Society’s vanity reaches new and highly disturbing levels

Dec. 10, 2012

April Wefler
awefler@uccs.edu

Women have been experimenting with their looks for centuries. The corset was introduced as far back as 2000 BC.  For a millennium, the Chinese practiced foot binding to make women’s feet smaller and more attractive to men.

The corset is thankfully not used much anymore, and foot binding was banned in the 20th century.  Unfortunately, new practices seem to be emerging in our vain society.

According to Fox News, some women have chosen to shorten their toes or completely cut off pinky toes, not unlike the stepsisters cutting off their toes and heels in Grimms’ “Cinderella” to fit into the slipper and trick the prince.

Fox cites the American Podiatric Medical Association, saying, “87 percent of women have had foot problems from wearing uncomfortable or ill-fitting shoes such as high heels.”

Then why do we choose to wear shoes that make us uncomfortable? High heels are often chosen by women who want to appear professional in the office, but when shoes make you uncomfortable, they should not be worn.

Any form of close-toed shoe is likely considered professional and doesn’t have to be uncomfortable like heels. Choosing comfortable shoes is better than spending thousands of dollars to alter your feet.

Foot mutilation is only one aspect of the crazy beauty trends currently sweeping society. Anastasiya Shpagina, a 19-year-old Ukrainian woman, decided to turn herself into a living anime character.

Weighing 85 pounds at 5 feet 2 inches tall, she achieves the look mostly with expensive makeup and is also considering surgery to make her eyes look more anime-like.

Similarly, 30-year-old Jacqueline Koh from Singapore underwent 10 surgeries just to reach the point where she felt good about her looks; some accounts state that she also wanted to look like an anime character.

Both Shpagina and Koh were beautiful women before their makeup and surgical choices. The problem is that there are people who find their unrealistic looks “cool” and “inspirational,” despite their unhealthy appearances and other problems, like the blindness that could result from Shpagina’s circle lenses.

But wasting money on plastic surgeries and makeup isn’t new. The media bombards us with images of supposedly perfect people that we’re pressured to imitate.

Although there are such organizations as Healthy is the New Skinny and the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty, vanity is still dominant in society.

Are foot mutilation and making yourself into a real-life doll the first steps leading back to the days of corsets and foot binding?

Society’s vanity has already reached a disturbing point – and with it increasing daily, we should be concerned for the future generation.