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the truth of beauty

The truth of beauty Beauty is always the pet topic at every corner in the world. Man talk about beauties: the way beauties are dressed, the way they talk; they way they walk, they way they bend over, they way they turn,etc., Women talk about beauties as well: which brands’ clothing do they wear, what way of make up do they put on, what have they recently add in to their wardrobes, how much money have they spend on their faces and which part of their bodies are artificial and so on. Men and Women both talk about beauty, however from different points of view. Men look at beauties to satisfy their aesthetic sensibilities. But women are more likely to use the opportunity to discover and built up their own knowledge box of ‘becoming more beautiful’. Since the topic of ‘beauty’ always have a huge quantity of followers, it never lost its hotness. Women chase around for its latest trend, and ‘beauty’ is connected to fashion for all time. Women use various ways to achieve an ideal beauty themselves, that is a combination of a pretty face, a perfect figure, dressed with refined taste and so on. Being beautiful to the most possible


extend can do a lot of good to women themselves. They use beauty as a strategy of living on this planet, the closer they get to perfect beauty, the more they could get out of their targets. In the following essay, I am going to discuss how women push themselves to be a beauty, who is this for and who contributes it.

Women can be seen as manipulable objects on their own that have a range of possibilities to create great physical beauty and appeal. For ancient times, women were considered as less value than men, but what may effect or change their destiny totally is their face, their body, and these are the two most obvious tool to use Forasmuch, the majority of female society tries their best to get close to the top possibility of beauty. They spend everything they could afford to accomplish. Whatever it takes, they are there to pay for, but who is there to push them. What made it so irresistible that most of us got attracted and follow.


From my point of view, I believe it is mostly psychologically driven. When face male, women care about what men thinks of them looking more than themselves do, which fits into an old Chinese saying: ‘a woman is eager to live a happy life with one who touches the chord in her ’, so A woman would only make herself up for a man that knows how to appreciate her, and this seems to be a national principle all over the world. In the way, any woman could catch men’s attention via the extraordinary looking she has, the more attention she gets, the larger numbers of men she might get known of, which also means a wider range choice of possible/future husband she get. This could be seen as a strategy of living in better condition. For example, the better background/ wealthier men she get choose to be with, the more spiffy of her life could be. Or in addition to working opportunities, the more beautiful/ fashionable you are while competing with others with similar profile but less good-looking, the more likely you succeed, which indicates the importance of


beauty. Women know how important appearance is, so they push it as far as they could.

On the other hand, psychologically women are born to be jealousy, they want to be different, standing out and exceptionally pretty. They take delight in comparisons and win. It is not necessary for someone go over and tells her that she is more beautiful than others, but she could compare anyone with herself while walking in the street. She would walk like wind blows for her and sun only shines on her. Every tool contributes the winning of comparison, such as make up that would refine your skin, give a nice tone on the face, and modified the whole face feature; and high heels which would immediately stretch up your confidence, as Dianne Brill says ‘ high heels can affect your mood and level of self-esteem’ (Dianne Brill, 1993,p114, Boobs, Boys &High heels), high heels would definitely give you a better proportion of body, ‘it creates an incredible illusion, giving then legs curves and full legs streamlined elegance.’ (Dianne Brill, 1993,p112, Boobs, Boys &High heels) As a pair


of high heel shoes could make such a difference to a woman, you would believe when they say ‘When I stand on my high heels, I can see the whole world.’(a line for American Tv drama, Sex and the City) Moreover, humans are social animals, delocalization means being left out which may appear occasionally, it emerges a feeling or state of emptiness, loneliness, or loss. When everybody else is dressing the latest clothing and accessorizes, wearing the most updated make up, talking about the newest technology of erasing wrinkle, you would not like to be left behind. Human has the nature of greed, women always want to be the one gets most admiring eyes, approval and praise. They use their best ability to be beautiful, however time still clicks, to maintain what they have now they use everything they could to keep it. ‘ The women are in the grip of an epidemic of face and body fascism never before seen in the history of human existence.’ ((Tania Kindersley& Sarah Vine, 2009,p296, Backwards in high heels)


Women go for anything would make them look fabulous, such as clothing and make up. You could spend your whole month salary in one second on designer’s clothing, and could end up piling up eye shadows just like your cds, but whatever it takes, you are willing to face, because ‘ you are worth it’. (Advertisement slogan of L’oreal) Apart from all those everyday tools, women could push themselves very far to be a beauty, even to an extreme. Throughout the history, examples of extreme beauty are too numerous to enumerate, such as foot binding. It has a long history and is a unique folkway of China, the inception of lotus shoe was a mystery, and however ‘it is undeniable that foot binding was born of a male fantasy that turned women into objects of their amorous desires.’(Dorothy Ko, 2001,p44, Every step a lotus) Although there are a great many of legends suggest different reasons for the existence of lotus shoe, but every one of them implies that women used their tiny feet to attract men. For example, once there was an emperor saw one of his wives walking with bound feet, she walked so gracefully that it seemed as if she skimmed over the top of


golden lilies. There is another one says lotus shoe was firstly used by dances who wanted to create an illusion of dancing on lotus with her toes in order to catch audiences’ eyes. ‘The ideal Confucian woman was one who worked diligently with her hands and body, and those who did so were amply rewarded in terms of power in the family, communal respect, and ever imperial recognition.’ (Doroty Ko, 2001,p15, Every step a lotus) Therefore, it can be seen that lotus shoe depict the value of an ideal woman who lived in a Confucian culture. Moreover, the smaller the sizes of their feet are, the bigger possibility of them getting picked to marry a wealthy man which means the size of feet influence the marriage destiny of female. It then also became a fashion trend at that period of time, women started wearing lotus shoes with their own created patterns and hand sewed them, which could also show their effort in handiwork. ‘ A pair of well-made shoes was a key instrument that reshaped a women’s body and allowed her to display it to the world in the most flattering light.’ (Dorothy Ko, 2001,p92, Every step a lotus) And at later times, women even started to wear high-heeled


lotus shoe, which was inspired by western high heels. Thus it can be seen whenever and wherever it is, height really plays an important role.

And high heels do stand out as a fairly extreme way today. According to research, feet/leg diseases of adult are caused by following: 5% hyperkinesias, 11% unbalance of walking, 18% old age, 2% unknown reasons, 64% wearing unsuitable shoes which mostly are caused by wearing high heels. 7cm is the upper limit of high heels base upon health issue, wearing high heels that are too high or for too long may cause body pain or joint inflammation. ‘But in this fashion centric world, who cares? Each and everyone are keen to look sexy and attractive.’ (Silviya, The Magic Of High Heel Shoes, p1, 2009, Articalesbase) Fashion trend tell us that a beautiful woman should look like this: graceful pace, narrow waist, high hips, small feet and long legs, and high heel shoes are the best and easiest to get there. What women want is shoes with higher and higher heels.


Moreover, women also use a range of other methods to be / keep being pretty. They do everything they could to make them look young and fresh, plastic surgery is an option. It may sound scary and expensive 20 years ago, but ‘the culture of plastic surgery is more open and more mundane. People go and do it in their lunch break. Cosmetic surgery has been democratized.’ (Tania Kindersley& Sarah Vine, 2009,p295, Backwards in high heels) Natural beauty is no more in consideration. There are magazines with advertisements of plastic surgery everywhere, front cover with celebrities’ new appearance after surgery, beauty salon with orthopedics just round your door corner. Everything is prosaic and ordinary. It can be fast, easy and forever last that you might have not noticed how harmful it could be. For example, ‘there is some evidence to suggest that Botox seeps into the brain, which is never a good place for poison.’(Tania Kindersley& Sarah Vine, 2009,p298, Backwards in high heels) But you could easily get addict to it, because it


just takes too little time and you could walk away with a perfect nose within 30mins.

No matter whatever it takes, women blindly go for anything could make them look fashionable and beautiful like magazine model and movie star, despite the fact that ‘beauty’ is a word that defined differently from period to period by the big designer companies and leading magazines.

In another words, does it mean the commercial site sets up standards of beauty? Women are hypnotized by mass media? It is when the industry sets up a series of promotion activities to sell their new collections, such as fashion shows which ‘is probably the single most glamorous activity in the fashion world, with a high concentration of pressure, theatre and artistic temperament.’ (Linda Drew, 1998, p73, The business of Fashion) Top models would be wearing all those clothes, shoes and make ups walking on stage, photographs of them would then be posted everywhere on internet, magazines would have pages and


pages of introducing new coming up trends for the next season, women will then do the rest of production cycle for all the companies. They would hike around for anything look alike in the magazine, sign up waiting list for reserving products that are on sale yet.

What is the magic of it? Big companies know how much women want to look beautiful, they set up special projects to keep old clients, but also attract more new fresh customers. They invite celebrities to feature in their advertisements, huge banners and posters of them wearing the companies products would be hung at the most conspicuous place in town, people would be surrounded by these images, and believe a perfect female should be looking like that: blonde, tall, big eyes, high nose, small face, big breasts and long legs. And companies start to market themselves based on women’s psychological activity and promote their products as profitable as possible. They tell woman a typical beauty should be looking like models they have used in their catalogues, and should be wearing what they sell in


store. You have to be in the just right size in order to fit in their clothes, if not, you are overweight in the fashion and beauty world. So ‘weight is a cultural condition. A media condition. The desire to lose/gain weight or become any particular shape is based on a collective image, somebody else’s idea of the woman of the moment’. (Dianne Brill, 1993,p55, Boobs, Boys &High heels) There is never a time to stop, as fashion changes over time and there is no way women would stop.

Apart from establishing

typical beauty

look, big

companies also managed to sell their products with strong slogans, such as ‘easy breezy beautiful cover girl’

(advertisement slogan of Cover Girl) and L’oreal’s famous ‘ because you are worth it’, it makes every ‘impossible’ becomes a ‘possible’, anyone could be as beautiful as models and celebrities on televison if you try this and that from all these companies. Moreover, big companies also created the verb of ‘limited edition’, which tickles the heart of every single woman who sees it. Limited edition means it is less spread out, it is


more special, and/or it is made just for you? All those strategies lead to economical benefits. What we see and what we buy are all either made by those big companies or a similar version of them. Trends do not walk to you by itself, they are blown to you by big companies.

In conclusion, there are different aspects of this existing phenomenon of beauty, both positive and negative. Being as a beauty bring up women’s confidence, and creates opportunities for life, and when it is possible to transform from a non-beauty to a beauty, no matter how much it cost, it is still worth it. However, extreme methods may apply and cause healthy issues. But who cares about it, being beautiful is the top of a woman’s list. Women might be more or less driven by themselves to be better and better looking in different categories of appearance, but the storm of self-achieving beauty are much more influence by mass media I believe. Media publishes its own iconic beauties together with the whole fashion industry, which is a black propaganda of illustrating a format of looks that a real


beauty should look like. Women are hypnotized to believe what they should be look like and dress like. They use women’s psychological thoughts as a strategy of selling their products, and stretch their market as far as possible. Everything could come in as a set, from head to toes, inside and outside, the whole package of beauty could easily lift you up like a royalty, but it also brings significant profits to all the companies that you may not aware. So whether fashion and beauty are products of commercial industry, or are simply women pursuing a better self, it is debatable. However, I believe both imply for the atmosphere of ‘beauty-chase’ nowadays, although media is pushing it further and faster, but women’s psychological thoughts and how much women’s life could be benefited from beauty do effect a lot and precipitates. In a word, they more or less complement each other, as it satisfy women’s vanity as well as contributes the economics. (word count:2569)


Bibliography: Books:
Cinderella’s sisters: Dorothy Ko, 2005, University of California Press Every step a lotus: Dorothy Ko, 2001, University of California Press Lotus shoe: Ying Wang, 2007, Luo Yang newspaper Shoes: What Every Woman Should Know… Stephanie Pedersen, 2005, David & Charles Shoes: A History From Sandals to Sneakers, Giorgio Riello and Peter Mcneil, 2006, Berg Publishers Fashion Marketing Contemporary Issues: Tony Hines and Margaret Bruce, 2001, A division of Reed Educational and Professional Publishing Ltd Locker Room Diaries: Leslie Goldman, 2006, Da Capo Press
Backwards in high heels: the impossible art of being female: Sarah Vine and Tania Kindersley, 2009, Four Estate Woman as design : before, behind, between, above, below: Stephen Bayley, 2009, Conran Octopus Boobs, Boys & High Heels: or how to get dressed in just under six hours: Dianne Brill, 1992, Vermilion Ebury Press Inside The Fashion Business: Kitty G. Dickerson, 2003(7th edition), Pearson Education Beauty and Misogyny: Harmful Cultural Practices in the West: Sheila Jeffreys, 2005, Routledge The Artificial Face: A History of Cosmetics: Fenja Gunn, 1973, Ebenezer Baylis & Sons Ltd. The Business of Fashion: Linda Drew, 1992, Cambridge University Press


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