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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Beautiful Women

Now, I'm not trying to be disrespectful or blaspheme in any way; however, I have seen a certain statement applied to the term beauty in women many, many times. Now, I am certainly questioning the validity of this statement as it applies to connotations of beautiful people. I agree, little is more pleasing than to relate to a woman with a loving personality and positive, outgoing attitude, no matter her physical appearance. Yet, so many other things point to the value placed on physical beauty by women and men. I am beginning to doubt the sincerity in the statement: "It's what's on the inside that counts." Cosmetics, corrective surgeries, singular standards of appearance, popularity, fashion-- all point to the fact that a beautiful woman must have "the look." So, I began to wonder if the majority of believers of "inside beauty" were lying to save face or to parrot an old adage. It is pretty evident that beauty is to women what wealth is to men: the more they have, the better society likes them. In relentless passing of time, the supposed “power” and “privilege” enjoyed by beautiful women are merely fleeting advantages that are entirely dependent on the goodwill and subjective opinion of others (usually men), and are likely to disappear once the woman grows older, or gains weight, or becomes ill. But many women will do anything possible to slow the ravages of time upon their youthful beauty. And, I mean anything. Here are some findings about beautiful people in our American culture: 1. People who are good-looking are assumed and expected to be better than the rest of the population. (Kenealy, Frude, and Shaw. 2001) 2. Physically attractive individuals were rated as having more socially desirable personalities and were expected to have greater personal success on most of life outcome dimensions. (feministgal.blogspot.com) 3. Physical attractiveness impacts employment decision making, with the result that the more attractive an individual, the greater the likelihood that that person will be hired (Watkins & Johnston. 2000). 4. Attractiveness biases have been demonstrated in such different areas as teacher judgments of students (Clifford & Walster. 1973), voter preferences for political candidates (Efran & Patterson. 1974) and jury judgments in simulated trials (Efran. 1974). 5. With her severely scarred face, Lucy Grealy (no longer beautiful) considered herself a disabled person, perhaps marking the first time the "disability is a social construct" argument drew attention. (Lucy Grealy. Autobiography of a Face) 6. Praise, attention, trust and validation are more often readily given to beauty while shortcomings and mistakes are overlooked, sometimes unfairly and at the expense of others. (Alysabeth Clements. Pretty Is As Pretty Does: The Privilege of Beauty) 7. "It's just remarkable the attributes we give to a human being who is good looking," Helen Fisher, Rutgers University anthropologist says. "We think that they are smart. We think that they're funny. We think that they're friendly and warm, and social and popular." 8. Steve Jeffes, author of "Appearance Is Everything," conducted a survey. To confirm a hunch, he questioned jewelers, who told him that very beautiful women who wear diamond rings will almost always wear larger diamonds -- more than one carat -- than less attractive women who also wear diamond rings. 9. People assume that a person who's very good looking is doing a better job than in fact they are doing. So they rise up in the company, and they have more status and more power. (Helen Fisher) 10. As far as help and personal assistance, 20/20 dropped books in front of people walking by them in New York's Greenwich Village. Fewer than half the people who passed helped a plain-looking actress. But when it was the prettier actress' turn, 70 percent of the people nearby pitched in to help. Pretty girls become aware of advantages and power at various ages. As they begin to notice that they turn heads, and that others, usually but not always male, are more eager to help them or please them. Thus, these opportunities and extras are offered in order to bring them closer to admirers. And, what's a girl to do? Many feminists content until women are no longer sexed up, they won't be seen as human beings by men. And, in actuality, these are the women who will never see THEMSELVES as human beings. (Jill Fillipovic). Reduced to objects of standardized beauty and male manipulation, these sexy, beautiful bodies help defeat their own sense of true femininity. Female beauty, in its present definition, fits model proportions of body and face. This view is supported by the men, the women, and the society that judge its standards. Conformation seems to be the key to successful attainment of beauty and privilege, while pressures put on young women to meet present concepts cause many psychological problems. Acceptance of natural looks seems to take a backseat in this argument. And surely, "It's what's on the inside that counts" is somewhere far behind as far as perception of beauty goes. Here are some present day beauties. Notice any similarities in the list? Lara Flynn Boyle 5 ft 4 in 92 pounds Nicole Richie 5 ft 1 in 93 pounds Teri Hatcher 5 ft 6 in 104 pounds Renee Zellweger 5 ft 4 in 105 pounds Victoria Beckham 5 ft 6 in 108 pounds Halle Berry 5 ft 7 in 112 pounds Lindsay Lohan 5 ft 6 in 112 pounds Jennifer Love Hewitt 5 ft 2.5 in 115 pounds Charlize Theron 5 ft 9 in 116 pounds Jennifer Lopez 5 ft 6 in 118 pounds Jennifer Aniston 5 ft 6 in 118 pounds Nicole Kidman 5 ft 11 in 120 pounds Britney Spears 5 ft 5 in 125 pounds Cameron Diaz 5 ft 9 in 127 pounds Tyra Banks 5 ft 11 in 128 pounds "Beauty is only skin deep, but it's a valuable asset if you're poor or haven't any sense." - Kin Hubbard
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