By Cheng Li
For every second that ticks by, two Barbie dolls are sold in the world. In fact, the average American girl between the ages of 3 and 11 owns about 10 Barbies.
The image women have of perfection has considerably altered how our society portrays females through the media. Our culture has an unhealthy obsession with beauty, good looks, and the idea of having absolutely no errors.
Flip through any magazine, surf through any channel, and watch any movie. The ones who stray away from perfection typically get unpopular roles such as the villain, the nerd, or the irritating third wheel.
Why are we constantly aiming for the airbrushed bodies, the double-0 jeans, and artificial smooth hair?
According to recent studies, over 90 percent of women are unhappy with their appearance in one way or another.
To compete with the false beauty created by Photoshop and hours of cosmetic work, the average female lunges at any opportunity to buy new clothes, beauty products, and diet aids.
It is estimated that the diet industry alone is worth anywhere between 40 to 100 billion dollars a year, gaining a large percent of their profit from insecure women. Research indicates that exposure to images of thin and attractive females is related to the loss of self-esteem, growth in eating disorders, and depression.
According to Anorexia Nervosa and Related Eating Disorders Inc., one out of every four college-aged women attempts and succeeds at damaging tactics to remain thin — fasting, refusing to eat, extreme workouts, laxative abuse, and forced vomiting are some of the methods being used.
The ugly truth of our society simply comes down to this: personality comes second to appearance. So who’s to blame? The media.
Though we are never to judge a book by its cover, the media have brainwashed and bombarded females with worlds that are nothing like our true society. By continuously portraying these ideal images, the media hasve created a belief that attractive people are better than the less attractive.
From the moment we were born, the media have targeted the mass to rely solely on appearance, all starting with a simple Barbie doll. ♦
Cheng Li can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(The stories in this issue are written by SYLP students, not Northwest Asian Weekly staff. Opinions herein do not necessarily represent the viewpoint of the newspaper.)