Sunday, July 5, 2009

Inscribing Gender on the Body

In beauty norms, power relations are reflected because women are expected to keep higher self-maintenance and hygiene than men. Also, it is more unacceptable for women to be overweight than it is for men. Beauty norms affect women more directly by encouraging women to go with the flow in terms of things such as fashion, make-up, and plastic surgery. I think that it affects men to some extent, but not nearly as much as women.

Beauty norms have affected me in several ways. I buy make-up constantly and it always takes me close to an hour to get myself ready to go out for the day. Also, I am currently trying to lose weight so that I can appear better physically. There are definitely things I like about my body. I like my eyes and my legs, but I think it will still be a long time until I can almost like everything about myself.

The connections of beauty standards to women’s health mostly have to do with people who are anorexic or bulimic, or even people that are overweight. When society pressures women to be a certain way, they might starve themselves, throw up their meals, or do the opposite and binge eat because food makes them feel good about themselves. Women can resist the beauty ideal by being comfortable with who they are and making fashion statements that instead of expressing society’s wants, express their own wants. Phallocentrism controls men’s bodies in the sense that it makes them feel like they have to practice being manly enough. It reinforces the idea that men are supposed to have hard attitudes and not express emotions.

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