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The Power of Images Appeal and Misguide in the World of Beauty
Images have been used since the ancient times to define the personality of a person. Companies around the world are spending a fortune for advertisement by using beautiful people (Fox 2). During the colonial period, the colonialists brought mirrors to Africans in exchange to commodities like silver and gold. The Africans were amused with their own image, and they could not resist the urge to give away their precious commodities in exchange for the mirror so that they could view their reflections. Apparently, the colonialists used their images in the mirror to demean them. Soon, the same colonialists who had brought the magical thing took control over them making them captives and slaves. This paper discusses how image determines the perception that people associate themselves with not only from within themselves but also from without.
As indicated by Joynt (5), most people have come to be accustomed to their images revealed in the mirror to a point where this image defines their lives. Their walking style, eating habits, social activities, economic activities, and even their sexual endeavors are all aligned to the image that the person associates herself/himself with. In essence, images form the foundation of what people consider true about the world. The images, therefore, help them to create a sense of themselves as faces, bodies, families, and even as victims.
According to Tagliere (4), beauty has been around since the 15th century with focus being on the women. It is clear that women in those days explored their beauty with different stylish and fashionable products that made them look like angels. However, it is also right to state that the modern woman has raised the level of beauty to a different level. This is because beauty no longer not only defines how the world looks at her, but also how she looks at her from inside.
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This kind of shift in perception has drawn humanity to a place of being fascinated with their images. Thus, the invention of cameras and other devices that not only capture the image but also the moving pictures of the person are a timely incident. This means that people have become more acquainted with their own images in the mirror, and now, they are looking beyond the mirror to an image in the lens.
Sutton (10) concedes that one of the interesting facts about mirroring and images is the way this industry has transformed itself into a multibillion-dollar industry. Nowadays, there are even beauty contests in which the stake runs into millions in terms of prizes to be won and compensations for emerging as the best in image. Advertising in businesses are now capitalizing on the images of people who are considered beautiful, and it is now common to see brands releasing their products asking “beautiful” women to pose for their release. It also concerns the perception that the company wants to impose to the customers in an attempt of attracting them more.
Similarly, the image of people who are starving or suffering have come to attract sympathy from others and thus lead to outpouring of assistance in terms of aids from those who get to view those images. As such, people have come to judge others in terms of the images that they get to view about them. This image is used as the tool through which the world looks at the people.
Consequently, some people have used mirror images to decide on the kind of activities that they are going to engage in. The beauty pageants use the mirror image to pose on stage so that they can be selected as world pageants. It is their own perception in the mirror that gives them confident to participate in those activities. Those who consider themselves ugly cannot participate in the beauty contest, because they have disqualified themselves already. However, an important factor in this kind of image power is not exactly what the other people think about the person but rather what he/she thinks about him/herself. For instance, Fox (1) notes that the world had judged Lizzie as the ugliest woman in the world, yet Lizzie herself refused to see the ugliness through the mirror, and now she is using this label to change the world.
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Fox (1) observes that even though true beauty comes from within oneself, the world actually judges people according to their level of attractiveness. Studies have shown that attractive children tend to be favorites of their teachers and classmates in schools, and this may improve their performance in class. In another interesting finding, people who are considered beautiful in courts are less likely to be found guilty of the charges against them, and if guilty, they are likely to be given lesser sentences than those who are thought to be ugly. In totality, research has indicated that more or less people will react more favorably to one’s image in almost all social situations creating a kind of “bias for beauty” situation by all human beings (Fox 1). A tragic assumption concerning the image is the notion that what is beautiful is always good. This is not always the case as people who have been considered beautiful are found to perform heinous crimes also.
Generally, Fox (2) observes that women tend to criticize their image in the mirror much more often than men are; the reason for this may be that women are more likely to be judged from their looks than men are. Close to 80% of women who look in the mirror are dissatisfied with the image they see. Some of the characteristics that define how a woman sees her beautifulness in the mirror include age, sexual orientation, menstrual cycle, and marital status. Approximately 8 out of 10 women are not satisfied with their own reflection, and more than a half tend to see a distorted image.