Attestable It is hardly controversial to say that society has an unhealthy obsession with images of beauty, good looks and the idea of perfection. If one were to Judge our civilization solely by images found in magazines and on television and film, they would labor under the false impression that not only did we all bear a striking physical resemblance to each other, but that we are an inordinately attractive race, Like one of those races that Captain Kirk seemed to be running into all the time. More controversial, perhaps, is the subtext beneath the plethora of attractive entertainers.
Turn on any television show, flip through any magazine, go to any movie and If you do happen to come across someone who doesn’t fit Into the narrow mold of what Is considered good looking, chances are that person Is presented as either the “bad guy*’ or, more probably, the “nerd. ” There Is evidence to suggest that the constant flow of Images that stem from a certain Ideology do have an effect on the masses, and here can be little doubt that modern society’s obsession with appearance can be traced to an onslaught of Images holding out as the Ideal a physicality that Is not only unrealistic for the majority of people, but also unhealthy.
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Beyond that, and perhaps far more dangerous, is the possibility that those who do not attain this ephemeral and phony concept of the ideal are treated with disregard and discrimination. Most people are aware that the average television show is peopled by actors considered good looking to a degree far out of kilter with reality. Women, especially, are objectified by an unrealistic expectation of beauty put forward by models and actresses who do not reflect the average appearance of women in society, but men are affected as well.
The average man and woman are subjected by the media too constant onslaught of imitations of reality which bear little or no resemblance to actual reality.