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 E. A general discontent

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Posts : 58
Join date : 2009-05-16

PostSubject: E. A general discontent   Thu Jul 30, 2009 3:14 pm

If advertising is the ever-fluid bible of the beauty industry, the media happily provides a constant stream of its saints and heroes. Celebrity beauties and models dance before our eyes with good clothes, good genes, their slew of hair and make-up artists, and the Photoshop technicians to fix anything else.1 Rising young actress Megan Fox recently celebrated the issue. “I think all women in Hollywood are known as sex symbols. That’s what our purpose is in this business. You’re merchandised, you’re a product. You’re sold and it’s based on sex. But that’s okay. I think women should be empowered by that, not degraded.”2

A recent article in a Dutch newspaper, protests over a sexy model in a digitally edited lingerie ad were overruled because “this strategy is well known by the public and thus not a threat to the physical and mental health of society”.3

Women and men are constantly bombarded with images of unrealistic bodies. Men dream of what could be or struggle to make sense of sexy images they see all around them with the “normal” looking women in their everyday lives. Women hear the double message that yes, we can do it all...but still, as always, we need to be beautiful.


If you are beautiful (and consequently thin), you will attract men. All is lost if one is too fat or too old. But there are tricks. Popular websites boast daily Internet articles on how to stay young and beautiful. One headline lures readers in with “Hey, Ladies: 18 secrets to look a few years younger.” The article begins:

For women who think it doesn't really matter how old they look, this recession may be just the time to reassess. Charla Krupp, who wrote the essential 2008 bestseller How Not to Look Old, says appearing younger and hip is even more important in tough economic times. "When I wrote [my book] I cared about women staying in their jobs longer. Now that everybody is being let go, women need to have a competitive edge."

That doesn't just mean working harder -- it means not looking dated. "No one wants to work with old ladies!" exclaims Krupp, appearing anything but in her chic print dress with her glowing skin. "It's not like you're trying to look like you're 20 years old," she says. "You just want to look fresh, current and ageless. You want to look modern." You definitely don't want to look what she calls OL (Old Lady).5

Tips to looking fresh, current and ageless are practical: don't wear glasses on a chain around your neck, don't wear rubber soled shoes, color your hair, wear “dewy” make-up, skip surgery but go for Botox. Where these tricks fail, there is still the always ever-lengthening menu of cosmetic procedures.

In general, the more exposure a woman has to the beauty industry, the more dissatisfied she becomes about her looks. Thus the vital importance of advertising. If she sees the image, she will feel bad and buy the corresponding product to fix her problem. Yet the women we see in ad images have very little to do with the product they endorse. The lucky few who “make it” as models are supported by the products they sell. Still, a girl has a better chance at winning the lottery than “making it” as a model. Pay for a model in the beauty industry often starts at $1500/day; a top model can earn as much as $25,000 for a day's work.6 Modeling and the image industry itself is big business. The models who smile at us from magazine ads sell their bodies to create discontent and consumerism.

1.Graydon, 2004, 123.
2. "Megan Fox...,", 2009.
3. Spits, 2009.
5. Draegin, MSN Lifestyle, 2009.
6. Graydon, 124,129.
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PostSubject: Re: E. A general discontent   Wed Aug 12, 2009 4:55 pm

the models who smile at us from ads are 15 years old. That's not just what yo may call prostitution - it is tantamount to statutory rape.
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