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Beauty Has Become a Crude Trap
Americans have developed a perception regarding how issues should be standardized. Among the issues is beauty, it has attracted a lot of attention from men and women. It has become a crude trap that all factors rotate about. The standardization aspect is based on perfecting the bodily appearance. This paper will look into various aspects that surround the subject by looking at texts written by various authors. Among the texts are Male Privileges, Oprah Magazines reviews and a film by Darryl Roberts. The process have resulted in a deeply rooted culture where slim is preferred over thin body shapes. Media has aided in infiltrating pictures to people’s minds on how the modern woman should look like. Many ladies have developed peculiar eating habits and regular exercises to keep them in their desired shapes. Research has shown that they are challenged to keep up with changing trends to avoid being secluded the environment and more so their peers. The most affected individuals are ladies. Over the years, a woman’s beauty has been adored and cherished by many as the absolute form in which every woman should be shaped like. The media has continuously engaged in activities that promote the near perfect body shape and appearance According to the film “American the Beautiful,” Darryl Roberts tries to figure out the insights on the American’s and their obsession in attaining standard beauty. He discovered that plastic surgery is one on the ways used by many individuals to attain it. It is used to enhance their body image and their face appearance. Many people pursue plastic surgeries in different parts in the US despite the fact that many of them have not been credited to perform such procedures. Women try to mimic the magazine pictures and the model appearances in pursuit of standard beauty. Roberts continues his interview by showing the audience various steps taken by the producers in producing the highly standardized pictures. The picture is closely edited and to bring a completely different persona from the individuals personal appearance. He uses this to show that there is no that one person with a definite beauty in the world, even the top models have their flares. Beauty aspects have kept women occupied with most of their time dedicated to maintaining perfect body and appearance. They carry makeup for their purses and apply it whenever they get a chance to do it. This has led to increased expenses when compared to their male counterparts. Men have little to worry about by their appearance. They are protected by the male privileges which constitute of their strengths in making them superior to women. Male Privileges According to Peggy McIntosh, (1) males do not need to worry about their appearance as much as females. The work environment or social places of interaction provide the perfect place where male privileges are exhibited. One of the challenges of such conditions is that male and female stereotypes play roles. The society has been manipulated into believing that males should enjoy their privileges. McIntosh states that males have dominated the world in many aspects. He states that males do not face a lot of criticism compared to females in the work environment in they both fail to deliver on their duties, and their gender will not be associated with their failure. Males occupy most of the top jobs in the organization, and they always protect their own. The challenges to males to keep up with other people’s expectations are slim compared to the females. The few expectations from the society have enabled the society predominantly controlled by males. Males have fewer expenses when it comes to their grooming regimen and maintaining standard beauty. They do not need makeup at all times, eliminating the unnecessary expenses. Beauty is further enhanced by clothes and jewelry in which it comes cheap to men compared to women in the same social class. For males, they have readily available clothing that perfectly fits them without further tailoring compared to females. McIntosh further states that females are sacrificed or suffer a lot at the expense of males. He uses the family setting to explain how household chores are shared between males and females. Women are given repetitive and engaging tasks while men take sparing duties that are performed after a while. Finally, he concludes that males enjoy the privileges by being unaware of them. The sentiments clearly show that the society has allowed these habits to continue without major challenges from the females, leading to a male dominated world. Oprah Magazine Editors The magazine editors have faced criticism from poet on how they carry their column on the O magazine. Aracelis Girmay is one of the poets that were not satisfied with the way she was featured in the magazine (1). According to her, she thought that they the editors were more concentrated on her works compared to her appearance. She states that poet’s success is not supposed to be determined on by his/her appearance rather than by their works. Their work is relaying a message to various audiences. Girmay is devastated on how the editors featured her in the magazine by not considering her achievements in the poetic world. During the photo shoot and the interview she got a different picture from the editors who seemed to know much of her works but they only gave her three sentences on the magazine. David Orr is another critic of the Oprah Magazine on their column on Rising Young Poets (1). These columns contain pictures of young attractive poets on their cover. They are pictured donning expensive outfits to be featured in the column that also features along fashion trends. The adoption of pictures and beautiful pictures is aimed to sell to the global Oprah community that has a definite taste. The editors have to keep up with the modern trends where beauty sells in every aspect. The editors have their audience in mind when delivering the magazines to the market. Their users have expectations that are not understood by the poets, and the different expectations are the root of all these challenges. Jessica Winter, a New York Times columnist, is shocked by poets wearing expensive clothes to appear on Oprah’s Magazine. She states that there should be a clear distinction between poetry and the fashion world. She criticizes sentiments by Orr on his perception towards fashion and poetry. Putting on flashy costumes is regarded as girly to a male dominated the poetic world. This is the genesis of all controversy; it questions the ability of women equaling their male counterparts in writing top class poems. Such instances show that stereotypes are not ending anytime soon. The males have immersed their muscles in almost all activities in this world and are embraced as the sole pioneers to everything. The situation worsens when males are accredited a lot when they give a shot on female-dominated activities compared to females. Male privileges are to blame for the society imbalance that has resulted in the standardization of many aspects to females with beauty being the priority. Females go to extreme measures to appease men who control many sectors. In the film “American the Beauty” Roberts interviews an individual who left his girlfriend to pursue a more beautiful than the initial one. The society perceptions have eroded the family values that have been there for generations where people married for different reasons compared to now. The fat girls face a difficult time interacting with other people. Research shows that overweight girls enroll in exercise activities and stringent diets that are supposed to reduce their body size. Fat people are treated as outsiders and face an alienated social life with few friends. The situation is further worsened when the individual is female. Eroding the male privileges can only be done through a global revolution that will undermine them and bring equality. The government has pushed for gender equality by enforcing reforms. This is the first step to a successful revolution that will be achieved after a long period. However, the females seem comfortable in their place in the society, and they have continuously supported the privileges to a point that the males are unaware they exist. Therefore, males will always utilize beauty as a crude trap.
Girmay, Aracelis, David Orr and Jessica Winter. " Editorial Magazine." Oprah Magazine (2011): 1-3.
McIntosh, Peggy. Male Privilege checklists (n.d.).
Roberts, Darryl. America the Beautiful (2007).