Physical Appearance and Status

Published: 2021-07-02 01:08:35
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Category: Consumerism, Wealth, Masculinity, Appearance

Type of paper: Essay

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“Physical Appearance and Status “ Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but what the beholder sees and how it is interpreted are shaped by culture’s values. Appearance/ Beauty are social constructions. Appearance derives from status symbols. George Herbert Mead express through theory of significant symbols and language. His theory says symbols are those that arouse in the person expressing them the same kind of response that they are designed to elicit from to whom they are addressed. Society has excessive pride in their interactions with others.
Society also has other traits which reflect their culture appearance, narcissism, and social status. Society has views which are built on appearances. This is because of the media’s influence on what Americans view as “socially acceptable”. Hollywood sets a standard by using celebrities to show off high fashion that trigger the minds of Americans on what they should wear and look like to be accepted. Men are usually viewed as wearing “masculine” clothing which emphasize the size of upper body musculature, allow freedom of movement, and encourage an illusion of physical power and a look of easy physicality all suggest masculinity.
Such appearance of strength and readiness to action serve to create or enhance an aura of aggressiveness and intimidation central to an appearance of masculinity. On the other hand, women have more of a variety of clothing styles all of which reflect back to femininity. Feminine styles of dress display subordinate status through greater restriction of the free movement of the body, greater exposure of the bare skin and an emphasis on sexual characteristics. Along with clothes how a person presents his or herself through body language is also important to achieving a certain appearance.



Americans set specific standards that others achieve through clothes and body language (among other things). Even though society may view them as coming from a very patriotic background they are also viewed for being self-centered. Even other countries have picked up on the fact Americans take pride in being narcissistic. In America people also view themselves based on social class. In America there are three social classes: the upper class, the middle class, and the lower class. The upper class is said to have all the wealth and the power. Hollywood has a way of, “Glamorizing the lives of the wealthy”.
The middle class has been viewed in the media as, Not only as unlettered and uncouth but also as less desirable and less moral than other people. This can be seen throughout a variety of Hollywood films and television shows. The upper class (or the rich) are viewed in America has having all of the wealth and the power, while the middle and lower classes are left in the shadow. America’s culture is reflected through what is displayed in the media. Therefore a conclusion can be drawn that Americans base their stereotypes of social status off of what is viewed in the media.
America uses values inherited from the industrial revolution to view itself as individual, class, or society. The Industrial Revolution created new values in Western society, values that are central to our thinking today. Three things from the Industrial Revolution that directly affected people's values were the creation of the middle class, the urbanization of cities, and the growth of rights for women. The Industrial Revolution was the first time when the middle class appeared. The Industrial Revolution was what made the middle class a recognizable group. The people in the middle class had their goals and shaped their values around them.
The major goal of the middle class was to be like the higher or "old money" class. The shaped their values so that they could achieve this desired position. They strictly enforced manners and rigidity, making sure that all members always acted in the utmost respectful way. Also they tried to make their lives as controllable as possible and because children were the most unpredictable thing they believed strongly in the principle that children should be seen and not heard. The urbanization of cities also had an effect on the values of people. During the Industrial Revolution cities became more and more urban.
This shifted people's focus away from country life and more towards city life. People's values were originally based on home life in the country, but as life shifted to the cities values also shifted. Family became less important. People focused more on getting the money because it was there. They also needed to get money to buy things this is how consumerism came about. Consumerism became the most important value to people. Woman also made their position known in society. Women struggled for their rights. They had certain values that they wanted society to accept. The worked hard for suffrage and equality in the work place.
These were the values that were forced upon society just by the sheer volume of women supporting them. If not for the Industrial Revolution women would not have known what they were missing and thus would still be living sheltered lives. The industrial Revolution created new values for people that still influence life today. Values created by the Industrial Revolution such as women's suffrage, consumerism, and life styles of the middle class are all things still valued today. The values that are held today will stay with the people because they have been accepted and practiced.
Values are not changed that much and as long as people keep living their lives they will be basing them on the same values as long as they are convenient. Works Cited "81. 02. 06: The Industrial Revolution. " 81. 02. 06: The Industrial Revolution. N. p. , n. d. Web. 03 Mar. 2013. "Beauty and the Beast: Study on the Relationship between Clothing and Social Status. " Beauty and the Beast: Study on the Relationship between Clothing and Social Status. N. p. , n. d. Web. 03 Mar. 2013. Hurst, Charles E. Social Inequality: Forms, Causes, and Consequences. Boston: Pearson, 2013.
Print. Kendall, Diana Elizabeth. Social Problems in a Diverse Society. Boston: Pearson, 2013. Print. Ritzer, George. Contemporary Sociological Theory and Its Classical Roots: The Basics. San Francisco, CA: McGraw Hill Higher Education, 2010. Print -------------------------------------------- [ 1 ]. Kendall, Pg 80. , (2013) [ 2 ]. Ritzer, Pg 59, (2010) [ 3 ]. Social Status. N. p. , n. d. Web. 03 Mar. 2013 [ 4 ]. Social Status. N. p. , n. d. Web. 03 Mar. 2013 [ 5 ]. Hurst, Pg 16. (2013) [ 6 ]. 81. 02. 06: The Industrial Revolution [ 7 ]. 81. 02. 06: The Industrial Revolution

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