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The Beauty Myth

In: Social Issues

Submitted By jawcanc12
Words 1283
Pages 6
JoAnn Ross
Mr. Shaw
Sociology
11 March 2014
The Origin of the Beauty Myth The origin of the beauty myth is an age old question. Some have said that it was around the 1830’s that this myth came to fruition. Some will argue that it has been around since the beginning of time. The beauty myth as we know is predicate around several sociological behaviors; work, culture, and religion to name a few. The main reason as we will see is that the beauty myth is not about how a woman looks, but man’ institution and power. So if the beauty myth is not based on evolution, sex, gender, aesthetics or God on what is it based? It claims to be about intimacy and sex and life a celebration of women. It is actually composed of emotion distance, politics, finance and sexual repression. The beauty myth tells a story: The quality called “beauty” objectively and universally exists. Women must want to embody it and men must want to possess women who embody it. This embodiment is an imperative for women and not for men, which situation is necessary and natural because it is biological, sexual, and evolutionary: Strong men battle for beautiful women, and beautiful women are more reproductively successful. Women’s beauty must correlate to their fertility, and since this system is based on sexual selection, it is inevitable and
Changeless. None of this is true. “Beauty” is a currency system like the gold standard. Like any economy, it is determined by politics, and in the modern age in the West it is the last, best belief system that keeps male dominance intact. In assigning value to women in a vertical hierarchy according to a culturally imposed physical standard, it is an expression of power relations in which women must unnaturally compete for resources that men have appropriated for themselves.
“Beauty” is not universal or changeless, though the West pretends that all ideals of...

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