59 Beauty Standards are (and I cannot stress this enough) CONSTRUCTED

Brianna Romiglio

I think that the uncanny and ideologies intermingle in an interesting way. In most cases, an ideology is only going to become uncanny once one is aware of why and how it is an ideology. For example, flipping through a fashion magazine is a normal experience that can happen without much second thought. When analyzing the photos and models found within, readers may discover the same body type being displayed over and over again: the super skinny type. Some may argue that “healthier” bodies are shown in magazines and that the removal of flaws with Photoshop is not problematic. I would argue that showing these body types and only these body types perpetuates false standards of the average body type and false expectations of beauty. We may only notice that magazine editors use a specific body type when something steps away from the norm. Recently, lots of companies have been using plus sized models. This brings up something potentially uneasy in readers because they are so conditioned to that standard airbrushed smooth-skinned, no-fat, skinny body type. And not everyone greets these plus-sized models with open arms. I will often see comments on social media saying that using plus- sized models is glorifying being obese and unhealthy, yet do these individuals not believe that showing girls who are unrealistically edited in Photoshop to appear so small will have a negative effect on readers as well? Big name brands such as Victoria’s Secret still predominantly hire petite models to wear their clothing and when they do hire “plus sized” models (who are still pretty thin in my opinion), it turns into a publicity stunt. The fashion industry is forcing these unrealistic expectations about body image hoping that you will buy their clothing to become closer to the “ideal” look. And we keep consuming these clothing because what else are we supposed to do, not wear clothing anymore? Society continually buying these goods and supporting these advertisements only allows these companies to prosper and make money off of fake societal beauty standards. Performing the action of supporting these companies only gives them the fuel to use the same tactics again. Individuals perpetuate these false ideas of beauty by supporting these brands and putting money in their pockets, and the cycle continues.


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The Student Theorist: An Open Handbook of Collective College Theory Copyright © 2018 by Brianna Romiglio is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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