America's Horrifying Beauty Standards
What The "Perfect" Body Image Is
I find America’s beauty standards absolutely horrifying. If you’re wondering why, just look around you! There are multiple examples walking around today. Have you heard the phrase, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder?” Well, in today’s society, it has changed to, “Beauty is in the eye of who society as a whole perceives as beautiful.” It seems as if society decides who is beautiful and who is not beautiful. Society holds high expectations for men and women to be called beautiful or handsome.
The society we live in tells us what kind of body image we should have in order to be beautiful. We see images of “perfect” bodies all around us. It’s on television, in movies, newspapers, magazine ads, and online. We are a society that worships flesh. Everyone has a slightly different idea of the “perfect” body image. However, we are very heavily influenced by our social pressures and different forms of media. The expectations of a “perfect” body that society puts on us and changes our point of view is ridiculous. It makes us believe certain things about the “perfect” body image.
Let’s start with the expectations of women in order to be called beautiful. A woman should be five feet and ten inches in height. She should only weigh about one hundred twenty pounds. A woman should have big breasts and a big butt. She should also have a flat stomach. A woman should have a thigh gap and have her collar bones showing. It doesn’t seem possible does it? That’s because it isn’t. It isn’t possible to look like that and be healthy at the same time. The average height of a woman is five feet and four inches. The average weight of a woman is one hundred sixty-nine pounds. Even the average sometimes isn’t even possible for some women. So why do we expect every woman to have the “perfect” body image? It’s because of the media that the society puts out.
It’s not just women that have “perfect” body expectations. Men have expectations too. The “perfect” male should be six feet and one inch in height, and only weigh about one hundred sixty pounds. He should have well-defined muscles all over his body. A man should have V-shaped abs and a six pack. He should also have a large genital region. This doesn’t seem possible either, does it? That’s because it isn’t. The average height of a man is about five feet and nine inches, and weighs about one hundred ninety pounds. Just like women, the average sometimes isn’t even possible for some men. Again, why do we expect every man to have the “perfect” body image? It’s because of the media that the society puts out.
Most of us are trying not to get overweight. While it is unhealthy to be overweight, it’s also unhealthy to be underweight as well. The “perfect” body image for males and females is actually underweight. When you are overweight, you have health problems. Well, being underweight causes health problems too. These health problems are anemia, nutritional deficiencies, osteoporosis, cardiac problems, increased risk of illness and infection, and poor wound healing. Some people trying to acquire the “perfect” body image may go to extreme dieting. Some even develop eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia in efforts trying to get the “perfect” body.
So why did I put quotation marks around the word perfect? It’s because the truth is, there is no such thing as the perfect body. So why, then, do we still strive to have the “perfect” body? It will never happen. The perfect body doesn’t exist. So, in conclusion, the standards we put on men and women in order to be called beautiful or handsome are ridiculous. Everyone is beautiful in their own special and unique way.