Society’s Standards

Growing up in a generation where Facebook is a prominent daily activity, it is nothing new for pictures to be modified using a photo editor or Photoshop. I can remember people changing their status to “like for an edit” where they would edit one of your pictures for fun. The results would be sometimes drastic with completely different hair colour or reconstructed nose and lips. At the time this was the popular thing to do, which wasn’t extremely motivating to the hormonal teenager. With standards continuing to advance, we are trying to meet the expectations turning us into ridiculous computerized blobs in pictures that can leave us unrecognizable.

The video Fotoshop by Adobé is extremely accurate at pinpointing the flaws in society’s standards. Why would someone post a picture of their acne-covered face, when functions such as blemish removers can make all your acne troubles disappear with the flick of the mouse. The video goes on to say “it’s you, perfected” and “almost unreal-istic”. While most focus on the perfected part, we’ve begun to edit photos to the point of humanly unrealistic outcomes, in example the Kardiashians. Known for their big butt’s, a trend has spread world-wide to edit photos with your butt enlarged. This trend has opened several doors on social media forums where people will destroy one another for their pictures they claim have never seen an editing program, when in reality the picture has most likely has seen several filters and editing tools. This is really concerning as people, myself included, can’t bare to post a selfie without running it though some type of editor to make sure they’re up to the standards.


Celebrities have continued down a road to meet their followers expectations, it is now a “celebrity beauty secret” to use Photoshop. While there are many celebrities who are regularly Photoshoped, many have begun to refuse pictures released with Photoshop to meet society’s standards of the perfect body. These celebrities who refuse Photoshop are trying to create a body positive trend, where you are happy in your own body all the time. Teenagers have their walls plastered with posters of their favourite celebrities; with Photoshop males have defined muscles while the females have their thigh gaps and flowing little mermaid perfect hair. While many teenagers try to copy their favourite celebrities from pictures that have been edited, issues such as eating disorders and mental health grow as nobody can match the computerized pictures of their idols.

While females focus more on what they can do behind the screen to make themselves look better, males are increasingly insecure about their bodies. With social media the male’s body is not good enough either, the need to meet society’s standards with bulk muscles or stick thin bodies. Male celebrities have changed over the passing decades gaining muscles and commonly posing shirtless. Widely popular around 2006 High School Musical took the world by storm; shortly after its huge success news broke out that the main characters voice, Troy Bolton played by Zac Efron, wasn’t actually his real voice. The man whose voice was blended with that of Zac Efron was not as cute according to Disney, they figured they would make more money off the face of Zac Efron. Disney was focusing on the society’s standards of cute when casting for High School Musical. When looking at pictures of Zac Efron in his starting years and now in 2017 there is a tremendous difference in his body size. The standards have changed from 2006 and people are no longer looking for a cute face but rather a toned body.


Like females with Barbie’s, male action figures have changed the view on how the male’s body should look. With bulky muscles and manly features the expectations are become unrealistic. The article “Body-Image Pressure Increasingly Affects Boys” states that very few select males have a body that allows them to look and carry muscles like their action figures. Celebrities such as Chris Pratt who was once considered a chunky man, now poses shirtless modeling his man muscles and is the superhero Starlord. John Krasinski, best known as Jim Halpert on NBC’s The Office, all of a sudden packed on 25 pounds of muscle and grew a trendy beard after years of being every girls dream guy from The Office. Many will say they bulked up because they wanted to and it had nothing to do with standards, but then we look at celebrities such as Rob Kardashian who went in the opposite direction gaining weight and received backlash for loosing himself. Men have become ashamed of their body and avoid baring skin such as singer/songwriter Ed Sheeran, who does not pose, perform, or walk around with his shirt off because he does not have a six-pack.

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In class we discussed culture defined masculinity and femininity. While the world is changing to avoid the use of assuming gender, we continue to categorize objects and people. People will name their car and decide on the gender by the shape and colour; this can be seen in Pixar Animated movie Cars where the tow truck and sports car are both males. Having an old beat up rusty female tow truck wouldn’t fit into the standards of society; the females are lighter colours of blues and turquoise with flirtatious eyelids. This can also be seen in DreamWorks Animation movie Shark Tale. The male fish are sharks or manly looking, while the females have long flowing hair and seductive eyes. While at a young age I never noticed these things, I now know that because of these films I was identifying gender of objects and people by how they looked compared to society’s standards.




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