The Concept of Scabies for Men and Women

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Updated: Jun 06, 2023
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Introduction Unfortunately we live in a time where women (and men) base their self-worth and beauty heavily upon social media likes, celebrity models, and the opinions of their peers. Throughout this paper I will be talking about my outtakes from several scholarly articles and studies. These articles have discussed struggling with self-worth based on appearance, self-objectification, body surveillance, and depression with each of the issues stemming from socio cultural norms, cultural standards of beauty, and sexual health. I’ll start each paragraph with a brief review of an article for a better understanding to the reader and go on to share my own personal thoughts of the matter throughout.

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How Sociocultural Norms Influence Adolescent Girls and Women… Strahan et al studied the correlation of sociocultural norms and women basing their self-worth on their appearance rather than their inner beauty, leading them to become more concerned with others perceptions of them and less confident in their own bodies. The study as a whole was broken down into two separate groups, Study one controlled the significance of sociocultural norms in the company of female University Students, while study two involved an intervention calling out the legitimacy of the sociocultural norms were conveyed to both female and male adolescents. When the results came in there was a strong correlation relating ones self-worth and overall level of self- confidence of their bodies. Girls who were shown unrealistic beauty standards through pictures of models based their self-worth more strongly on their outward looks and overall had lower self confidence in themselves, while women who were not shown the pictures and/or commercials did not relate their self-worth to their outward looks and in turn had a higher sense of self-confidence between the two groups.

I find these results to be very sad yet not shocking at all. We are surrounded by unrealistic beauty images every day, and with social media being the main attraction nowadays, it only makes sense that we are comparing ourselves to what everyone is seeing as beautiful, or what everyone one else seems to like. The Gendered Body… In chapter thirteen of Michael Kimmel’s book, The Gendered Society, Kimmel discusses gender and the beauty myth. Relating back to the paragraph above I was talking about why it is easy to feel  pressured to look a certain way based on society’s beauty. Kimmel starts with talking about men. Yes men. You would think, “What do men have to do with woman’s beauty standards?” Well in reality it was men who came up with said standards according to Kimmel. As we have discussed many times throughout the semester it appears that men not only hold the most wealth, but the most power too. With a very high number of men in charge, I believe that telling women what they can or can’t do or what they should and shouldn’t look like in order to please these men has become a norm, further allowing men to attach beauty standards to a sex that they cannot relate to at all is this.

With men holding both power and wealth women have been placed into this category where their job is to please those higher men. This is where they set sexual standards of beauty based on the status of women. Kimmel also discussed the fact that when women are in charge and they hold the power smaller breasts may seem more attractive because now the difference between men and women anatomically are smaller. Like we learned in class difference comes before dominance. The less different men and female are from each other the more opportunities we have to become equal. Back to talking about the unrealistic beauty standards posed by males. Kimmel also discusses a term called the “beauty myth” this is a “nearly impossible cultural ideal of women’s beauty using images to define what beauty is.” Society helps this term in so many ways today. We see countless ads, commercials, and products that claim they will make a women prettier in some way shape or form. We then do nothing but hurt ourselves as women by actually buying these products to make ourselves skinnier, have longer more voluminous hair, appear younger, and of course the list goes on.

We put all of these harmful products in and on our bodies just to try to become people that we are not, because society tells us that our true beauty is not beautiful enough. But what if we weren’t influenced by the media? It has been proven over and over again through countless studies that without the influence of media women’s confidence goes up majorly, so why don’t we just stop paying attention to the media? I’ll tell you why. We’re addicted. Were addicted to the feeling we get when we do feel beautiful compared to another very important people and celebrities. We’re addicted to the attention we receive when we get a record number of likes on an Instagram picture, and were addicted to the satisfaction we get when people fill our heads with compliments. Instagram Use and Self-Objectification… This study performed by examined many potential mediators such as engaging in positive or negative appearance comparison, internalizing cultural standards of beauty, and receiving both good and bad appearance related commentary.

Feldman and Szymanski also studied moderators such as feminist beliefs and moderated mediation of links between Instagram use, body surveillance, and self-objectification. Results of this study showed that internalizing the cultural standards of beauty and engaging in positive appearance comparison uniquely mediated Instagram usage, body surveillance, and self- objectification links. From the moderation analysis they found that the direct effect of Instagram usage on body surveillance was contingent on beliefs of feminists, being that this connection was only notable among women with moderate and lower feminist beliefs. This leads us to believe that stronger feminist beliefs play a protective role whereas weaker feminist beliefs play an augmented role. This article again did not surprise me at all. If it were up to me however I would have also added in an age factor maybe asking the same questions to high schoolers and college students. Of course negative comments related to your appearance would be saddening especially due to the fact that we tend to only post our best images on social media showing only our idolized self, but we do not see grown women commenting nasty things on other grown woman’s profiles very often. This is something that younger girls would do.

This study was simply another source piggybacking on the obsession we as women (and men) have with obsessing over social media. Weather it is a strong source of the problem for everyone or just a small piece. Instagram and other social media cites really do skew our thoughts about ourselves based on what others are commenting about us. It’s Not the Size of the Boat… In my third and final scholarly study, begin to talk about cultural standards of beauty from a different aspect being psychological factors and sexual functioning. This study examined the connectivity of body surveillance and internalization of cultural standards of beauty with depression, sexual health, and anxiety. They investigated the role of appearance anxiety and depression as mediators of the associations between the internalization of cultural standards of beauty and sexual health. Their findings were that both appearance anxiety and depression fully mediated the relationship of body surveillance and sexual well-being, but, the internalization of cultural beauty standards did not show any significance with the outcomes.

As we may have seen before, depression can stem from a lot of things but the way that one views themselves can really lead someone into a deep depression if they see themselves through a negative scope. What caught my eye when searching for articles with this study was the fact that they did connect sexual health to depression. This leads to a whole new topic if I wanted to pursue it. It’s hard enough to feel beautiful in a world filled with perfect images of what you should be, but this can be traumatizing with someone struggling within their own sexual identity. These women have so many standards that they are supposed to live up to, but their thoughts and appearances don’t fit the description of the worlds definition of beauty. This causes a whole other level of depression, because yes we see products to fix our “imperfections” that will make us more beautiful, but we don’t see products that help you find your sexuality to be able to fit in to a specific category of beauty. I would like to see more articles like this in the near future. Just in the time of researching for this paper I have gotten a completely different outlook on my own beauty in conjunction with the worlds view. It really doesn’t matter what others say or feel about you as long as you are happy with yourself.

Conclusion In conclusion there are many reasons for women’s insecurities within herself, but as we have seen throughout the past couple of paragraphs; society, and social media play a huge role. Perhaps we spend too much time online, or we spend too much time caring what others think about us, or maybe were just “too sensitive,” regardless of the reasoning, women need to stick together and build each other up. Until we have the same impact men have on creating standards we need to remind each other of our own moral standards. Sources Feltman, C. E., & Szymanski, D. M. 

Instagram Use and Self-Objectification:

  1. The Roles of Internalization, Comparison, Appearance Commentary, and Feminism. Sex Roles, 78(5–6), 311–324. Kimmel, M. S., & Holler, J. Z. (2017).
  2. The Gendered Body. The gendered society. Don Mills, Ontario: Oxford University Press. Strahan, E. J., Lafrance, A., Wilson, A. E., Ethier, N., Spencer, S. J., & Zanna, M. P. (2008).
  3. Victoria’s Dirty Secret: How Sociocultural Norms Influence Adolescent Girls and Women. Personality & Social Psychology Bulletin, 34(2), 288–301. Vencill, J. A., Tebbe, E. A., & Garos, S. (2015).
  4. It’s Not the Size of the Boat or the Motion of the Ocean. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 39(4), 471–483. 
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The Concept of Scabies for Men and Women. (2022, Jun 26). Retrieved from