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Social Psychology 315 Manufacturing Beauty

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Social Psychology 315
Critical Thinking Exercise - Manufacturing Beauty

Cindy Jackson’s Social Self, Self-Concept, Self Esteem, & Self Presentation

Self-concept is the individual’s beliefs about him or herself, including their attributes and who and what the self actually is. Self-concept can also be about a person’s identity which also plays a key role in determining that individual’s behavior. Cindy Jackson’s website reveals that she had very low self-esteem as a child. She had believed that she was very unattractive, I would even go as far as saying a misfit. She disliked her physical appearance, which means she couldn’t accurately describe herself using observable characteristics. In our textbook Myers states “Our self-concepts include not only our self-schemas about who we currently are but also who we might become – our possible selves.” So Cindy already had a plan thought out about who she knew she’d become. She had a wish list from 1987 that included the changes she wanted to go through. Some of her changes included wider, less tired-looking eyes, a small feminine nose, high cheekbones, fuller lips, perfect white teeth, a smaller, more delicate jaw and chin, eradication of premature facial wrinkles, a flawless, unlined complexion, and a few more changes. I think when she was younger she suffered identity issues. She even went as far as considering herself a ragdoll at the age of 6. She basically wanted to be a real life Barbie. She wanted to be practically perfect and she never had any intentions on growing old, she wants to look young forever. She wanted to look better so she believed that going through this transformation would make her able to fit into society perfectly. She went from having no self-esteem to having plentiful.
Physical Attractiveness Stereotype of Interpersonal Attraction Factor Cindy Jackson has various interviews with the focal point being how her life changed after the multiple surgeries. She strongly believed that plastic surgery changed her entire life. Men seem to find her more desirable physically. Cindy stated “that she’s only going to stop getting surgery when she dies, when they hammer that final nail into her coffin. Then then went on to say that it is her anniversary of her first 25 years of surgery and that she has many more to come (Halliwell, 2012).” According to Meyers the definition of the physical attractiveness stereotype is the presumption that physically attractive people possess other socially desirable traits as well: What is beautiful is good. To me I think this factors into my findings about Cindy because she feels as though her being attractive physically means that she’ll have other socially desirable traits. Cindy stated “from the age of six I knew I was a plain-looking girl and that it put me at a disadvantage compared to my far prettier classmates (Halliwell, 2012).” So as you can she already felt like compared to everyone else she wasn’t the most attractive which made her feel like she didn’t have any other redeemable qualities. Cindy felt like if she was more beautiful she would’ve been treated better, which to me there is some truth to that. People who don’t feel as confident in their looks will start behave in that manner. Myers states “If physical attractiveness is that important, then permanently changing people's attractiveness should change the way others react to them.” In Cindy’s case this makes perfect sense because she felt a misfit, she got the surgery to change, and now she feels accepted. And seeing as she’s was very unhappy, she got multiple procedures (Honigman & others, 2004). Cindy also said “A friend said that when I smiled my nose and chin looked as though they might touch. It made me feel ugly.” This is why she worked as hard as she did to change because her physical appearance wasn’t the best. I’m not sure if looking good on the outside changes who you are on the inside. I think no matter how much surgery she gets, or how good she feels, she’ll always be that 6-year-old girl who wasn’t perfect.
Mass Media Influence and Cindy Jackson’s Lifeworld

The media influences Cindy Jackson’s lifeworld because the media is how she’s been able to reach the world to tell her story. She’s also been able to get her products and services across global clients through the mass media. I would also say the media influenced her lifeworld because almost everyone in the media is “perfect”. She wanted to be perfect and she got the job done. She’s basically a walking Barbie doll as some say. And seeing as the media was very accepting to what she’s done, I’m sure that the praise she was getting influenced her to continue on the path she was on because she was well accepted. A lot of people who met her even claimed that she was beautiful, but no only beautiful very intelligent as well. But I also think the media influenced her attitude. Seeing woman prettier than her whether around her or in the media definitely had an effect on her, but she doesn’t have to worry about that anymore. In 1999 Cindy had won herself in the book of Guinness World Records for having the most cosmetic surgeries which goes to show that the world of media was aware of what she was doing. Cindy stated “I never intended to break records. I just want to be young and beautiful. I never want to look into the mirror and see a wrinkly old face staring back — and I don’t think I will ever have to (Halliwell, 2012).” So all in all I think the media influenced her lifeworld in a very good way. She became the woman she knew she wanted to be and she looks great!
What I Perceive the Theme of Manufacturing Beauty Means

I perceive that the theme of manufacturing beauty means to simply build yourself into a better you whether physically or mentally. I don’t think manufacturing beauty means that you have to get procedures to look better, I think it means you have to build your confidence however you see fit whether it’s telling yourself you’re beautiful every day in the mirror. Having low self-esteem can really ruin the person you are simply because you don’t feel good enough amongst other people. Anyone who takes any strides towards a better them should definitely be rewarded because that’s not the easiest thing to do when it comes to self-worth. It all starts from the inside. If you feel like you want to change your appearance go for it, if you feel like you want to just work on appreciating yourself without going under the knife go for it. No matter what your reasoning is, becoming your best you is my reasoning on what I think Manufacturing Beauty means.

References

David Myers. (2010). Social Psychology with SocialSense CDROM and PowerWeb, 10th Edition. [VitalSource Bookshelf Online]. Retrieved from http://devry.vitalsource.com/#/books/0077586794/

Halliwell, R. (2012, February 25). 'It's 25 years since my first op and I've no plans to stop' Retrieved February 14, 2016, from http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/woman/4153715/Real-life-Barbie-Doll-Its-25-years-since-my-first-op-and-Ive-no-plans-to-stop.html

Honigman, R. J., Phillips, K. A., & Castle, D. J. (2004). A review of psychosocial outcomes for patients seeking cosmetic surgery. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, 113, 1229–1237.…...

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