The perceptions related with physical appearances differ from one society to another. Every day individuals throughout the globe make assumptions based on physical traits. People are apt to associate with positive physical attributes since they are conceptualized as flawless in the society. In America, there is a fixation with being good looking. The fascination with bodily appearance varies widely from weight concerns and physique shapes amongst young girls to muscular appearances in teenage boys to tan skin and so forth. Many fitness facilities, salons, cosmetics and beauty shops are dedicated to imparting beauty enhancing products and services. Also, the media fuels the significance of physical attractiveness in America through portraying sure attributes as the ultimate features of beauty. The media is the biggest contributor of the current conceptualized physical appearance in the American society. Indeed many of the procedures used in improving presentations work but many fail to consider the price in the long run. The ever-growing crowd of plastic surgery and indoor tanners is faced with serious health risks in the long-term.
Many young girls are obsessed with their weight throughout their teenage years into young adulthood. Many people both male and female in the American society wish to alter a particular part of their bodies. Some desire to be certain pounds thinner, certain inches taller, appropriate jaw and lips shape or a voluptuous body shape. Some go to great measures including undergoing plastic surgery procedures, to spending the whole days in heels or forcing certain eating habits to achieve their desired physical appearances. The American society is fixated on physical appearances at varying degrees. While some people will merely use make up or involve in certain physical exercise to improve their presentations and feel better about themselves, others are ready to go to all extremes to attain precise physical features.
I have always heard women and teenage girls express their distress on their appearances wishing they were born one way or another. I have always thought similar thoughts about my appearance wishing I could improve a thing or two in my appearance to achieve the conceptualize beauty image in the society. I remember a few years ago I desired to achieve the appearances of certain TV personalities with the belief that they represent the dimensions of beauty in the society. I did not even consider the absurdity of my thoughts since it is a common occurrence in the current society. I did not realize in perceiving certain people as beautiful I was deeming the rest of the world as ugly. Unfortunately, this is the effect of the media on one’s psyche since it extends beyond the images on television and social media accounts to real life. Growing up, I realized that every individual irrespective of shape, size or color is beautiful. While I still use cosmetics to improve my appearance and make me feel good about myself, am no longer fascinated with achieving a particular feature that will require going to extremes.
However, this is not the case for many American teenagers and young adults. They are not only fixated on certain physical attributes but also go to extremes to achieve them. Celebrity women such as Nicky Minaj, a famous female rap artist, and television personality Kim Kardashian have driven the appeal of a particular body shape in young girls in America. Celebrities have millions of followers in their social media accounts such as twitter and Instagram representing the desire to associate with them. These stars influence young people to go to immoderations to imitate their looks and body shapes.
I remember gaining a few pounds two years ago and facing a lot of scrutiny from my friends. While I eventually lost the weight I had gained, I remember answering questions of why I was gaining weight and suggestions to control it. Many women are under such inspection concerning their physical features. While experiences differ, they are not unique. A friend of mine is horrified with the thought of gaining a single pound. According to her gaining, additional weight will ultimately distort her current appearance which is perfect. She trains hard every evening in efforts to maintain her current shape. What is even more confusing about it is the pressure her mother puts in her maintaining her current shape. She insists that gaining weight will serve to increase her mother’s comments on her appearance. Any slight change in diet and lifestyle in many cases elicit strong reactions from her mother. The obsession with physical appearances extends beyond family boundaries to other individuals who are not slightest affected with any diet or lifestyle changes one decides to pursue.
The extent the American society values physical appearance is more confusing each passing day. People change their diet and lifestyle in efforts to conform to the society daily. Everywhere we look we meet tall, thin and beautiful women selling movies, music, cars, make-ups and virtually anything. Fashion movers sell latest trends in particular constructed images which insist on a certain type of shape. The photos used in millions of advertisements are taken using high-quality cameras, certain levels of lighting requirements, hours of hair perfection and makeup hence images that differ at great lengths with real life. Beauty is no longer what is perceived naturally but rather it is constructed in certain dimensions. Male desire to achieve the muscular body that is considered attractive. Many teenage boys and young boys spend hours on end in gyms in efforts to achieve the strong look in efforts to merely conform to the societal perception of male attractiveness. These individuals do not spend time in gyms to stay fit but rather to achieve the attractiveness appeal. Skin tanning is no longer a process that is naturally achieved in spending hours in the sun but rather can be attained indoors in salons. People spend hours lying on tanning beds without any considerate acknowledgments to the health hazards of the so called ‘tanning lights.’
The constructed beauty in media fueled by acceptance in the American society has distorted natural beauty. It is time for the American people to stop giving in to the beauty myth. Every individual merit to be valued for who they genuinely are, for everything they represent, their imperfections and the inner beauty that should be considered more important than physical appearances. The current society is conditioned to ‘judge a book by its cover’ which is rather gloomy. The community should focus on calling people intelligent and hardworking more often than the typical beautiful and attractive. The societal value on polished appearances has prompted individuals to seek their worth in others. While the society prioritizes physical appearances, it is important for people to find their value beyond these constraints. It is important for the American society to divert from the constructed concept of beauty to avoid the health risks associated with extreme beauty procedures.