Free The Impact of the Beauty Myth on Women Essay Sample

In this article, Naomi describes the manner in which the modern women has been carried away by physical beauty to the extent that she has forgotten all about equal rights including the right to vote, the right to work and the right for equal employment. After the rejuvenation of feminism in the early 1970s, the Western women acquired the rights to participate effectively in the growth of the economy when they acquired rights to higher education and pursue careers previously preserved for men. This was all replaced by the beauty myth in which women believe that the most beautiful women are successful in finding suitable mates while the most successful men compete for them. The beauty myth was however, a social fiction in which hard-working women were described as workaholic and not fit to sustain families. Women who did not concentrate on their beauty were cheap commodity in the marriage market and were shunned. The woman was expected to remain at home and her value only increased depending on her physical attraction. The beauty myth further gained grounds when industrialization and urbanization compelled one member of the family to work in the industries while leaving the others at home. In this case, the man was leaving for the workplace while leaving the woman at home.

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The rise of the middle-class Western women however, disapproved the beauty myth. The women are wealth which has made men attempt to weaken them psychologically by using the beauty myth. The women have proved that they are serious and forces to reckon with towards industrial development and the growth of the economy. The beauty myth has thus been proved to a weapon used by men against the wealthy women to weaken them and demoralize them at the workplace. Naomi concludes by advising the women and the community at large to abandon the beauty myth. This is because the myth is just a fictional creation to weaken the women and hinder them from becoming production members of the society.

In exploring the ramifications of the beauty myth, it's imperative to delve into the media's role in perpetuating unrealistic standards of beauty. The rise of visual platforms, such as social media and glossy magazines, has intensified the pressure on women to conform to narrow ideals. The constant bombardment of flawless images, often digitally altered, exacerbates the beauty myth by setting unattainable benchmarks for women.

Furthermore, the intersectionality of the beauty myth becomes evident when considering its disproportionate impact on women of color, those with disabilities, and individuals from marginalized communities. The standards dictated by the beauty myth are often rooted in Eurocentric ideals, further marginalizing those whose features deviate from the prescribed norm. This intersectional perspective underscores the complexity of the beauty myth, revealing its broader implications in perpetuating systemic inequalities.

An additional layer to this discourse is the evolving definition of beauty in contemporary society. Advocacy for body positivity and the celebration of diverse body types challenges the traditional, restrictive norms imposed by the beauty myth. Influential movements and campaigns have emerged, encouraging women to embrace their unique attributes and reject the homogenized standards that have long dominated the narrative.

Moreover, the workplace dynamics within the beauty myth narrative warrant a closer examination. While Naomi touched upon the myth as a tool to undermine women in professional spheres, recent studies indicate its impact on leadership perceptions. Women who conform to traditional beauty standards may face a 'beauty penalty' in leadership roles, with their competence and capabilities sometimes being underestimated or overlooked.

In conclusion, expanding our understanding of the beauty myth involves acknowledging its pervasive influence through media, recognizing its intersectional implications, embracing evolving definitions of beauty, and scrutinizing its effects on professional environments. By addressing these nuances, we can work towards dismantling the beauty myth's stronghold on societal perceptions and fostering a more inclusive, empowering narrative for women.


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