Compare and Contrast Women of Today vs. Women of the 19th Century


Women have different definitions for what is and is not beautiful. During the 19th century, there weren’t a lot of different looks and styles to choose from. There were only a few styles and it seemed as if people felt that their style was all the only style.

Beauty is not an easy thing to describe. Beauty is an idea. Beauty is something that someone is fond of. Beauty is something that the person finds to be pleasant to the eye. The most important concept about beauty is that it is in the eye of the beholder. There are over 6 billion people on this planet. Each person is unique; therefore, the term beautiful is going to have many different meanings. For instance, the Mona Lisa painting is considered to be a great work of art to some and to others it is simply a picture of an average looking women. This paper will discuss the 19th century's version of beauty and compare and contrast it to today’s society’s view.

The 19th century culture was very different than today. It seemed as if people were considered credible little education. People thought what researchers said about women, was the gospel. Men were considered superior to women. To keep this theory alive, men tried their best to find ways to keep women inferior to them. Sadly, the notion that women were lesser beings than men was widely practiced during the 19th century. Some men did not feel this way during that time, but many did.

In contemporary society it is safe to say that women are different than they were in the 19th century. Change has occurred but maybe not for the better. People generally have mixed opinions when it comes to the progress of women's beauty over the years. In contemporary society, the notion of what makes women beautiful is also different. This is the typical thought process for women in our society today. Women feel as if beauty is only what is on the outside. Women become obsessed with their image and do everything they can to make it "perfect." The sad thing is many women don't know when to stop. Most women who have one operation are more prone to do another. Some women get operations because they don't feel that they are beautiful. Women should feel beautiful the way they are. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and people will like you if you are a good person.

It doesn't help that the media gives all the publicity to women who are extremely beautiful on the outside. Women have to become almost anorexic to get acting roles in films. Gwen Stefani was quoted saying, "Yea, I look good. But I am always hungry." This shows that even women, who are models for everyone else, aren't necessarily happy with the way they look. If looking good means that you cannot eat something you want, then maybe it's not worth it. America is about freedom of choice. So why do so many women become prisoners of their own body? Women are taught that beauty or being beautiful will get them far in life. With that, sometimes women deem it necessary to go to great lengths to make sure their image is preserved. When women start starving themselves many bad things can arise. All of these traits can be acquired and are not healthy for a young women's health.

Things have definitely changed since the 19th century. Some for the better, some for the worse. I cannot figure out which are better and which are the worst. Everyone always says change is good. However, when a woman goes to such extremes to stay “beautiful”, that is the worst.

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