Women’s Rights to their Body Standards

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To understand what role social media play in creating standards of beauty for women, we need to understand the two theories that have already been mentioned: social Comparison and self-objectification .These two are important, because they both stress the importance of women's beauty standards on social and cultural influences. Social comparison, objectification and self-objective are all different aspects which explain the research but questions, which will be answered in this chapter, may also influence one another. Both are based on Social comparison and (self) objectification are women's phenomena when using social networks. As social comparison is part of socio-cultural theory, a short general overview of sociocultural theory is provided followed by the theory of social comparison in section 2.1. First of all, Section 2.2 will provide literature on feminist beauty criticism in general. Second, it will zoom in into the relevant part of the feminist criticism needed for argumentation of investigative questions: objectification and self- objectification. In section 2.3 Beauty economy literature, beauty standards and mass media in Pakistan are analyzed. This will be followed by expectations based on this literature in section 2.4.

Body image socio-cultural models are often used by scholars and researchers in order to explain the relationship between media and social media on the one side and body dissatisfaction on the other. The theory of sociocultural explains how the media can contribute to the growth of dissatisfaction with the body and other behaviors.

The most important contributing factors are Family, colleagues and the media. They are believed to have such strong effect on body dissatisfaction, by indirect processes like social comparison and being internalized. The internalization of beauty standards is to what degree a person. Internalize the standards of beauty laid down by society, family, peers and the media. Social media have not been studied frequently in traditional media in relation to socio-cultural theory, because the social media is a new phenomenon recently. However, for many people, especially young people, social media has been a substitute for the traditional media. The fashion magazines and beauty products campaigns are now viewed mostly over the internet. Some studies indicate the Facebook-to-Face relationship. Body dissatisfaction is based primarily on person’s factors such as poor self-esteem, depression and sometimes the internalization of Beauty Media standards. A young woman can be negatively influenced by social media in combination with those individual factors. Mediation of systems, including social comparisons contribute more to the needs of young women's bodies.

Social media like Facebook and Instagram encourage users to choose their own selfies carefully and videos of yourself or with friends. It is a self-representation website, where people choose to just upload the prettiest or happiest pictures. Additionally, with feature of it’s possible to make yourself 'prettier' on Photoshop or other related applications, thereby creating an unrepresentative image of self. Ferguson et al. (2014) contend that

Mass media may not impact body dissatisfaction, but mechanisms such as peer comparison .It will lead to discomfort on the body. They found peer comparison impacting directly on the body .While traditional media and social media may not lead directly to negative body image. They found however a slight link between social media and peers .Comparison, meaning peer comparison might occur in social media usage. Chua and Chang (2016) also emphasize how important self-portrayal roles and peer influences are in the development of beauty standards.

Let's take the slender body type as an example for women. Thinness is often reproduced as ideal body type for women in western media, which leads to increased chances of body dysmorphia. A Puhl & Boland (2001) estimates that thinness is positive association of both male and female with the physical attractiveness of women, thus contributing to a thin body type ideal in the media. As a result, women proceed towards dieting and going to the gym to fit in with the ideal 'thin body type.'

But, what exactly is social comparison? Social comparison as part of the sociocultural theory of the body states that people are diagnosed or functional compared to others Guidelines. Social media, where photos of oneself can be posted, serves as an ideal platform to compare the young women to others. Particularly when combined with the Ideal for internalizing the thin body, social comparison is very likely to occur. Lots of things and Research has been carried out regarding the link between social comparison, internalization and objective on the social media and body dissatisfaction among young women and girls. The upward social comparison and the internalization of beauty standards resulting from body dissatisfaction can be found among Facebook users as well as Instagram Member. Confirmation, Validation and Low self-esteem is an important factor in social comparison. Especially if girls and women are using programs / apps like Photoshop to adapt their pictures so they can look thinner or more attractive Unrealistic expectations of body norms, and therefore social comparisons are found upwards.

Upward social comparisons are processes which occur when people compare with each other so that they are superior to others who they believe, leading to a lower self-esteem. Downside Social comparison is people make comparisons with others they consider are worse off, that leads to a more optimistic attitude. However, upward social comparison will result in lower proportions Self-esteem which brings us back to the start, leading to a vicious circle and men tend to unconsciously make social comparisons upward.

Research has shown that adolescent girls have four different roles in establishing an online beauty standard on social media: imaginary publics, judges, targets for comparison and Learning how editing techniques and photography will create the 'most beautiful' image.

When teenage girls post pictures online, they must first consider imaginary audiences, who do not like or comment, but see your picture. Secondly, their photo can get positive or negative verdict depending on the amount of (good) comments and likes. Thirdly, girls can post photos they look at their very best, with the aid of the right lighting, correct angle and photo editing skills to create a perfect image. Fourth, by contrasting their own photo's to other pictures online, they ridicule their own attractiveness.

Special feminist critique of the beauty. It deals with the connection between beauty, sexism, and the gender. It also discusses what beauty means in relation to becoming a woman, Beauty standards and women's bodies were always a hot topic amongst the women academics and authors. The question of why beauty is more socially important for women than men continue to be a topic many feminist academics want to write about. Many argue that standards of beauty are derived from cultural and social factors rather than from biological adaptation (Davis, 1997; Wolf, 1991; Forbes et al., 2007; Lorber & Moore, 2011). Although feminist writers have different views on the subject of beauty, a lot of them do argue that beauty is a vehicle for women's oppression, in the sense that beauty standards and procedures lead to underprivileged status of women though at the same time. It undermines women’s confidence in themselves. In addition, they believe gender roles and objectification (2.2.1) both play a major role in women's oppression.

Naomi Wolf (1991) considers women's beauty standards as a backlash in promoting equal treatment droits for women and men. They function as a politically determined system in which males operate can have dominance over women. She points to the increasing number of female eaters disorders such as anorexia, plastic surgery and pornography incidence manifestations of the Beauty Myth Outcome: 'Being in the middle of a violent backlash Contra feminism used depictions of female beauty as a political tool against women progress'. She argues the beauty myth is formed on men's institutional power and along with new advances in technology, images of ideal beauty are further imposed females. Those standards of beauty often cause anxiety or insecurity about one's appearance which leads women to try to maintain these standards of beauty by dieting or having cosmetics surgery.

Like Wolf (1991), Lorber & Moore (2011) sees today’s culture as a gendered society which patriarchy still prevails in. They see patriarchy as a structure in which men find themselves dominate culture, as its immense political and social influence indicates. The reason Men's socio-cultural beliefs imposed by women are considered superior. On the other hand, Davis (1997) refers to male domination when speaking of power and the feminist body. She explains that men dominate and feel the female bodies overall superior over women. They sexualize and objectify women's bodies and thus lead to Women's Persecution. Naomi Wolf (1991) notes that beauty in our culture is always a political device, and that advertisements in beauty magazines are for the sole purpose of selling things, and not for reasons of gender. It is sensible to argue, however, about mainstream culture reinforces women's objectivity and thus views women's bodies as a commodity in a corporate capitalism (Xu & Feiner, 2007; Zhang, 2012). To put it another way, sex sells products whether those products are related to beauty or not. The bodies of women are mostly of a sexual nature Objective in the sense that they are regarded as a commodity for the sale of the products. Both Lorber & More (2011) and Davis (1997 ) argue that the gendered society as a whole is cultural and socially constructed. The male and Male Divide women are deeply ingrained in our society and exhibit practices in everyday life, and particularly in women's behavior aimed at conforming to standards of beauty.

This results in two different forms of Sides of Gender Debate. While some believe differences between the sexes are natural, some have argued that gender is more reinforced by society, the mass media, religions and systems of knowledge which encourage boys and girls to play different social roles. In her argument about beauty, Naomi Wolf (1991) could be a bit radical when she says that beauty is used as an instrument for the oppression and complete dominance of women. I do agree, though, that supports the broader argument that beauty is a socially built phenomenon. In addition, gender differences, whether naturally or socially strengthened, are further emphasized gives specific social values. The importance of beauty of a female. The idea of women needing to be 'beautiful' is constantly portrayed throughout the media. In addition, standards of beauty are not only imposed by society but also by himself. We internalize the beauty by comparing ourselves to peers on social media.

Objectification and the 'male gaze' are terms which Laura Mulvey (1989) first mentioned. In line with this research, those terms are important. It's a theory which explains how men view women on the screen. While this idea is originally based on cinema and films, it can also be extended to pictures shared on social media, as both films and social media require women to be seen and men's gaze to be seen. It may explain why we always want to look our best in both social media and real-life photographs. In her essay Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema. She claims that on-screen women are portrayed as sex objects for both the viewers as well as the on-screen characters, and a distinction is made between passive and active roles. Mostly men have active roles whilst women have passive roles. In other words, men actively consider a woman and look at her as a sexual object. And although its 'male gaze' theory is applied to films, it can be applied to And daily life (Fredrickson & Roberts, 1997).

Fredrickson & Roberts' Theory of Objection (1997 ) states that sexual Objectification is a means of oppressing women. Sexual objectification means 'the perception of being viewed as a body (or set of body parts) primarily valued for its use to others.' Women are seen as objects for the personal gratification of men instead of human beings, which pose mental health risks for women. Though objectification may vary among different races or races, as Fredrickson & Roberts argue, it is an experience that women encounter all over the world. Sexual objectification takes place in many different ways and manners. The gaze is a very subtle form of objectification in which men can see the body of a woman as a 'sexual object.' This gaze can take place on two different occasions: through interpersonal or social encounters and in the media. The media representations of the female body are sexualised, and such media are often difficult to avoid; the gaze is very likely to affect many girls and women somewhere or other.

It appears that beauty standards have become more compelling nowadays due to women's objectification in media and social media. Lorber & Moore (2011) back this idea by arguing that women's beauty standards are set to make them sexually attractive to men. Women start dieting, buy creams or other cosmetics or undergo plastic surgery by internalizing those beauty standards set by the media. Though feminists believe that these beauty practices are something that women do to fulfill the standards of beauty set by Society, many women simply feel that they are making independent and independent choices.

Objectification can occur when a woman is shown on a screen, whether it's a TV, a computer screen or a mobile phone. Objectification results from objectification; it relates to the standards of beauty laid down by society and adopted by the self. Consequently, objectification has a big impact on a woman's identity. McKay (2013) describes self-objection as 'regular exposure to objective experiences that socialize girls and women to engage in self-objection by internalizing this view of themselves as an object or collection of parts of the body'. Feltman & Szymanski (2018) say that when she looks at her appearance 'independently of that of the individual,' a woman is self-objective. In short, a woman sees herself first as an object, and second as a woman. Self-objection may become self-surveillance, triggering issues of mental health such as depression, body dissatisfaction and even eating disorders. McKay (2013) further points out several factors contributing to the process of self-objection: media, relations and societal influences. In traditional media and social media, the women's bodies are objectivized. Women are seen by men and society as 'objects,' and are often portrayed in the media throughout this manner. For instance; the media associates being thin or skinny with being attractive, beautiful and having lifetime success. As a result, women begin to regard this as the new standard and attempt to uphold it by dieting or other forms of expression.

Feltman & Szymanski (2018) as well as Fardouly et al. (2017) allude to the role of self-objection in Instagram use and body dissatisfaction. Feltman and Szymanski (2018) argue that using Instagram leads to self-objectification by mediating factors that internalize societal appearance expectations and participate in social comparison upwards.

Pakistan’s history influences strongly its standards of beauty. Beauty standards that have persisted are largely rooted in its colonial past, where feminine beauty has been defined as having a fair skin, long hair, almond eyes, and a small figure. Standards certainly differ in Pakistan and America; America has a diverse population which means the definition of beauty is more heterogeneous. As there's not much ethnic diversity in Pakistan, the yardstick for what's 'beautiful' is fairly homogenous. Since most places are very traditional, pressure exists to dress modestly and to always be well-groomed. In Pakistani society, marriage is also a great pressure, and for women, that means they have to look at a presentable way to be considered suitable for marriage.

In most U.S. products beauty products are largely derived from nature contrary to chemicals. For example, natural recipes for facial masks and hair products have been passed down from our grandmothers and mothers for generations. Only now does the western world catch up with this phenomenon, with Desi items like turmeric now all the rage among Hollywood celebs.

Light skin is viewed as the norm of beauty in our culture, people with pale skin are considered to be stronger, more attractive and stronger than those with dark skin. There are lots of companies that advertise and glorify the use of fairness creams and lotions that are basically projecting in people's minds that pale skin is superior in some way. The biggest issue that comes from this problem is when a family is looking for a lawyer’s daughter to get their son married demand for a light skin girl. They judge her for her skin colour, rather than considering her good habits and good education. It shatters that poor girl's dreams and hopes, pushing her into self-pitying pits and fueling the hate fire for her natural skin color compelling her to use the said fairness creams and beauty products. That issue also raises questions of bias and color.

The mass and social media have been playing an active role in the booming consumer culture of beauty since the expansion of the beauty sector. The media have become increasingly market-driven, as the government strives for economic development. We see beautiful models, advertisements for plastic surgery and cosmetics all over the internet and the fashion magazines to make yourself prettier. Those glossy magazines and social media set certain standards of attractiveness for Pakistani women through access to social media and mass media are more aware of their bodies than ever.

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Women’s Rights to Their Body Standards. (2022, Feb 03). Retrieved April 13, 2024 , from

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