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Eye of the Beholder

In: English and Literature

Submitted By Paynecake
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The Eye of the Beholder “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” but what if the beholder’s vision is blurred? The media today dictates what is beautiful, and these standards are so high that they are impossible to reach. Both Camille Paglia and Daniel Akst point this out in their essays about the effects these standards have on the general population. Paglia uses an appeal to the emotion of her upper-class middle-aged women audience who may choose plastic surgery as a method to stay beautiful whereas Akst uses all forms of rhetorical devices to appeal to everyone in defining what beauty truly is. Camille Paglia, Yale graduate and professor of humanities and media studies at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, says in her essay “The Pitfalls of Plastic Surgery” depicts the belief in the beauty of uniformity. Women have a belief that if they don’t look a certain way, then they are not beautiful, so they turn to plastic surgery. In an excerpt from her essay, Paglia shows us this example of a media sex icon “...Amazonian superheroines like Lara Croft: large breasts with a flat midriff and lean hips, a hormonally anomalous profile that few women can attain without surgical intervention or liposuction” (793). What Paglia attempts to accomplish with this essay is to appeal to the emotions of these women, so that they will not lose identity in this sea of uniformity. But woman are constantly having to compete with the young and sexy media icons and turn to things like botox. However, the need to be forever young will make it so “We will never again see ‘great faces‘ among accomplished older women...” (Paglia 793) rather a petrified representation of what little youth a potentially great women decided to hold on to. Paglia wants women to look at the beauty in the uniqueness of a woman, not what makes her meet a standard but break it. Daniel Akst, a…...

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