The Uniqueness Of American Culture Cultural Studies Essay

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America today is a free-market society. Money is freedom, control, security, and the ultimate commodity. This society is based around gaining money, and perhaps even more importantly, spending it.  The media spreads ideas, ideas that suggest that the most important things in life are appearances. Makes us rely too much on the fashion, and relevance of the person is lost. Why would the media do such a thing? Money. These advertisements block the minds of youth and confine them to be the person perfectly shaped losing their identities.

  Corporate advertising is selling the American public images through TV and magazines and billboards, images that create extremely destructive mindsets in the viewers.  One of the best examples of how advertisers palpably abuse power on their audience can be seen in the fashion industry. Fashion is a deeply image oriented industry. Clothes people wear can determine race, class, gender, socio-economic status, all of these, or the way their bodies are shaped. Social stereotypes are developed, based solely on clothing. A good example of how fashion hypnotizes could be found in the advertisements in any universal "teen" magazine. The teenage market is a highly targeted market from clothing to cosmetics. In a recent survey conducted on 100 random high school students, 50 male and 50 female, students on average spent $98 dollars on clothes per month. These teen magazines specifically target at young females.

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  Most magazines however, have not one overweight person from front to back but are all over plastered by perpetually skinny women with computer and airbrush-perfected skin. More of the article space in magazines is dedicated to the new fashions for whatever season it happens to be. In these "articles" a set of usually three racially mixed, extremely, thin, and often buxom, young girls pose in the "hottest" new clothing, identified by brand name, and retail chain which carries them. "We are thin (attractive)", the pictures proclaim, "This is what you should be; if you are not like us, you are worthless."

It has been speculated in the medical profession that 1/3 of America's population is more obese than is healthy for their height. If this is so, then how many women the constant barrage of "Being thin is the end-all be-all of is beating down attractiveness"? Once the advertisers have clearly established their idea of being in perfect shape and clothes they explain the other benefits of these traits. Finally, after the magazines have given a riveting reason to buy products and to adhere to virtually unattainable images of beauty, they put in re-enforcers: articles designed to keep teenaged girls on the "straight and narrow". These articles are horror stories of girls who have in some way broken a cardinal law of beauty or attractiveness.

There is a rapid increase in materialisms in America. 80% of dumb teenagers would rather buy two pairs of designer jeans rather than 3 pairs of generic jeans at the same price. First a person must realize for themselves, that there is more to them than a pair of Calvin Klein jeans.  That they are worth something, that they are important, without Tommy Hillfiger and Nike. That they can be just as attractive if they are overweight and wearing shorts from K-mart, as they can being thin and wearing clothes from American Eagle, Limited, and Express. The advertising companies breed a sense of worthlessness in consumers; a sense that there is something missing, something, which will make your life better than it, is now. They can offer you something that will assure you a better life, more popularity, or that can take you closer to the image of beauty that they set forth. At least until next month's line comes out, then you are painfully behind the image of beauty again. And all the while the cash registers ring, and ring, and ring.

From my point of view fashion industry has mesmerize teenagers, men and women, through media. They are slaves to what media is conveying them, may it be good or bad for them.

There are many aspects of American culture that fascinate me, some good and some not-so-good, yet on the overall, I feel that American culture is truly unique in its own way. I'm still in the process of discovering more diverse cultures, and though there are still many cultures that remain unexplored,  American culture is the only culture (of the ones that I am familiar with) that I hold immense fascination for.

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I could go on and on about the great many unique aspects about American culture, and there's no stopping me once I get started on this topic. However, for the sake of simplicity and because of time and space constraints, I will only write down the three of the most unique aspects of American culture. So, here we go, in reverse order:

The third most unique thing that I have observed about American culture is probably the culture's tolerance for all religions. This is a very unique aspect because so far, I do not know of any other country or culture which is as open and secular and as religiously tolerant in the world. American culture allows people to freely follow their own religions. I am simply amazed to see such diverse religions in one single country, and I have never before seen any other culture welcoming every other religion - whether majority or minority - with open arms.

Another most unique aspect of American culture is its individual liberties and representative government. Of all the different cultures that I've been exposed to so far, I think that American culture is the most liberal culture. In contrast, European is semi-liberal, Middle-Eastern culture is not at all liberal, while Indian culture is somewhere in between, more on the liberal side, just like American culture. And since I was born in Indian culture, I feel comfortable living in this kind of liberal environment, and this is another reason why I love American culture.

Perhaps the foremost unique thing about American culture is its diversity. The fact that America welcomes people from all walks of life is incredibly amazing. American culture is perhaps the only culture I have seen that has such a diverse population. Moreover, the way in which different people from different cultures mix so well and the way people from different cultures adapt American culture and merge it with their own culture is unbelievably impressive. America is truly, as they say, a land of immigrants in this sense, and American culture is something I love most in contrast to other cultures.

In conclusion, I must add that American culture is truly unique in many more aspects than the ones I mentioned here, and I just love the American culture like nobody else. Like I said earlier, I could go on and on about American culture, but no amount of words will ever be able to completely describe the uniqueness of American culture.