The Future of Conformity to Beauty Ideals

Published: 2021-09-14 10:00:09
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Category: Love, Media

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Beauty influencers believe that the diversification of social media is speeding up the spread of idealized images of beauty. This therefore suggests the impression that not only non-achievable images of beauty are being spread, but allows achievable natural images to be idealized as well. Peggy Chin Evans and Allen R.McConnell propose that members of stigmatized groups may be more likely to experience a negative feeling of self-image when being exposed to mainstream beauty ideals. This occurs when only one single ideal is being presented through the media and therefore unrealistic expectations of self and self-image flourish. This study exposed 54 Asian women, 52 Black women, and 64 White women to mainstream beauty ideals and compare themselves to these ideals. The research found that the Asian women negatively compared themselves to the mainstream ideals. Asian women, in addition to this, experienced greater dissatisfaction with their bodies than did Black women. Black women did not compare themselves to the mainstream ideals in a negative manner and the White Women compared themselves similarly to the Asian Women striving to conform to the ideals. Across cultures and into the future women are comparing themselves to the idealized images of beauty presented to them.
The research that has been used has found that the women were conforming to fit the nation image of beauty. Hounaida El Jurdi states that “The pursuit of beauty involves rich processes and is motivated by the search for an authentic self”. Hounaida El Jurdi also believes that “Beauty consumption serves two opposing functions in identity construction: social membership as well as distinction”. Beauty choices such as fashion and alterations to the individual serve as a means of inclusion or exclusion from particular social groups. Women strive to achieve and conform to ideals in order to fit in and be seen as “beautiful” by not only others but also themselves. It was found that not only global beauty ideals were conformed to but the national image of the individuals from a particular area was often looked up to as a point of reference in conforming.The age of exposure and contribution to the ideal image of beauty is alarmly decreasing. As younger people access social media, the accessibility for younger social media influencers has emerged and contributed to the idealized images of beauty which are conformed to by society. 56.9% of the respondents within a survey conducted for the PIP were 16 to 20 years of age. As the survey was distributed on a social media platform, this suggests that that the age of social media consumption is within a young age bracket. Similarly to the young age of individual influenced by social media, there has been a rise in young social media influencers which has shown how influential they are to people across the globe. In the past 23 years, social media has grown over 50%. Sophia-Grace and Rosie are well known child YouTube and Instagram influencers who were first discovered in 2011 when they were merely 8 and 5 years of age. They quickly gained popularity by making regular appearances on The Ellen DeGeneres Show after posting a cover version of the Nicki Minaj song “Super Bass” that went viral on YouTube, reaching over 53 million views. Sophia-Grace and Rosie have since released 2 picture books, singing dolls and 6 pop songs. Sophia-Grace has a massive 1.2 million Instagram followers and Rosie has 473 000 followers. This is a very high number for such young influencers and many young girls, particularly those who may not even have their own social media accounts yet, are looking up to influencers like Sophia-Grace and Rosie.
As a society we are allowing the age of conformity to beauty ideals drop dramatically and fast. Young girls who today look towards social media for the latest hair trend or clothes which their favorite influencer is wearing are going to accept this as a way of life. Society’s values are drastically changing along with the way images of idealized beauty are viewed and who is being exposed to these images. If young individuals in society continue to access and alter their own image to conform to what is expected of them, provoked by society’s desire for conformity to the ideal image of beauty. As a result, this will promote a culture of conformity to unrealistic and unhealthy images of beauty.
With rates of conformity rising, when will society stop? When will children be able to live a life without having to worry about what Instagram is telling them to look like, or what brands are being endorsed by their favorite influencers? From Marilyn Monroe representing the ideal image of femininity, with her voluptuous curves, who ate cheeseburgers and didn’t feel the need to suck fat out of her butt because she didn’t desire to be the size of a 12 year old boy. Compared to the modern day idealistic image of femininity and beauty having a tiny waist, and accentuated features.
As society continues to conform to idealized images of beauty, research has proven the hypothesis that aims to expose the issues, values, morals and changing social norms that is creating this culture of deception in Australia and its implications. In doing so, this has allowed for a better understand of how beauty ideals have changed overtime and the differences between the historical procedures and conformity and what we are experiencing now and into the future. Using primary data and secondary resources, “why are Australians increasing conforming to beauty ideals?” has been brought to light and research has suggested future possibilities of conformity to beauty ideals.
There has been a huge amount of change in the way in which idealized images are distributed to society, although conformity to these ideals has continued through Western and Nonwestern, past and present contexts and will continue well into the future. Women in both past and present generations continue to be expected to conform their body image through beauty which is being idealized by society and media.
Conforming to beauty ideals is occurring due to the rise of social media. Exposure to idealized images has created an unrealistic desire to achieve unnatural beauty and conform. As social media grows as an influence on young individuals, exposure to images of the “perfect” body are becoming more and more prominent. The pressure which is felt by media influencers creates bias and greater influences the people witnessing their content. Over time, young women are being exposed to and rely on social media, and has influenced the way in which social media is utilized by influencers. Social media and the influencers in which society follows have has a great influence on the rise in conformity to beauty ideals within society and the rise of the “plastic” culture.

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