Ideal Beauty How Culture And Society Affect How Women Perceive What Beauty Is Essay

934 words - 4 pages

Body Image Culture and Body Image
Is there an ideal body image or beauty today? The first answer that might have entered our mind is probably yes, but there is no such thing as an ideal body image or beauty, everyone is unique and beautiful in their own way. Unfortunately, not every one believes that. Most people, especially girls and women, are influenced so much by the environment around them that they have to look a certain way to be beautiful. One of the things that affect the way we perceive our body image is our culture. Culture is generally defined as a set of values, ideologies, traditions, beliefs and ways of engaging the world that can be transmitted through some type of communication over the course of time and place throughout generations. Different cultures have different standards and norms for the ideal body image and beauty which affects the way individuals perceive their body image. Girls and women have to have a specific figure and have a certain kind of skin tone to be considered beautiful in different cultures.

In many cultures today girls and women believe that they have to have a certain kind of body figure to be beautiful. From skinny figures to curvy and huge figures every culture has its own idea of what beauty is. In many western cultures today skinny is considered attractive and beautiful. According to an article written by Robert S. Weider, researchers from 10 different institutions from around the world found that a female being slender was considered beautiful, because it showed that they were healthy and looked youthful. However, the western culture has taken the meaning of being slender to a whole new level. Western culture has models that are very skinny and the society advertises that to be beautiful, females have to look like that, which in turn has caused body image issues for females. They want to look ‘beautiful’ that they turn to extremes diets and excessive exercise, thereby causing serious damage to their health and well being both emotionally and physically. Other cultures such as the Latino one embrace curvier body and black cultures such as African American think that having a bigger body is beautiful. Recent research about African American body image led by Elizabeth Lynch, PhD, found that 56% of women who had an BMI of 25 or greater and 40% of women who had a BMI of 30 or greater didn’t think that they were overweight or obese. "Interestingly, research suggests that weight threatens mortality at a BMI>35, so perhaps the cultural definition captures some important health effects associated with larger body sizes. But the fact that women felt that overweight body sizes were not too fat suggests that being told they are overweight, even by a physician, may not be sufficient motivation for them to attempt to lose weight," Lynch said. This cultural norm for body size may prevent...

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