Fashion is a multi billion dollar industry and many people take it very seriously. I think it’s important to look nice and always put your best foot forward, however it seems that it has been taken to extremes recently. Models are forced to be stick thin, and then their photographs are airbrushed to make them appear even thinner. What does this do to society? It gives us unrealistic goals, promotes unhealthy lifestyles, and sends our youth the wrong message.
The video on South Korea left me stunned. South Korea has the highest rate of cosmetic surgery than any where else in the world. 1 in 5 people surgically enhances their looks in South Korea. The most popular surgery is eyelid surgery, which makes their eyes wider. People also have their jawbones shaved for a more Western look.
Everyone should embrace their differences, because that is what makes people beautiful. To go under the knife and spend thousands of dollars is scary and unnecessary. People think they are bettering themselves through plastic surgery however I think these people lose their sense of self through the process.
Gender inequality has been a heated topic for a long time. Wage discrimination is when workers with the same qualifications perform the same but are compensated differently. It is unfortunate that wage discrimination is largely in favor of men over women. According to Fortune Magazine, women hold approximately 5% of the Fortune 500 CEO positions. This statistic is insane and depressing. History is chock-full of strong women, such as Queen Elizabeth, Queen Victoria, and Joan of Arc, just to name a few. So to think these Fortune 500 companies have 95% male CEO’s is absolutely ludicrous.
Women have come very far over the past 100 years. We gained the right to vote in 1920, but there is still a glass ceiling. Women are just as skilled as men, so to think there is such a disparity in the work place is very disheartening. There is work discrimination in many fields of works. Studies show that women make approximately $17,000 a year less than men in the medical field.
These aforementioned statistics are very sad. Although we’ve come a long way, there is still so much further we need to go.
In the article “The American Dream rewards few, enslaves millions” written by Bhaskar Sunkara, the author discusses how the American dream is an illusion. Many people immigrate to America with the idea that there is an easy way to make money and get rich. However, as I previously mentioned, this is just an illusion. Not everyone is afforded the same luxury of making a lot of money without hard work and dedication. Bhaskar clearly states that “it is not that everyone can be successful, it’s that anyone can be successful.” It is not realistic to think that you can come to America, and automatically gain riches. For the most part, wealthy individuals did not attain their fortunes just by their drive and hard work, they are selected as “token children.” I am of the belief that hard work and determination will get you far.
The video shown in class about status anxiety is very representative of the American population. The most pertinent question the viewer has while watching the video is “what causes Americans to have status anxiety?” Americans feel content when they are surrounding by those who are equal to them. When people progress faster than others, those people at the slower pace become resentful and jealous. In the video, we learn that status can be defined by the houses we live in, the cars we drive, the clothes we wear and the events we attend. The media almost forces us to desire things that really aren’t important in life. Shows like the Real Housewives give us a sensationalized and distorted view on life, and only make our status anxiety that much worse. In the video the speaker was surprised how much money Americans had without being born into it. He was also taken back by the homes they live in. Regrettably in American culture, greed and jealousy always makes us want more. The more we get, the more we want, and it is an unfortunate revolving door which opens to never being satisfied.
Land of the Free, Home of the Poor
When surveyed, the average citizen of New York believed the distribution of wealth is mostly equal among all social classes in the United States. However, while watching the video “Land of the Free, Home of the Poor,” the viewer learns otherwise. The survey that was presented to random people on the street consisted of three different charts. The first chart showed a completely equal distribution of wealth, the second exhibited a less equal distribution, with the majority of monies controlled by the top tier wealth. The third and final pie chart showed a completely skewed distribution, where the top tier class holds 84% of the wealth in America, and the bottom tier controlled 0.1%. When the surveyors were asked which chart they believed was most characteristic of the United States, the majority selected the middle one, where it was semi-unequal. Unfortunately, they later learned that the chart most closely related to the United States is the third one, where there is a complete imbalance in the allocation of monies. Warren Buffet, one of the richest people in the world, thinks the best way to merge the gap between the “haves” and the “have-nots” is to tax the rich more. We also learned in the video that the rich are modestly taxed, compared to other countries like France and Scandinavia. Before watching the video, I knew there was a disparity between classes, but I never realized how far the gap was. The sad reality is that the rich are getting richer, the poor are getting poor, and the middle class is diminishing.
Wealth in Equality
Similar to the above-mentioned video, this one showed that there is a major disparity between what people think about the distribution of wealth and what it actually is. According to “Wealth in Equality,” the top 1% of America controls 40% of the nations wealth, whereas the bottom 80% only holds 7%. Surveyors were asked how they think wealth should be distributed, and the consensus was that it should be more equal amongst the classes. However we later learned that the top 1% has more wealth than the average person thinks the top 20% should have. The top 1% is getting richer and richer, and currently consumes 40% of the nations wealth. In 1976, the top 1% earned 9% of the annual income; today they almost tripled to earning 24%. The narrator went on to explain in more simple terms that an average employee has to work one month to earn what the CEO makes in one hour. Even though we all believe monies should be allocated more evenly, “the reality in this country is not what we think it is.”