Defining Beauty

For this project I wanted to expose the ways in which the media defines female beauty. I chose to do so through People Magazine’s website, people.com by creating a Tumbler consisting of pictures of female celebrities who are thought to embody the qualities that are considered to be beautiful in society. I have always been interested in the lives of celebrities. I am also, although I wish I was not, an active follower of the articles and photos posted on People.com.

People.com consists of photos of celebrities with their families, on location, at various primaries or events, style albums and many more. Through People.com, female celebrities are depicted in an unrealistic way, as celebrities represent a small pool of people who have unlimited financial resources. They are shown to be essentially flawless human beings. They appear to have it all: a family, a relationship, a successful career, and are, of course, beautiful all the time. Although pressured by the media, female celebrities are rarely shown looking anything but happy. Due to the fact that female celebrities are constantly revered in society because of their physical appearance, women grow up with predetermined notions of what it means to be beautiful in American society. Magazines like People uphold unattainable, unrealistic notions of female beauty.

DIY allowed me to express and share my thoughts about the website I visit on a daily basis. Through this Tumbler page, I hope to reveal the problematic ways in which the media, specifically People Magazine, commodities women and reinforces notions of female beauty by idealizing (and scrutinizing) female celebrities. What really made me want to pursue this project was an album on People.com that depicted women with “unconventional” features. The purpose of the album was to point out that despite their unique features, these women are still beautiful. It instead reproduced socially constructed notions of female beauty by singling out the few female celebrities who do not possess flawless, perfect features in an attempt to tell women that it is okay not to be perfect. Thus, after reading Piepmeier’s article, I wanted to create some sort of collection of photos that are most commonly found on People.com to illustrate the problematic scenario that it promotes regarding the ideal female body and beauty.  I used this Tumbler page  to “…comment on mainstream culture” regarding America’s fascination with celebrities (Piepmeier 30). To do so, I included images of celebrity family photo albums, work out fashions, voting on hairstyles and clothes, pregnant bodies, summer bikini bodies, quotes from men about why their wives are beautiful and more. Thus, these categories expose the ways in which People contributes to socially constructed notions of female beauty.

Link: http://katiemdouglas.tumblr.com/#

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