12 Sep 2012

Beauty At Any Cost

Submitted by Stephen Winters
TitleBeauty At Any Cost
Publication TypeReport
Keywordsfalse beauty

Beauty at any Cost:
A YWCA Report on the Consequences of America’s Beauty Obsession on Women & Girls

Every woman in the United States participates in a daily beauty pageant, whether she likes it or not. Engulfed by a popular culture saturated with images of idealized, air-brushed and unattainable female physical beauty, women and girls cannot escape feeling judged on the basis of their appearance. As a result, many women feel chronically insecure, overweight and inadequate, as these beauty images apply to an ever-shrinking pool of women.

Moreover, the diet, cosmetic and fashion industries are often too willing to exploit these narrow beauty standards so women and girls will become cradle-to-grave consumers of beauty products, cosmetic surgery and diet programs.
The issue is not new, but the extent to which it is invading the lives of younger girls and women of color, and the lengths to which women will go to achieve an unattainable look, is an increasing problem. The pressure to achieve unrealistic physical beauty is an undercurrent in the lives of virtually all women in the United States, and its steady drumbeat is wreaking havoc on women in ways that far exceed the bounds of their physical selves. From new levels of spending on cosmetic alteration to health risks and to the emergence of a “mean girls” culture, the lifelong burden of an unattainable beauty and body image is taking a terrible toll in all areas of women’s lives, from economic well-being to health to interpersonal relationships.

Citation KeyctkeyBeautyAnyCostYWCA

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