In the American society beauty used to be meant for women only. Women, especially living in a big city had to look like Barbie, thin and beautiful. However, as the time changes, the American culture also changes in the emphasis of appearance. These days beauty is also meant and it seems to be a must for men. Men have to look like Ken, just as women are starting to look like Barbie. Therefore, changes in the emphasis on appearance in American culture are leading to serious consequences for many people.
Several factors have influenced American beliefs about the importance of appearance. The most significant factor seems to be the change of women in society. It was impossible for a woman to have power. The only way to get some sort of power was by marrying a rich man. But now, women have gotten the power through education, women are the men’s bosses. Nowadays women don’t have to go after the big ugly rich guy, now they have the choice to look for an attractive man. The women’s changes in the society mean a change in men’s life. Men have to be handsome and be muscular or at least be physically presentable. A further factor is what men see in magazines. Men are no longer just buying the sports magazines, but they are also buying magazines about health. In “Venus Envy” the author Patricia McLaughlin mentions about how Men’s Health has increased their circulation in the last six years, this magazine’s circulation is as big as Esquire’s and GQ’s put together. In Men’s Health, men are exposed to male models with a muscular body and nice shaped faces. The importance of appearance is influenced in many other ways, and the most important seems to be that men have seen what and how women want them.
The authors suggest that there may be serious consequences of this increasing emphasis on looks. In her essay, “Thigh Anxiety”, the author Laura Fraiser talked about facts of men having plastic surgery.