The Power Of Beauty – Discuss
‘Beauty’ is rarely used in relation to anything male, therefore issues relating to the power of beauty almost exclusively describe issues relating to women. In our western culture, an ideal woman is beautiful. A beautiful woman’s attributes include definitions of body size and shape, skin tone and condition, hairstyle, facial features, symmetry and the observable care she takes of her body. Breasts should be on the large size and pert; there should be a tiny waist; average sized hips; long legs; no hair anywhere apart from on her head (10), where hair should be worn long, straight and blonde; full lips; large eyes and a small nose – these are the desirable traits for a woman.
“The stereotypes… program into young people an image of the dominant male and the subservient female that becomes second nature”. (8i)
Girls are taught that they must act subordinate and that beauty is the key to getting what they want, which is men with power, because men only see them as objects. In this way, girls are taught from an early age that they begin as a second class citizen, and beauty is the tool to be used to gain recognition, to be seen. Boys are taught in the same way to objectify women and that their only useful feature is their beauty.
The whole essay is available here: The Power Of Beauty – Discuss [PDF]