Obsession with American Women's Beauty Standards

Published: 2021-01-25
Obsession with American Women's Beauty Standards
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Women Marketing Pressure Stereotypes
Pages: 6
Wordcount: 1514 words
13 min read

Organizations in the American beauty industry have come up with various marketing strategies in a bid to control the competitive market. As a result, American women have a challenge of choosing between the available beauty products in the market as these organizations have even started to use direct and niche marketing strategies to ensure that their products have been identified by the potential and prospective buyers. Some of these beauty standards are unachievable to many, leading to collective obsession in their lives. Beauty is too expensive, and if one has to match the societal needs, and then the cost implications have to be ignored. The consequence of these marketing strategies is an obsession with the American women in their attempt of trying to be beautiful. The environment has now tasked them to focus on beauty perfection for them to have a decent appearance and have a distinct identity. Irrespective of ones occupation, the American woman is expected to look clean shaved, decent, and acclimatized with the current beauty standards. The paper will cover an extensive analysis of the influence of beauty obsession and its effects on the American woman.

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Almost all women in the United States use beauty pageants unconditionally because of the environmental expectations. The culture is full of expensive and at times unattainable beauty competition by both women and girls for physical beauty as the possibility of not being judged on their appearance does not exist. In the end, they feel that they are insecure about their self and demand to use different ointments and dressing styles to ensure that they are in line with the ever presentable pool of women in the society. Even if it is traditionally believed that women focus on their physical beauty to be recognized by their male counterparts, the situation here is different as they mainly focus on being beautiful as their friends of the same sex (Maine, 2013). One of the beneficiaries of these beauty standards is the fashion and cosmetic industries. These industries are always ready to exploit the conventional standards of beauty by increasing their prices and bringing innovation into the process of manufacturing. For instance, there are different varieties of beauty products, availability of diet programs and cosmetic surgery.

The issue of beauty amongst the American women is not new, but the rate at which has invaded the lives of women and young girls is inevitably high, as they become obsessed of attaining expensive and unattainable look, thus increasing the problem. The obsession to achieve particular beauty standards has led to exposure to health risks and the emergence of the culture of mean girls. They must achieve a particular beauty standard and strive to ensure that they have maintained it for the sake of their physical appearance. The concept makes this issue not only expensive but also inconveniences them, influences their interpersonal relationships and most importantly, health. Beauty obsession has a lot of implications for women, both economically, health, and socially. Women in the United States spend a significant portion of their money on buying cosmetic products, and this has enabled such companies to flourish. Some of the businesses that have benefited from their beauty obsession include Maynard Inc. Avatar International and Derricks Choice. To ensure that their customers have preferred them, they offer after sales services such as free shipping.

Cost implications are not an issue to the American women as they have even gone ahead to have surgery. It should be noted that as the increase in demand for cosmetic surgery and other beauty aesthetic procedures, the business is booming as the businesspersons drastically increase, more so for the women of color (Webb et al., 2013). Even in the workplace, women have been forced by circumstances to meet certain beauty standards. For instance, one cannot feel comfortable if she is not as beauty as the colleagues. Physical beauty expectations affect women financially in their place of work. Lookism, which is a form of prejudice based on the physical beauty, is an issue that silently affects women. Even if productivity in the workplace may not be related to one's beauty, it should be noted that employee informal groups assists in sharing of skills and challenges, enabling them to arrive at sound conclusions. If however one is discriminated on the grounds of beauty, there is little or no possibility of being associated with such informal groups.

The stereotypical image of physical attractiveness has made ladies obsessed with beauty, forcing them to undergo cosmetic surgery to overcome self-criticism. The environment encourages every woman to be physically attractive. Beauty is an inborn and universal value amongst women that ought to be achieved by women. Ladies can decide to be natural, but the external forces make them reconsider their decisions because of the though cultural norms that force them to meet a particular level of beauty. Such external pressures can come from friends because of their unwillingness to socialize with the less beautiful ones (Cole, & Rothblum, 2012). For instance, in learning institutions, if a lady does not comply with the minimum levels of beauty, she may end up losing a significant number of friends. Therefore, they tend to take their time and money to groom themselves with a focus on matching the standards of their friends. They, as a result, become obsessed with their dressing code, beauty makeup and hair style. Being obsessed with the American beauty standards enables women to feel accepted in the society but at a cost.

If anything, the current American woman is obsessed with her beauty and this form of obsession competes with the ideal personality in an attempt of trying to accomplish a given goal. An ideal American woman who has been obsessed with the standards of her beauty will always attempt to attain higher heights by the use of cosmetics or cosmetic surgery for perfection. However, women who do not base their daily life on physical appearance cannot have the passion of going to those extra heights as the obsessed ones and van even end up looking down upon the ones who have done cosmetic surgery (McSweeney, 2015). Ladies who are obsessed with beauty may find it difficult to cope up with some situations that involve manual work, as they end up considering such work to belong to men or the poor women in the society. Beauty obsession of the American women is an issue that needs to be attended to because of its ability to make women prefer certain work to others. In an economically stable society, the citizens should be ready to do any work irrespective of gender. There is no necessity of avoiding to apply for certain jobs just because such work makes the employees dirty.

Even if beauty is something that anybody can admire, it may bring a lot of discomfort to the subjects. For instance, high-heeled shoes can interfere with the walking style of an individual and even cause some health problems. Expectant mothers are advised to wear flat shoes but if one prefers high heeled ones in the bid to maintain her beauty, then she must compromise on her health implications. Other adverse effects of beauty obsession are the wearing of uncomfortable clothing, tattoos, and piercings. Because of the different interpretations of beauty, there is no standard code of dress, hairstyle or makeup that can be used universally (Ashley 2015). Every lady has an option of choosing cosmetic products that can enable them to be considered as beautiful. Natural beauty, therefore, should be the as it is not expensive and does not have a lot of health implications to the bearer.

There are some strategies that the American women can devise to prevent the obsession of a given standard of beauty. They should have several ideas of beauty, analyze them and reach a conclusion on the best course of action that they should take. It is not advisable for them to benchmark certain figures in the society because of the financial constraints. Based on ones level of income, an individual can decide to use expensive cosmetics. However, if another lady decides to copy what the other one has decided to use to maintain or increase her beauty, then there will be financial problems. The American woman should lead hr life and escape the influences of beauty obsession as this causes a lot of harm than good. There are different perspectives on beauty and it is necessary for one to make a personal judgment on the best course of action to take.


Ashley, R. (2015). Cross-cultural comparison of black women's body image highlighting Saartjie Baartman and motivations to engage in body modification(Doctoral dissertation, University of Delaware).

Cole, E., & Rothblum, E. D. (2012). Breasts: The Women's Perspective on an American Obsession. Routledge.

Maine, M. (2013). Body Wars: Making Peace with Women's Bodies (An Activist's Guide). Gurze Books.

McSweeney, C. L. (2015). MEDIA REPRESENTATIONS: THE HEALTH AND BEAUTY OF THE FEMALE BODY (Doctoral dissertation, The University of Utah).

Webb, J. B., Warren-Findlow, J., Chou, Y. Y., & Adams, L. (2013). Do you see what I see?: An exploration of inter-ethnic ideal body size comparisons among college women. Body image, 10(3), 369-379.

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