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The Definition Of Beauty Essay

1013 words - 5 pages

On the covers of many of the best-selling magazines, there are gorgeous models or beautiful actresses promoting the next weight loss secret, the newest fashion trend or a new bronzer to give your face a glowing, airbrushed look. However, these covers can often cause controversy. In 2011, Hunger Games star, Jennifer Lawrence, was featured in the magazine, Flare. The only word to describe Lawrence was beautiful. Her hair, skin and body looked like perfection but the public found out it was all a lie. Jennifer Lawrence had been airbrushed. The magazine company had dyed her hair, given her plastic surgery, and helped her drop ten pounds all with the click of a button. In an interview about the cover, Lawrence went on to say, “That doesn't look like me at all. People don't look like that." Jennifer Lawrence has a point. The definition of beauty has changed from finding a partner to survive with to going through body altering pain to get close to the media’s standards of perfection.
Throughout the beginning of time, beauty and looks were based on health and survival but, by the Middle Ages women were pressured into changing to be beautiful. In the time of ancient civilizations, beauty was simple. People wanted to survive and reproduce. Therefore, a man would look for a wife who would be able to successfully bear children while a woman looked for a husband who could provide for the family. This concept continued to reign true through the Middle Ages but women were now seen as “predators” on the prowl to hook a man with their temptress ways. The times had changed, and women were required to change their physical appearance to be seen as beautiful or they would be shunned. During this time period, blonde hair was frowned upon because it was seen as a sexual symbol and being provocative was degrading to a proper lady. To raise their standards, these blonde women would use lye to darken the color of their hair. Today, lye is commonly used in household cleaning products. It can cause hazardous reactions and destructive corrosion to living tissue. This information was unknown at the time and was just the beginning of the saying, “Beauty is pain.”
Between the Renaissance and Victorian time periods, women became more open to torturing their bodies to be beautiful. Beauty in the Renaissance era meant being voluptuous. As scientists of the time were discovering more about the human body, the general public and artists became fascinated with natural beauty. Men appreciated the curves of a woman and artists portrayed this new definition of beauty in portraits of naked women who would be considered obese by today’s standards. A woman’s hair, however, had to be perfect. The Renaissance woman needed a high hairline to be considered an object of beauty. To achieve this look, women would pluck away hairs or use quick-lime which would painfully remove skin as well as the hair. After the Renaissance, the idea of finding beauty in the...

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