Women are the most affected group of appearance-oriented illnesses.They are constantly trying to meet the ideal yet unattainable standards of body image that our society has so strongly set forth.This paper gives an overview of the introduction of bodily standards for women in American society and discusses the ongoing and seemingly never ending campaign for perfection.
Most, if not all, researches find that women are the targeted group for crises dealing with self-image.They are constantly being put on a pedestal and compared to an ideal that may not even actually exist.
Women go on diets and work out all the time.They;re never thin enough,
so they go to unnatural extremes.All they really want is to feel good
about themselves in a sea of doubt and turmoil produced by amulti-
billion-dollar-a-year beauty industry.And they think the panacea is to
look like a supermodel: perfectly thin, tall, sculpted, and commanding-
our cultural epitome of feminine success.(Zimmerman 61)
For over a century, newspapers and magazines have been inundating Americans with images of ideal beauty.Only strict emulation of these ideals has been accepted as attractive.In the early- to mid-1800;s a full feminine figure was considered beautiful; it was a symbol of status.Voluptuous curves were seen as signs of good health, wealth, and a readiness to bear children.Thinness was associated with being poor; and because
the poor were often sick, being thin was also thought to be unhealthy(Kuberksy 22).This ideal wasfirst replaced in the 1890;s with the introduction of the Gibson girl, created by an artist.The new image was slimmer and more athletic-looking, and that thinness has since remained an integral part of the female allurement.Thinness, however, is always relative.The Gibson girl had average measurements of 38-27-45-rather ch…