and the availability of women who seem to be irresistibly attracted to professional athletes

Media Negatively Affects Women's Self Esteem The Media's Unrealistic Thin Ideal Of The Female Body Leads Women To Have Low Self Esteem Issues

1929 words - 8 pages thinness that is found in most advertising and that is depicted in the media has caused an outbreak in low self-esteem among women. Because most women do not fit into the model body type, constantly being bombarded with such images causes women to feel depressed, have lower self-esteem, and leave them assuming that they are not good enough. Such feelings lead to eating disorders, unhealthy infatuations with exercise, and loss of self-respect