Aisha Agina is a Writer and student at Humber College
Tuesday, March 3, 2015
Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the prettiest of them all?
The dissatisfaction of our image through the mirror starts at a very young age for women. We all are more obsessed with our image than we like to admit. The daily concern of our image is quite normal and understandable. As many say “looks can get you a long way,” Why be smart if you can be pretty? Why is there such low expectation from women with exceptional beauty? Studies show that children that are better looking get better evaluations and teachers tend to have higher expectations from them. Also, the more attractive a woman is, the more they tend to get away with things.
Currently, we are in a society that has its own distinctive concept of what is beautiful and what isn’t. Due to the many stereotypes that shape our society and judgment, women feel as if they cannot exceed to the unrealistic expectations. Consequently, women will try to shape themselves with gruelling diets and exercise to be a certain way. It is not surprising that most people will judge someone based on how attractive they are. Commonly, people react with increasing favourability towards someone that’s attractive compared to someone they think isn’t.
It’s not shocking news to most that appearance can help you in many aspects in your life, from finding a life partner to getting a better table at a restaurant. Which leaves my question, “Is it more likely that you could be less qualified than the competitor but you just happen to be prettier and get the job?” I began questioning whether it is actually possible to prove that being attractive gets you a job easier than someone who may not be so attractive. It is commonly seen around the work place that the prettier the employee is, the better the treatment. Studies also suggest that attractive workers get paid 10 to 15 percent more than unattractive workers. Is this really what our generation has gotten to? Likability, trustworthiness and other characteristics have also been determined by whether we decided to put makeup on or leave our hair natural in our daily routines.
I blame the media. The media has made us accustomed to extremely rigid and uniformed standards of beauty. Advertisements are also considered one of biggest displays of sexism that is seen by citizens routinely. Sexism towards women in advertising has always been an issue in the history of American society. Women are constantly expected to fill specific gender roles such as cleaning, cooking, and to be extremely emotional human beings. During the 1950s, sexism against women was something considered normal and commonly seen, and disappointingly expected by both men and women. Women are always misrepresented in ads tolerated and accepted by society. Ads tend to stereotype and degrade females as if they are objects, and because of that, women have become objects in the media. Only after the 1960s and 1970s did women receive rights that all human beings should have been born with. Women rights activists have successfully won the battle between the sexes, as I would say. Women now have the right to participate in organized sports, equal pay, access to equal educational opportunities, freedom of choice, and so on.
Women are not the ones coming up with these ridiculous standards of beauty and style decisions; however, the media plays a big role in how women view ‘beauty’. The media has flooded women’s brains with tanned, tall, slim bodies with sexy, superhero-type personalities. Certain images are being repeated through different types of media outlets such as television, ads, movies, commercials, etc., and ultimately, society’s perception of beauty will change over time meaning ours will change as well. So ask yourself, what is real beauty?