“Until now he had not been aware of the tyrannizing influence acquired by one idea over his mind, and of the lengths which he might find in his heart to go for the sake of giving himself peace” (Hawthorne qtd. in James and Merickel 508). Many people like Aylmer in this story would not think they would let one idea take them over. However, this has happened to a lot of people. The main goals most people are trying to reach are finding love, being rich and living happily-ever-after. Perfection is also among these goals especially when it comes to women.
The mainstream media tries to shape how people think and view the world, as well as themselves, by fabricating the idea of a fairytale and influencing society to conform to that idea through movies, social media, and entertainment. Every princess finds her prince and the superhero saves the girl. This cycle has repeated itself until recent years when movies changed in order to empower young girls to, in a way, save themselves instead of being saved by someone else. However, most princess movies are still the same and most romantic love stories are about falling in love, finding “Mr. Right,” and living the perfect “happily-ever-after. ”
Anne Sexton describes the perfect fairytale as, “Cinderella and the prince lived, they say, happily ever after, like two dolls in a museum case never bothered by diapers or dust, never arguing over the timing of an egg, never telling the same story twice, never getting a middle-aged spread, their darling smiles pasted on for eternity Regular Bobbsey Twins” (qtd. in James and Merickel 444). The perfect world has been portrayed on the big screen since the first silent film and will never come to an end.
Everyone wants to live in a fantasy where nothing goes wrong. However, recent Pixar and Walt Disney Animations are reinventing the princess. Elsa, from Frozen, and Merida, from Brave, are the new generations “Rosie the Riveter. ” They teach girls to be powerful on their own and reach success for themselves rather than depending on their prince. Most little girls want to be a princess and want to find their prince charming. Until that day movies like Brave and Frozen help the young girls to be powerful and independent on their own.
Social media has become the new form of socialization. Followers are the new friends, the number of retweets someone gets is the new form of being famous, and posting photos and videos is the new way to keep a memory. Social media does portray the fairytale life and happily-ever-after but, it mainly portrays perfection. The perfect body image has changed quite a bit in the past few years and is constantly changing. There are many social media accounts on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook whose content is primarily devoted to portraying the “perfect” girl.
The ideal body image of 2016 is now a beautiful woman who is average height, has a big bust and back-side, has a small waist, who is athletic and in good shape. Although being in shape is not a bad thing to strive for, many body images contradict that. For example, many runway models are under weight and are not healthy, however some girls view that as the perfect body image. Calvin Klein models are typically tall men who have marbled abs and the perfect jaw line. Many boys believe they must look like this in order to be valued in a girl’s eyes.
Perfection has taken over the minds of many young people not only because of social media but mainstream media as well. Young girls and boys look up to people who are telling them to be a certain way and that something different is not worthy or accepted. Many people go about achieving perfection in unhealthy ways. Entertainment has influenced the idea of perfection and a fairytale as well. Many entertainers have changed the way they look in order to conform to what society thinks is attractive. One form of entertainment, music, has been influential to many people in a positive way but now it is more about image.
Adele has gotten ridiculed for her weight throughout her entire career. Even though it is her talent that everyone loves, she is still looked at negatively for how she looks. Miley Cyrus has been a victim of this as well. Even though she is already flaunting her idea body image, Miley Cyrus was told to lose more weight by the people who run her publicity. Conformity has also victimized people such as Khloe Kardashian, Jonah Hill, Melissa McCarthy, Christina Aguilera, John Goodman, and many other entertainers. The idea of “happily-ever-after” is also pushed when it comes to relationships which can cause problems.
The idea of perfection and conforming to the idea of perfection does not only effect the celebrities but also the people who look up to them. This could teach young people that they too have to conform, and that if the celebrities have to look perfect, they do too. Fairytales, happily-ever-after, and the idea of being perfect have become a main aspect of our society. They have made people conform to what they think they are supposed to be rather than who they are. Mainstream media and pop-culture have influenced these ideas through movies, social media, and entertainment. The media has caused society to lose sight of what is more important.
Instead of teaching young girls to find the man that will take care of them and depend on him and teaching young boys to take care of that girl and be able to provide everything, children should be taught how to depend on themselves. Children should be taught how to be great by themselves and even better with the love of their life. Instead of teaching a fairytale, media should be teaching reality. In reality not every girl gets Mr. Right, not every guy can provide, not every love is happily-ever-after, and not every girl has to depend on a man. Society has conformed to the wrong ideas because the media has said that they are right.