Paper 1 - Caren Dombkiewicz WMNST 001 Biedendorf October 4...

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Caren Dombkiewicz WMNST 001 Biedendorf October 4, 2007 “Breaking the Beauty Myth” A huge problem has erupted in our society that has been developing for hundreds of years. Beauty standards for women are at an all time high. Too thin models are becoming what women see as the norm. America is spending too much money on dieting, cosmetics, and plastic surgery. Through each wave of feminism, the beauty myth has begun to destroy women and media has only reinforced the destruction. The destruction is a result of high rates of eating disorders and self-esteem plummeting. I am sure that if women develop their own identities they will create their own beauty standards rather than those set out by others. The first wave of feminism was during the 1840s and the 1920s when women fought for their freedom of choice, their right to vote. In 1855, suffragist Lucy Stone believed, “It is very little to me to have the right to vote, to own property, etcetera, if I may not keep my body, and its uses, in my absolute right” (Wolf, 120). Women had really only gained the political aspect of feminism. There was still too much influence on how a woman should look and act. They had equality, but they were not equal. On paper women had rights, but the treatment and portrayal of women had not changed. The second wave of feminism during the 1960s brought more radical feminists.
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Race was brought into play and minorities questioned feminism. These women wanted to celebrate their culture, not compete to be as white as possible. Wolf states, “Rebirth of feminism in 1970s gained legal and reproductive rights, pursued higher education, entered trades and
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