Men and Gender Perception Essay

Men and Gender Perception

Beauty, sexual attraction, sex appeal — all of these are words that men are known to commonly associate with beauty and admiration of the female gender. Each man has a different definition of what he considers a beauty and even more varied are the various male criteria for citing a woman to be just that. Due to the Hollywoodization of real life people, beauty has become more of a myth versus illusion topic. The purpose of my paper is to show how the men manage to differentiate between the two even as the mass media tries to make them believe that the myth of beauty is a reality.

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Throughout a man’s life, he is taught how to view beauty in terms of asthetically pleasing terms. Smooth skin, nice smile, shapely waist and legs, almost reed thin in physique are all criteria’s that have been set by eons of males for women to achieve. This continues to this day with all the size 0 models that are anorexic but don’t care because it helps them achieve what they have been made to believe that men are looking for in a female.

In her book The Beauty Myth, author Naomi Wolf states the mythical battle facing women of any race and nationality: “The more legal and material hindrances women have broken through, the more strictly and heavily and cruelly images of female beauty have come to weigh upon us…During the past decade, women breached the power structure; meanwhile, eating disorders rose exponentially and cosmetic surgery became the fastest-growing specialty…pornography became the main media category, ahead of legitimate films and records combined, and thirty-three thousand American women told researchers that they would rather lose ten to fifteen pounds than achieve any other goal…More women have more money and power and scope and legal recognition than we have ever had before; but in terms of how we feel about ourselves physically, we may actually be worse off than our unliberated grandmothers.”

That particular viewpoint is further fuelled by movies such as Pretty Woman and Down With Love which all portrayed women as commodities for men to enjoy using provided the woman meets their strict standards.

Men have been fed the myth that a woman of simple looks is undesirable and is therefore ugly. This is a myth has long been propagated by men in order to try to control women. It is a clear attempt to control and punish women who rise above the ranks and prove to be the equal of men. The myths about beauty that men have created and come to believe has had an adverse reaction on women as they now view themselves as failures if they deem to have failed to reach the standards set before them by men.

But, is the illusion of beauty really a myth ingrained into the mind of males, or could female beauty actually be a drug, something like pheromones. In a recent study by Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts General Hospital published in the medical journal “Neuron”, researchers have come to find that feminine beauty affect the brain of men the way addictive drugs operate on the brain. In a brain scan done in order to view the male reaction to beauty, the observation was that men are born with a knowledge of what to consider a beauty and what is not.  According to Massachusetts Institute of Technology and co-author of the research Dan Ariely, “This is hard-core circuitry. Beauty is working similar to a drug.”

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