Normative Beauty Essay

1363 Words 6 Pages
In the United States of America, women and men are pressured to conform to normative beauty standards. Women in America spend an immense amount of time and money on their beauty routines. Products for women 's beauty range from waist trainers, or corsets, to beauty multi-vitamins, to under-eye cream. There is a never-ending list of products women are supposed to buy and use to make themselves "more beautiful." According to mainstream society, to be beautiful means to be young, white, thin, to have blemish-free skin, and to have full perky breasts, just to name a few things. For an American woman, "the ideal breasts look like a Barbie 's"(108, Young), and since Barbie is not modeled after a human the standard beasts are completely unattainable. …show more content…
American culture greatly relates breasts to being a woman so much so that men that have fat gathered in their chest are told they have 'man boobs ' or 'moobs. ' This is supposed to be an insult on varying levels because it is "insulting to" have excess fat on the body and it is "insulting" to have any feminine traits. The importance of breasts is also seen in women who get mastectomies. Women who get mastectomies have gone through substantial emotional and physical distress yet soon after their mastectomies are preformed they get reconstructive breast surgery, or breast augmentations. Although many women gave their breasts augmented after mastectomies, there are a growing number of women that do not. Debbie Bowers, who had a breast removed because of breast cancer, stated that after the physical and emotional distress of having cancer she did not "something foreign in [her] body" and that in reality it was "the last thing I wanted... I just wanted to heal." (Rabin). There is a lot of pressure from doctors to get breast augmentations after mastectomies so that women can return to "normal." This obviously implies that women who do not have two breasts are abnormal and also that they have a problem that needs to be fixed. The idea that women need to return to normal after a mastectomy not only enforces ideas of …show more content…
Cosmetic surgery is usually considered when a person thinks that there is something wrong with their body that needs to be fixed. Insecurities stem from a lack of diversity and acceptance of the natural variance in the human body. Another problem with breast augmentation, and beauty standards generally speaking, is that for some people it is absolutely impossible to fulfill. Working and lower middle class women cannot afford to spend the time or money on breast augmentation, along with other beauty products. This bars working and lower middle class women from having access to being beautiful, which can be distressing for those women. While being beautiful is not necessarily important, American society values beauty greatly and therefore American citizens, generally, strive to be beautiful. Women who have access to cosmetic surgery and have the means to have cosmetic surgeries are inherently privileged. Beauty standards rely greatly on women 's insecurities about femininity and looking and being a proper woman. Even liberal or progressive women will find themselves with insecurities about being abnormal and not conforming to beauty standards. Therefore exploring femininity through movements such as the "Going Flat" movement is extremely important for American women. Exploring and

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