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Impact Print Media and Advertising Has on Standards of Beauty

In: Social Issues

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Running head: Impact Print Media Advertising has on Standard on Beauty

Impact print Media Advertising has on Standard of Beauty
Prepared by: Team A Wilbert Bullins, Angela Louis, Alice Moreland, Raegan Phillips, Jennifer Valles
University Of Phoenix
Rochelle Votaw, MA
July 29, 2009

Impact Print Media Advertising has on Standard of Beauty

Since the dawn of time and throughout the years following, society has had a predetermined idea of what the standard of beauty should be. As times have changed, the media has assisted in the evolution of what the standards of beauty are today. In this paper we will take a look at what the media has portrayed the current standards of beauty are in our society. We will also examine print media and how it affects what American popular culture believes beautiful is. We will review the positive and negative aspects in the media inspired, standard of beauty and why Americans would choose to partake in the, sometimes strenuous, process of achieving this status.

Print media is considered to be one of the most powerful tools that have helped shape Popular American Culture today; it sets the trend on what is stylish, acceptable, and what is not. Print media can come in the form of newspaper, billboards, magazines, post cards, books, and brochures, just to name a few. In this day and age, when you look in a fashion magazine, you will observe most of the models and celebrities have very similar traits, such as flawless skin and a nice, thin figure, which is not how the typical American looks.

Print media will usually show an image of what the advertised company believes is suitable for the message they are implying by promoting certain ads. For example, a billboard advertising a gym membership, will typically display a male or female who is already thin and fit. Ads such as these can be either encouraging or discouraging to a consumer that knows for a fact they have a long process ahead of them achieving that look. Even in the advertising of specific nightclub events and social parties, post card-like promo cards are distributed with scantily clad models that are presumed beautiful.

Sir Thomas Overbury1613; “All the carnal beauty of my wife, is but skin deep,”

According to what print media has promoted beauty to be, a person must have an illuminating clear complexion, highlighted cheeks, long full lashes, shiny hair, basically the perfect appearance. In the popular culture from young teens and young adult to adult women, looking like a perfect model affiliates you with the rest of society by comparing their looks and physical characteristics with models premiered in printed ads such as magazines. Magazines racks and newsstands offer a variety of material that targets teenagers and young adults. The young culture has also become a stigma that retail stores cannot ignore. Products featured in the advertisement and the models are intended to appeal and influence the popular culture. Print advertising is known to send strong messages to young teens and young adults by elaborating how the advertised product will enhance the natural beauty and how this effect will give them that self-esteem and confidence. On the other hand, advertising toward adult women usually aims toward achieving the younger look by smoothing away any of the attributes that may give them an older appearance. Acne is the number one fear among young adults and adult women and can be very damaging toward the reflection of their self-esteem. One’s perception of beauty can impact how people feel about themselves and acne plays a huge role in how teens are viewed by their peers.

Why a person would want to alter or change the way they naturally look can have both a negative and positive reason for doing so. Someone achieving a level of comfort within their own conscience, and not someone else’s, is a positive reason for them to utilize the products or ways of living the print media advertises as a way to gain what they portray as beautiful. On the other hand, the same advertisers promote beauty as the most productive way of being accepted into today’s society, ultimately boosting an individual’s self-esteem. Media also subliminally introduces beauty as a form of currency. According to the media, you can achieve all the luxuries of the world by only looking a certain way and using it to gain all the amenities of a luxurious life. However, one of the reasons that could possibly fall in both negative and positive categories is for the purposes of employment. If someone were inspired to have a profession that included a high level of physical activities, they would have to be sure to include what they knew would help them either maintain or achieve a certain level of health, and in some cases, physical appearance in order to reach their goal. The problem is that the many different types of print media can unknowingly cause you to choose a product or method of reaching your goals that does not suit your body type or even your health specifications. On the other hand, achieving employment by way of your appearance can also have a very negative approach to “using what you have to get what you want.” Therefore, most people feel a constant need to conserve the latest and the most youthful looks. Whether a person decides to base their life achievements solely on their good looks or their level of education, popular American culture is believed to enhance a person’s ability to obtain other people’s approval, attention and compliments. However, popular American culture has developed into a superficial force which often ignores beauty, based exclusively on a person’s inner being. There are many ways to improve the way advertisements portray a person’s actual beauty, however most industries have grasped onto the idea that “sex sells.” There are also ethical ways to promote a new product without a negative consequence, which consist of humor and real life changing experiences. Although most advertisements have a negative approach to graving consumer’s attention, like sex, glamour and luxury, there are some advertisements that raise awareness to fight disease such as AIDs, cancer and child autism. Beauty advertisements target women that struggle with low self-esteem; women that believe that outer beauty will attract a worthy partner. However, these women ignore the fact that most men that are attracted to outer beauty more than inner beauty, are shallow, and in most cases struggling with low self-esteem themselves.

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