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What can we do to resist beauty ideals?

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  1. Introduction.
    1. Our current beauty ideal.
    2. Why would Mattel care about a small promoting a 'Love Your Body' message.
  2. The beauty ideal.
  3. Kirk and Okazawa-Rey's argument that the beauty ideal is an elitist standard.
  4. The beauty ideal - a part of some sort of vast male conspiracy of oppression.
  5. Beauty ideals according to evolutionary psychologists.
  6. Youth and fertility as the only consideration for men and their reptile brain when it comes to choosing a mate.
  7. The theory of a natural cyclical attraction and weight.
  8. The studies showing evolutionary explanations for the beauty ideal.
  9. Conclusion.

Our bodies, and our ideas about the size and shape of our bodies, are shaped by both ourselves and our culture. How we view our bodies and what personal worth we ascribe to ourselves because of our bodies and the standard of perfection society sets for us is called the beauty ideal. This bar for attractiveness has, in recent years, been set higher and higher, becoming more unattainable for the general population. Why is this? What is the current unattainable standard, and what can we do, if anything, to resist it?

[...] The patriarchy is trying to keep women skeletal and obsessed with beauty so that they cannot think about other, more important things like careers, political power, and unequivical equality. But is the beauty ideal really a part of some sort of vast male conspiracy of oppression, and how can we fight against such an organized and pervasive onslaught? The feminist perspective cited in Kirk and Okazawa-Rey (2007) suggest that the increasingly stringent body ideals are in response to women's growing independence and equality in the marketplace, in order to repress them by diverting their time, money, and attention to something completely unattainable. [...]


[...] Japanese secret for winning miss universe: look less Japanese.? Marie Claire Online. Retrieved October http://www.marieclaire.com/world/articles/ethnicity-eye-color Elliot, S For everyday products, ads using the everyday woman. The New York Times, August Retrieved November 2007: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/17/business/media/17adco.html Elliot, S The Body Shop's campaign offers reality, not miracles. The New York Times, August Fisher, H Why We Love: The Nature and Chemistry of Romantic Love. Henry Holt & Company; New York, NY. Gorman, J Plastic surgery gets a new look. New York Times, April Haslam, [...]


[...] 142.) finally understood that my eating disorder symbolized more than ?personal psychodynamic trauma.' Gazing in the mirror at my emaciated body, I observed a woman held up by her culture as the physical ideal because she was starving, self-obsessed, and powerless, a woman called beautiful because she threatened no one except herself? (Chernik as cited in Kirk & Okazawa-Rey) To evolutionary psychologists, however, beauty ideals aren't some conspiratorial power grab but the psychological product of natural selection. According to evolutionary psychologists, we are a slave to our biology. [...]

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