The Beauty Myth infiltrates every aspect of female life in this day and age. Beauty determines employment options. Beauty determines that existence and degree of sexual harassment. This “beauty” is defined and controlled by the media, magazines, TV, the porn industry, religion, and of course: men. Beauty is essentially the religion of women in today’s society. Young girls are raised in this toxic culture that teaches them that skinny is “beautiful” and white is “beautiful” and makeup makes you “beautiful”. Girls grow up believing that they cannot be both beautiful AND smart; they must suppress one of these traits in order to avoid the male population’s labeling of them as “bitchy” or “bossy”. These girls are internalizing this beauty myth and this is a dangerous thing. Becoming beautiful is embedded in every aspect of life for women. The media is to blame for some of this increase since we are surrounded by the advertising industry no matter where we turn. Not only are we surrounded by magazines flaunting size -0 airbrushed models and perfect actresses in the TV and movie industry, we are corralled into this must-be-beautiful mindset while walking through the grocery store, or listening to the radio, or simply scrolling through your email inbox. Just today I got an email informing me that a local women’s laser hair removal/liposuction office was offering services at a discounted rate. …How did you even get my email address? Ads for makeup and body wraps and tanning salons line the sides of my Facebook timeline. The media has so much control over us it’s alarming, even frightening. Women are being controlled by the beauty myth’s wrath every single day. As much as women try to avoid it, every woman conforms to the myth in some way or another.
This beauty myth is also one of the major factors keeping human sex trafficking alive in the world today. Girls learn that their appearance and bodies are what is important, not their brains or abilities. In turn, boys and men also learn to accept this idea. Girls’ and women’s bodies are objectified in the media today, so why not sell a woman for her body as well? The sex trafficking industry is fueled through the use of young girls’ bodies. The beauty myth gives Western society the idea that women are meant to be used. They should look pretty and succumb to men and be used for male sexual pleasure. Until these ideas are altered or erased from the American mind, women will continue to be objectified and sexualized.