Looks are a huge part of women’s lives. Being perfect according to society’s strictures and portrayal is what most young women strive. The fact is film, visual advertisements, television and other forms of social media plays a huge part in the idea of what people should look like in terms of beauty In Beyonce’s music video for Pretty Hurts, she shows how the constant pressure for women to meet unrealistic standards of beauty is painful. In her video, she shows multiple examples of how this pressure can ruin any young girl’s life. The visual opens by showing a group of women getting ready for a beauty pageant.
The girls are constantly fighting and giving each other ugly looks. A man begins to take Beyonce’s weight and measurements. Unhappy with the weight of his subject, he begins to coach the girls telling them how to stand, walk, wave, smile, yet nothing the women are doing is good enough for him. The film shows her working out and striving to be skinnier, but is disappointed when she steps on the scale. During the pageant, the host asks Beyonce the question, “what is your aspiration in life? ” She is left speechless, and then show her falling into water. She continues to repeat the question, then finally says she wants to be happy.
The next scene shows her smashing all her trophies she has from other pageants. Girls are eating cotton balls soaked in orange juice, and others are throwing up in the bathroom. Spray tans are being sprayed on, and then it shows Beyonce being prepped to getting a face lift. In the end of the beauty pageant, she doesn’t win. This shows that all of the ridiculousness isn’t worth the pain young women go through. Without a doubt, this video shows how society has created this unrealistic body image that women feel like they need to achieve obviously making these women constantly critiquing themselves and focusing on their supposed flaws.
Beyonce is shown prepping for a face-lift and Botox representing all the things that women go through to keep up with the pressure that society puts on them. Some people go to extreme measures to achieve what they think is the perfect body. Women will have surgeries, go on crazy eating diets such as the cotton balls soaked in orange juice or throwing up after a meal, or simply will not eat at all. It all has a very negative effect on women and that is exactly what she is trying to show. The video is really a behind the scenes look into society’s take on beauty and how it doesn’t bring you happiness and it doesn’t move you forward in life
Beyonce’s song got a lot of positive feedback. Society believed it was about time someone stood up and spoke about the fatal consequences that our common pursuit of the perfect body can have. Showing the world how negative these unrealistic standards can be to yourself can help others realize that it’s okay if you do not have the perfect body. Do what makes you happy and love every bit of yourself. But, there was also some negative feedback. Some people see the video as Beyonce being significantly thinner than before her pregnancy, creating the yearning for those watching the video to look like her, and to do exactly what she sings about.
Singing about not wanting to play the ridiculous game of beauty and perfection anymore, but looking exactly like the people she doesn’t want to be should not just be seen as a harmless side effect of show biz. Society can fix this in many ways. Everyone gets this “perfect body” idea from the media such as movies, magazines, commercials, posters, and more. Most of these models or actors are very petite women, which makes other women think that they need to be that small. So, if there were more average sized models, more women would feel like their body is beautiful.