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Looking Good: The Psychology of Beauty

Why is beauty important? What spurs our drive to become more beautiful? And how far will we go to achieve perfection?

Kai Zheng

on 4 December 2012

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Transcript of Looking Good: The Psychology of Beauty

Looking Good: The Psychology of Beauty Let's face it.
When we meet someone new, our first impression of them is derived by how they look. It is later that we realize their personality, brains and character. But why do people care so much about something that is only skin deep?

How does beauty affect a woman's everyday life?

And what spurs us women to become more beautiful? Though beauty can be a good thing. Society tends to morph our standards to the extreme. Bill boards, fashion magazines and TV commercials are some examples of media outlets that practically advertise "perfection" Nevertheless many young girls develop a sense of inadequacy.
Especially the ones who are already struggling to fit in. It begins with makeup.
Cosmetic companies around the world make millions of dollars a year selling women different ways to cover up their imperfections But what if makeup isn't enough? And so many women have begun to turn to plastic surgery Plastic surgery is an industry that grows larger by the year.

In America alone, there were over 9.2 million cosmetic surgeries in 2011

10 billion dollars was spent on cosmetic surgeries in just 2011

The percentage of young teen girls getting cosmetic surgery has gone up 30% with in the last decade. Lipoplasty (Liposuction)


(tummy tuck)

Blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery)

Breast Lift The 5 most popular cosmetic surgeries for women include: As the media readily continues to sell "image" and the contiunal rise of plastic surgery, women, from countries all over the world have fallen into this trend of doing whatever they can to be beautiful. In Asian countries, such as Korea, Japan and China, girls are more and more receiving cosmetic surgeries from their parents as graduation gifts or a coming of age gift. A study published by the New York Academy of Sciences finds that the attractiveness of interviewees can significantly bias outcome in hiring practices When a woman is viewed as attractive they are often assumed to possess a number of positive social traits and greater intelligence.

This is also known as the halo effect. Living Life as a Barbie
• If Barbie were an actual women, she would be 5'9" tall, have a 39" bust, an 18" waist, 33" hips and a size 3 shoe.

• Barbie calls this a "full figure" and likes her weight at 110 lbs.

• At 5'9" tall and weighing 110 lbs, Barbie would have a BMI of 16.24 and fit the weight criteria for anorexia. She likely would not menstruate.

• If Barbie was a real woman, she'd have to walk on all fours due to her proportions. According to the book "Body Wars", written by clinical psychiatrist Dr. Margo Maine In 1965 Mattel came out with slumber party barbie, who came with a pink scale set permanently at 110 lbs and a "how to lose weight" book whose main message said "don't eat". By dictionary standards it is a combination of qualities, such as shape, color, or form, that pleases the aesthetic senses What is beauty? But in more social context, being beautiful is being sexy, curvy, with a full bust and a tiny waist, etc etc. But due to the over emphasis of the bodies of supermodels and movie stars, beauty standards have become incredibly high, so women are developing more unrealistic expectations. High expectations also drive women to becoming obsessed with small minor defects These types of endorsements increase the number of girls who wish to dramatically alter their physical appearance. Leading to high numbers of eating disorders world wide. Up to 24 million people of all ages and genders suffer from an eating disorder (anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorder) in the U.S Over one-half of teenage girls use unhealthy weight control behaviors such as skipping meals, fasting, smoking cigarettes, vomiting, and taking laxatives. Ten years ago fashion models weight 8% less than the average women.

Today, they weigh 23% less. Some magazines and ad companies are trying to foster positive influences for young women by using plus size models But ultimately progress is much too slow and many company higher ups don't want plus size models to endorse their products.

Leading to almost no change in societies current ways. Works Cited: Maine, Margo. Body Wars: Making Peace with Women's Bodies : An Activist's Guide. Carlsbad, CA: Gurze, 2000. Print. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Nov. 2012. <http://www.plasticsurgery.org/>. Swami, Viren, and Ayla Mammadova. "Associations Between Consideration of Cosmetic Surgery, Perfectionism Dimensions, Appearance Schemas, Relationship Satisfaction, Excessive Reassurance-Seeking, and Love Styles." Individual Differences Research 10.2 (2012): 81-94. EBSCO HOST. EBSCO Industries.
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