Body Modification Essay Example Pdf

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Changing image of Asian women – why these changes have occurred and investigate the effect Westernfashion imagery has on Asian women.

A recent and rapidly-developing trend among an alarming number of Asian women has become a major focus of attention: the lengths to which they will go in pursuit of beauty or rather, the Western version of it. Growing numbers of Asian women are relying on artificial procedures to alter sometimes temporarily, sometimes permanently their appearances to fit an unrealistic Western ideal. At one end of the spectrum are quick cosmetic applications which may or may not have lasting side effects.

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At the other end are surgical procedures, ranging from minor to major, all of which pose varying degrees of risk. Whatever the procedure from applications of skin-lightening chemicals to permanent changes in tissue and bone structure, one message is very clear: white features continue to be the prevailing ideal, and for many Asian women, achieving this ideal is a goal to be attained at any cost. All of these processes from the temporary, relatively benign ones to the riskier, sometimes life-threatening procedures are actively promoted by the fashion industry. Ubiquitous advertisements link professional and personal success to women with Western, or Caucasian, features, along with a not-so-subtle message that to succeed, one must follow this Western paradigm. Furthermore, these procedures are tacitly condoned by a society which allows them to proliferate a society which allows its members to fall victim to these pressures to conform to an ideal of beauty that is unrealistic, unattainable, and of questionable worth. In their attempts to achieve this goal, Asian women risk physical health, mental well-being, and financial security often to the detriment of the lives of the friends and family who surround them. This dangerous trend must be put to an end, and that will not happen while the fashion industry continues to promote the value of Caucasian features to non-Caucasian individuals, particularly women. This paper will explore the factors that cause Asian women to feel pressured to conform to the Western ideal of beauty, as well as the cosmetic and surgical procedures they resort to in this pursuit. Finally, it will explore the complex issues raised by these societal pressures, and suggest that the key to change lies within the psyche of the Asian woman.

Body Modification: A Historical Perspective

Modification of the female body is nothing new; women have willed themselves to meet the prevailing modes to satisfy societal standards for years. Body modification has been practiced in a number of ways and for a variety of reasons since ancient times; it has existed on many levels for thousands of years. Historical evidence suggests that, as many as 20,000 years ago, red dye extracted from hematite was used to paint and decorate the body.

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