Beauty And The Beast

Essay by ObeyTheWatermelon December 2004

download word file, 6 pages 4.9 2 reviews

"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder" is a saying that is, unfortunately, highly misleading. In a place where society rules, it is society itself that is the beholder, society that decides what is beautiful and what is not. Over history, fashions have changed to dictate society on how they must look- each method more dangerous than the last. From the iron corsets of the 1600's to the beginning of cosmetic surgeries of the early 1900's, this is not the end, but merely one time span in the history of humanity. People are prone to prefer good looks, according to whatever society has in mind for the time, to good health. This research paper will seek to prove that it is the ignorance and need for acceptance and approval, combined with centuries of tradition and expectations, that drives women to particular extremes to follow the current whims of society throughout history.

Historical Overview

Over history, gradual changes in the view of society can be seen, some faster than others, some more drastic than others. Unfortunately the dangers health risks remain critical through each change.

With the 1600's and 1700's, deception went into vogue. It seems during this time in history women are encouraged, more than any other time in Western Europe's history, to completely transform their appearance to look like someone else- being yourself was no longer beautiful. Though sanitary conditions were still in the Dark Ages, it seemed fashion was developing quickly.

The creation of false hair, reaching up to sometimes 30 inches in height (half the size of the woman under it), was catching on. Seeing as women spent several hours on these cumbersome hairpieces, they expected these styles to last for several days or weeks. Women often had difficulty getting off chariots, going through doors, dancing...