Gender Roles And Norm Analysis

1498 Words 6 Pages
Gender roles affect the lives of every human being. Dictionary.com defines gender role as “the public image of being male or female that one presents to others.” This implies that we portray something that we construct ourselves, crafted according to our personal expression of masculinity or femininity that we identify with. Our personal understanding of gender is shaped by the norms that come from our culture. Norm is defined as “a standard, model, or pattern.” To be included in our culture we attempt to express our gender according to the pattern provided. Western cultures, especially the culture of the United States, tend to have specific models for what is considered masculine and feminine. If something is masculine, words like strong, …show more content…
The thin ideal presents itself as the preferred body type from early on. For instance, Barbie, the number one selling doll in the world, has faced criticism for her unrealistic figure. If a real girl had the proportions of a Barbie doll, her stomach would not be big enough to support a real liver, and her small neck would not be capable of supporting her head (Hess, 2014). Despite this, Barbie continues to be a fond part of childhood for many girls. The thin fantasy of Barbie is reinforced throughout women’s lives by the media. In television and movies, the objectification of thin women as the sexual ideal is rampant. On magazines covers, women are given models that are made skinny using Photoshop, beyond what even that celebrity could possibly achieve. Women strive to make their body fit the pattern they have been given, with unfortunate consequences. An estimated twenty million women will suffer from an eating disorder during their lifetime in the United States alone (Wade, Keski-Rahkonen, & Hudson, …show more content…
Unfortunately, this is not so. Attention has been drawn to the unhealthy level of thinness that society pressures girls to achieve in order to prevent women from harming their bodies. Although having a thinner than average body can be a sign of serious conditions, some women posses that body type naturally due to high metabolism or bone structure. Many women who are naturally thin experience accusations of eating disorders. These girls internalize the concept that their body is unnatural and sickly. Also, it is often not a body without any fat that is idealized, but a body with fat in certain areas. Both girls with thinner and larger bodies can struggle without the ability to meet that goal. A recent study showed that Integration of the thin ideal and self-objectification equally lead to eating disorders (Kroon Van Diest & Perez, 2013). Although internalizing the thin ideal might be more harmful to some women than others, every woman can suffer from self-objectification when trying to attain unrealistic standards for their

Related Documents