Monday, April 22, 2013

Active Reading (Lauren Benard)

 Use the reading below to fill out the activity sheet.

Pop Culture is Destroying True Beauty

By Rachel Drevno
The Spectator Online, October 11, 2001

Our society affects us everyday. In simple ways, it makes us aware of new products or calls our attention to new movies. Or it can affect us more deeply by suggesting we aren’t good enough because we don’t look a certain way. Billboards, magazine ads, and TV commercials portray ideal images of people as skinny, beautiful, and sexy, frequently playing on the general public’s vulnerability about their bodies. These messages generally go unnoticed until people reach a point where they dislike everything about themselves.
          Everywhere you look you will find images of women and men who typify what our society considers “beautiful.” More often than not the women have visible ribs, hipbones that jut out, and emaciated faces. Men are portrayed as sculptures chiseled out of granite, with rock hard abs and strong shoulders. Rarely do advertisers use someone with a little meat on their bones to sell their product, unless of course they are pitching some newfangled weight-loss product. Open a magazine, closely watch a movie or TV show, and you can’t help but be inundated with images of “perfect people.”
          In countless movies, characters who at first appear quiet, nerdy, or unfashionably dressed are overlooked until they receive a makeover and then suddenly to our surprise become hot commodities. But such rapid makeovers (usually set to lively music) do not yield the same results in real life. Every year men and women spend absurd amounts of money on products that promise to make them beautiful, skinny, or physically enhanced in some way. Slap a pretty face on a box, add a so-called “guarantee,” and people will flock to buy it. 

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