Deconstructing The Idea Of Beauty Essay

1293 words - 6 pages

In her controversial bestseller Beauty Myth, Naomi Wolf argues how culture’s images of beauty found on television, magazines, advertisements and pornography are detrimental to women. She exposes the unrealistic and impossible standards of female beauty that create insecurity and self hatred that can be easily exploited by glossy magazine pictures, fashion world, Hollywood, diets and plastic surgery industries. Wolf demonstrates that the concept of “beauty” is a created weapon that is used to make women feel badly about themselves because realistically not everyone can live up to the ideal template. Wolf’s argument is effective because through the use of persuasive and convincing language, ...view middle of the document...

Her audience has responded to her book by being capable of relating the facts in the book to their own personal lives. “Women both young and old… slim women and heavy ones… black, brown, and white women,” all reached out to Wolf which shows how broad her audience was (1). Not everyone took this book as an eye opener about the harsh reality of the beauty myth, Wolf received much heat for her arguments from female TV commentators, right- wing radio hosts, and interviewers.
The main purpose of this book, that either educated some while enraged others, was to expose the unrealistic and impossible standards of stereotypical female beauty. The concept of the “beauty myth” destroys a woman’s psychological health and even imperils their health as women go to the extremes in order to fit in to the standard of a “mannequin female beauty.” In the chapter, “Culture,” Wolf focuses on the role of women’s magazines shaping their lives and making women feel bad themselves. Not only does she exploit all the psychological wrongs that all the ads in magazines do to women, she clearly states that ad companies clearly do this in order to raise their personal income. If women feel terrible about themselves, they go out and spend millions on beauty products in order to fit into the airbrushed stereotype they see.
Although Wolf’s main idea is extremely interesting and relevant to women all over, her logos is extremely over generalized and extremely dramatic. As well as portraying women as victims of men and fashion, she undermines the reader with the lack of support for the evidence of her opinion. “The magazines are not oracles speaking for men. Indeed as one study found, our data suggests women are misinformed and exaggerate the magnitude of thinness men desire”(73). She vaguely states a fact with no evidence to support her claim, by not informing the reader with answers such as which study, who was this study done by and when was this study done. “Somehow, somewhere someone must have figured out that they will buy more things,” is another example of a fact without full evidence. “Somehow, somewhere, someone” are extremely vague words that make the reader wonder how truly factual is this book. Even though she lacks the full data of evidence to back up her evidence that may hurt her credibility as a writer, she is a strong author with a great use of pathos to persuade women to not fall into the beauty trap.
As Wolf set out on a quest in this book by educating her readers about the consequences of the beauty trap, her language is extremely persuasive and strong. At times it may even be too much and angry, “this obligatory beauty myth dosage the magazines provide elicits in their readers a raving, itching, parching product lust and an abiding...

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