Identifya stereotype and disprove it (Expository paper)
Everyday, the media runs advertisements on beauty products, lighteningcreams, hair extensions, nail polishes, cosmetics, and other productsmeant to enhance “beauty” among women. In fact, some of theglobal companies including L’Oreal, Unilever, and P&G, havebeen increasing their profits due to specialization in beautyproducts meant to enhance women’s beauty. In 2013, L’Oreal, ledbeauty companies in sales worth over $29.7 billion. This demonstratesthe universal proliferation of the stereotype, which portrays womenas meant to be inherently pretty. According to Brewer, stereotypesare generalizations about individual characteristics, behavior,appearance, or other group-based aspects (1). They overlook theuniqueness of personality identities, desires, thoughts, andfeelings. Stereotypes are discriminative and simplistic since theyfail to incorporate inclusive assessment criteria when defining anddescribing a member from a generalized group or community. Theexpository paper identifies the prevalence of a stereotype thatexpects all women to be pretty, and use research materials todisapprove its popularity.
Thestereotype that associates women with beauty starts at birth. Once agirl is born, parents, friends and other family members, startintroducing toys, dress colors, and other materials considered prettyin terms of brightness (LoBue and DeLoache 660). Boys are naturallyconsidered comfortable in dull colors, while girls get all the brightcolors. The perception grows significantly to adolescence andadulthood, where women are expected to adorn in the most colorfulgarments, invest in ‘beautifying’ products, in order to maintainthe “ladiness” in them. However, one of the biggest problemsemerges from the definition of prettiness held by the stereotypedminds. According to the dictionary definitions, ‘pretty’ refersto attractive and delicate.
However,the definition is discriminative on matters of emotional,psychosocial, and professional competencies. Stereotyping sets limitson people’s perceptions and understanding of aspects. When allwomen are expected to adhere to the dictionary and universaldefinitions, inherent talents, traits and competencies are ignored.This forces women to adhere to a narrow definition of their identity,rather than enhancing the perception and strengths of self throughself-actualization (Chin 29). Women are then introduced to ‘beauty’products, or corporate products assumed and considered to improvebeauty in women. The stereotyping shifts from family environments tothe media, which sets criteria of beauty I order to promote consumerproducts.
Mediaand external influences cause low esteem and discontentment amongwomen, based on the difference between perceived beauty and theunique personal physical characteristics of all women. While allwomen are unique and inherently female, stereotyping makes some womento fell ‘lesser-women’ compared to others. The biased definitionof pretty forces women to adopt artificial beautification strategiesin order to be considered pretty among men. The stereotype on womenas pretty is not only discriminative, but also biased. It setsspecific characteristics that define prettiness, rather thanappreciating the uniqueness of every woman. Additionally, it ignoresthe universal definition of women based on personalities and personalstrengths. The stereotype causes women to impersonate other peoplebased on definitions of prettiness, rather than sustaining personalcharacter and beliefs.
Inconclusion, stereotyping is intrinsically simplistic. They arefounded on generalized assumptions that ignore personal competencies,feelings, emotions, and physical strengths. When all women areconsidered pretty, the definition of pretty is altered to representspecific size, character, and shape. This forces women to pursueartificial beautification exercises in order to fit within theuniversal misplaced definition of beauty. Women should never beconsidered pretty, considering the multiple strengths, competencies,and unique attributes in every woman.
Brewer,Holly. Listof Gender Stereotypes.2014. Web. 9 Dec. 2014.
Chin,Jean Lau. ThePsychology of Prejudice and Discrimination: Bias based on gender andsexual orientation.Portsmouth: Greenwood Publishing Group, 2004. Print.
LoBue,Vanessa, and Judy S. DeLoache. "Pretty in pink: The earlydevelopment of gender‐stereotypedcolour preferences." BritishJournal of Developmental Psychology 29.3(2011): 656-667. Print.