This paper will discuss some of the existing research that focuses on the cosmetic; hair and clothing industry influence on women. Younger women use more cosmetics, are very aware of the cosmetic industry, and that emotions and low self-esteem can have an effect on the choices a woman makes regarding her appearance. Women in today’s society are constantly being reminded of what Is considered beautiful. There are thousands of advertisements that promote this elusive beautiful Image to women of all ages, shapes and sizes.
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By glorifying celebrities and super models, society has built up impossible standards of beauty, which led to feelings of inadequacy among women. The YMCA reported that $7 billion is spent each year on cosmetics (Beauty at Any Cost, 2008, p. 2). Among those big sellers were Cover Girl, Revolve and MAC. From a young age, girls are taught to experiment with makeup to increase their attractiveness. Different amounts can be applied as needed, and It works as a temporary boost In self-esteem. Hat Is so appealing to most women about cosmetics is that it can be a quick an easy way to temporarily solve beauty problems. One of the first studies that involved the effect of cosmetics on women was done by Marsha L. Urchins along with Peter H. Bloch, “You Look ‘Marvelous’: The Pursuit of Beauty and the Marketing Concept. ” This study focused on understanding adornments, Items used to Increase attractiveness and to obtain accompanying social benefits, and how they are related to assessments about attractiveness (Hill Country Celli, (2013).
Adornments could range from a pair of clothing, makeup, jewelry, etc. , anything that makes a person feel better and more attractive. Because the media has been found to cause women to feel unattractive, it correlates that these women lacking in self-esteem are going to use adornments. Perfect examples of these adornments are: girdles; push-up bras and corsets. A girdle Is worn by women to give an Illusion of thinness. Women, who have extra body fat, especially In the enhance a woman’s cleavage.
And the most controversial of them all, is the corset. Throughout its history, the corset has been condemned as an “instrument of torture,” a “major cause of ill health and even death,” and above all, as a “coercive apparatus through which patriarchal society controlled women and exploited their sexuality. “urinal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences, July 2002). This in itself shows you the lengths that a woman would go through to be considered by society as “beautiful”. Hair care is another industry that is booming.
The average woman spends $50,000 over her lifetime on hair products. There are weaves; hair colors and extensions that can turn short haired women, into “Glide locks. ” People color their hair to hide the grays to appear younger. For many years society told us that blondes were more beautiful. Therefore, sparking the slogan “blondes have more fun. ” This cost women, particular white woman, to dye their hair blonde with the notion that their lives would be much easier. Black women on the other hand, have a more deeply rooted issues when it comes to hair.
Black women are taught that “nappy hair” is a badge of shame and considering the amount of shame African American women have already suffered, no African American woman wants more. Many African American women still think that the natural state of their hair is cumbersome, or even disgusting. This is why so many black women straighten their hair. The perception of “good hair” amongst black woman is hair that is long; straight and manageable. This is why I think women, especially here in America, feel self-conscious when it moms to their appearances.