|Keep young, Look beautiful.|
Just as much as women feel societal pressure to look beautiful, so do teenage girls. Compared to adult women, the pressure to look good and conform to society’s ideal look have been greatly heightened in teenage girls. Teenage girls feel under increasing demand from the society to live up to material and sexual ideals, leaving them vulnerable and unhappy. Just the other day I was shopping online for my sixteen year old girl, Naraj. After hours of looking for the perfect sweet sixteen gifts, it all came down to cosmetic and fashion. I was happy that I had various options to choose from but I could not help but notice the underlying message of cosmetics for teenage girls. The craving to feel attractive and look good is blatantly seen in early teen years which All of a sudden then the world of makeup and fashion starts looking extremely interesting.
According to Kilbourne, “girls are told by advertisers that what is most important about them is their perfume, their clothing, their bodies and their beauty” (260). At such a tender age, they begin to lose their strong, confident personality and begin to adhere to society’s expectation. They are told to keep young and look beautiful and that is their noble service. Society and the media are far away from reflecting reality of oppression against these young girls. As girls grow into woman, they’ll have the perception that in order to be accepted by men, they have to conform to the norm. Achieving this almost impossible ideal look, they turn to cosmetic as a remedy.
As a sixteen year old girl, Naraj has to fit into this social construction so as to avoid being looked at as different. In today’s society, great emphases have been placed on a female look. If she does not use makeup, she is not seen as being attractive to men. Young teenage girls such as Naraj are surrounded by images of female beauty that are unrealistic and unattainable. Then again, it all comes down to making profit off these susceptible young girls. Hesse Biber stated that, “Convincing certain vulnerable groups that they need to purchase goods and services to feel good about their bodies is very profitable” (189). Through the media Girls are being bombarded with images of sexuality, often dominated by stereotypical portrayals of women and girls as powerless, passive victims.
Work Cited Page
Cosmetics. “Makeup Kit.” Amazon.com Wed 4 Aug.2010.JPEG
Gifts. "Teen Cosmetics." Beta, 06/08/2010. Web. 6 Aug 2010. JPEG file.
Hesse-Biber, Sharlene Nagy. The Cult of Thinness. 2nd Ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2007.
Kilbourne, Jean. “The More You Subtract, the More You Add: Cutting Girls Down to Size.” Gender, Race, and Class in Media: A Text- Reader. Eds. Gail Dines and Jean M. Humez. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publication Inc., 2003. 249-257. Print.
Kate "Make up set." Amazon.com Thursday 5 Aug.2010.JPEG file.
"Teen Cosmetics." Gifts. Web. 6 Aug 2010. JPEG file.