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Welcome to the forum for the Oxford Brookes University module U75102 Understanding Media.  The forum is currently closed.

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Author Topic: The ‘perfect’ face?  (Read 7735 times)

mouse123

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The ‘perfect’ face?
« on: October 27, 2014, 06:55:52 pm »

I don't know if any of you have seen this in the news recently, but I for one do not understand its need to be in the news at all. Yes, Renee Zellweger has drastically changed her appearance, but the negative and nasty response from newspapers and fans, I found, heartbreaking. Why is it any of our business if she changes her appearance? The taboo amongst celebrities of the ‘plastic’ face has become an accepted factor among the rich, with their need to erase wrinkles and create the ’perfect’ face for themselves. I personally think, why not? If they have the money and they feel the need, let them. Its not our face they could possibly ruin, so why do we feel the need to constantly give them our criticism? is this not a defining factor in why they do it in the first place, the publics pressure on them to be perfect?
The popular Newspaper title I found for this instance was ‘What HAS Renee Zellweger done to her face?’. I find this offensive and bitchy towards a fellow female, who has normal insecurities like all of us. Even though in every interview given she proclaims herself as ‘happy’ we still, as the public, find the need to attack her, and the way she looks’. Why do we forget that celebrities are normal human beings too, and will react the same way to abuse, and negativity as we would is someone was to publicly tell us we were ugly?

Whats your opinion on the subject? Do we try to dehumanise celebrities?
[originally written 21st October]
« Last Edit: October 27, 2014, 11:13:33 pm by mouse123 »
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meli1993

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Re: The ‘perfect’ face?
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2014, 08:37:10 pm »

I think that this is a clear example of female stereotyping and negative gender representation thriving in everyday media. I agree entirley with 'mouse123,' why is Renee Zellwegers changing face even considered a news worthy story? In her most famous role as Bridget Jones she plays the part of a normal, girl-next-door type character. Bridget Jones does not comply to the sexy stereotype of many female lead roles. She is curvy, not considered conventionally beautiful and portrayed as being a clumsy, slightly awakward character. However, from a feminist perspective this portrayal could be seen as equally damaging. Bridget Jones still fulfills a traditional stereotype just in a modern context. Although loved by many, I can't help but wonder if Renee's decision to alter the way she looks is a result of years of media pressure regarding her appearance. There is such a specific and socially ingrained image of what famous females should look like and it must be hard for them not to be influenced by these social representations. I think it is tragic when you see magazine after magazine full of unflattering and derogatory images of famous women. Despite the huge steps in gender equality, there is still a long way to go. If a male celebrity decided to lose weight or try and improve their appearance, yes there would be media coverage but would it be publicised on the same scale? And would there be the same nastiness and criticism?
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inthemedia22

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Re: The ‘perfect’ face?
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2014, 09:51:10 pm »

I too looked at these new stories and thought have you not got better things to write about. I first saw the trend on Facebook, then I moved to Twitter and saw she was the Number 1 trend. When looking at the photo I was surprised, but like 'mouse123' said about the media backlash I certainly don't think it is news worthy. So she looked a little 'polished', its her body and she shouldn't be expected to conform to a certain ideal, she is not her character, her character is fictional, the way she wants to present herself is her business. I am constantly furious with the media when it comes to commenting on women, looks and body image. I detest tabloid newspapers, I detest gossip magazines and I detest Daily Mail online. And by chance the front article from news days old, just this minute on the Mail's website is guess what!!!! -  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2809850/Renee-Zellweger-steps-make-free-looking-tired-stressed-appearance-unveiled-new-face.html , I've just had to bury my head in the sofa..... 'appeared somewhat tired and anxious as she ran errands' YES MAYBE BECAUSE SHE IS BEING JUDGED BY EVERYONE....


Sometimes it is a rarity that men get media coverage, perhaps the example of Bruce Jenner who regularly gets comments about his face. But like 'meli1993' questioned I don't think there is the same nastiness.
Closing comment from a nasty twitter user-
'May ur Halloween costume be as shocking as Renee Zellweger's new face..'



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Margarita

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Re: The ‘perfect’ face?
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2014, 11:01:48 pm »

I must agree with all of you mouse123, meli1993 and inthemedia22, is this even breaking news? Aren't there more important topics to write about in the media?

I do believe that the media has been rather harsh on Renee Zellweger and what really gets on my nerves is that the people that are writing theses stories are definitely not perfect either! But I don't think that I can agree when you say that they aren't as harsh on men as they are on women when they write about these topis. because for instance if you take the perfect example of Bruce Jenner there have been some really mean headlines such as: ''Bruce Jenner’s Plastic Surgery Looks: Check Out His Freaky Evolution'' (People magazine) or 'Bruce Jenner transitioning for sex change: North West calls Bruce 'mama' (examiner.com).

I just think the media attacks celebrities anyway they can wether they are men or women. What does anyone else agree?
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25031996

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Re: The ‘perfect’ face?
« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2014, 05:10:17 pm »

I agree with mouse123, I think that nowadays people will always find a way to criticize the others.
In our society, it has become common for eveyone to give his opinion on every subjects, even if they are not concerned or don't know anything about them.
They may be jealous of those celebrities who are able to do plastic surgery to feel more comfortable in their skins whereas they are forced to assume their own appearance and can't change it. I've always thought that people who are constantly judging the others have a self-confidence problem, and that's why they feel the need to lower the others all the time about their physical insecurities.
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nugget

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Re: The ‘perfect’ face?
« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2014, 05:27:01 pm »

I disagree with 'mouse 123'. I believe this is a prime example of how the media are manipulating our perception of beauty. Renee Zellweger should have felt comfortable in her own skin without having to change her appearance to suit what is seen as 'beautiful'.
Photoshop and editing has become so common that natural body images have been perceived to the eye and we now see these images as the norm.
Eating disorders in women are becoming considerably more common, especially in young women and teenagers, and i think by Renee doing this it has just backed up the fact that young girls need to change themselves to look beautiful.
Renee Zellweger was seen as a role model and by her caving into the media's peer pressure it has given young girls all around the world to think plastic surgery is what they need to do to be accepted by the masses.
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4795

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Re: The ‘perfect’ face?
« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2014, 07:13:44 pm »

I think this is an interesting topic as we can all agree that when we first saw this headline, we didn’t think it was ‘breaking news’ worthy.  It wasn’t until I actually saw the pictures of Renee Zellweger’s ‘new’ face that I was really shocked at the drastic change; she looks like a completely different person.

I agree with ‘nugget’s’ point that ‘the media are manipulating our perception of beauty’.  It is dangerous territory entering into the celebrity or fame world, as celebrities know that their lives are going to be under a considerable amount of scrutiny by the media and that it is too be expected.  I am not saying it is OK that the media are constantly analyzing celebrities’ latest surgeries or weight gains/losses, but it is so common now that it is just a part of their job descriptions. This constant analysis is the reason why people, including celebrities, become so self-aware of their body types and image and is likely the trigger for dramatic, image altering surgeries. 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1383640/Bridget-Jones-Bridget-Bones-Renee-Zellweger-just-decide.html

In this article by the Daily Mail (online) from 2011, they spend the whole article scrutinizing Renee Zellweger’s weight.  They show a number of photographs of her as her weight fluctuates over eleven years! That is a long time span to analyze, as we all know about her putting on weight for the Bridget Jones films and it is normal for peoples body types to change over time. This article dissects her training and diet and the different sizes she becomes over the years. This is incredibly unhealthy for not only the audience reading but also for the celebrity in the spotlight.
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isabella

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Re: The ‘perfect’ face?
« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2014, 08:15:28 pm »

Renee Zellweger is so well known for the loved Bridget Jones that most fans see her as that character in real life. Bridget, as ‘meli1993’ mentions, does not follow the stereotypical Barbie-doll female lead. It was therefore a hard for the fans to understand why she would have wanted to change her appearance drastically. I believe this failure to comprehend lead to anger in which the media, as usual, took full advantage of.

Although I agree that it is unfair the way in which some articles speak about her as it is her choice what she does to her own body. However I also think that many celebrities, Renee included, must think not just about what they want when they are in the spotlight. Many young people look up to celebrities and therefore I believe that they should accept that they have responsibility rather they like it or not. 

This is also seen in the case of Miley Cyrus. However although she lost many young fans when she transformed herself from a Disney star into a personality meant for a more mature audience (to put it nicely) she almost tripled her Twitter followers in the space of a year.

I believe that celebrities should not only think of themselves in their actions but accept the responsibility of their younger fans and act reasonably. Do you agree?
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SNSDYoona

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Re: The ‘perfect’ face?
« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2014, 10:17:00 pm »

I agree with 'nugget' completely, although the Media seem to be making these rude comments about her face, I feel as though the reason behind her plastic surgery was to fit societies idea of "beauty" that is constantly being advertised everywhere by the Media itself. As 'nugget' had mentioned, the media does in fact manipulate how we think of beauty and creates this image of "perfection" in everyones head especially young women, for instance "Vogue", "Harpers Bazaar", "Elle" etc. all these are major fashion magazines with the demographics showing how 87.5% (Vogue) of the readers being female. http://www.condenast.com/brands/vogue/media-kit/print

Magazines such as Vogue do not exactly show females a "healthy" body, most models on there are extremely underweight, and their facial features are made to look perfect, and that is the ideology of perfection that the MEDIA have created for females and want them to believe that this is what "perfection" actually looks like. Not only magazines, but movies, music videos they all try to control the way we think of beauty.

I have also noticed how the Media rarely uses different body sizes for advertisements/magazines/movies. Every magazine I have read has always had skinny women on it with unbelievably smoothed out skin, an extremely thin body, very high cheekbones, and 'thigh gaps'. These are the type of advertisements you see everywhere on billboards and massive advertisements on bus shelters. The media are promoting unhealthy bodies, and this has already affected many females around the world and not just the UK. Young girls are depressed before they even hit their teens, why are there so many cases of bulimia? anorexia? even cutting. Most females, who cut are usually depressed about their weight and call themselves "ugly" - these kind of things can be seen a lot on Instagram these days if you just hashtag "Eating disorder" or "ana" or "fat".

There have been cases where online shopping websites had been caught out for photoshopping their models legs to look thinner than it originally was, this is how we know that the media are constantly trying to tell us to change to fit societies idea of perfect, we are constantly finding flaws in ourselves because media always shows us the unrealistic "perfect" human which then we all try to achieve somehow subconsciously.
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libra123

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Re: The ‘perfect’ face?
« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2014, 07:42:38 pm »

I agree with Mouse123 especially that this is definitely not news-worthy at all! The same thing is happening also with Kylie Jenner, where people are constantly scrutinizing the teenage girl about how she must have had lip injections. What people don't think about is how insecure they were at 17, and she is probably feeling the exact same way.

I do believe what is dangerous about girls as young as 17 having plastic surgery is whether they are doing it for themselves or are they just appropriating themselves for a male audience ('the male gaze'). Post-Feminists would obviously argue that it isn't about men, it is purely that being sexy is fun but I think there is something deeply rooted in our society which means it isn't just that being sexy is fun. I really believe that feminism can't even start to win the war without peoples attitudes toward masculine and feminine changing.
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TYS

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Re: The ‘perfect’ face?
« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2014, 09:39:17 pm »

I understand the view of “mouse123” that its the celebrity’s decision to use plastic surgery or any other artificial method to manipulate their facial/body attributes and that is not that big deal.
In my opinion nobody should step into a operating room unless it is a health issue. I find it so upsetting that professional surgeons spend their time on wealthy people which desire changing themselves whether they are famous or not, instead of sick patients. I know people have insecurities about their physical appearance, I have them myself, nobody is happy with the way they look. However I just truly wish that people could be happy just by being healthy. It is very lucky to be healthy and active, we sometimes take it for granted and there are people out there that actually struggle on their daily basis due to an illness.

Said this, I think that media manipulates beauty in every single way and that audiences are victims of it.  A great number of celebrities have slightly changed the way they look and even though I am not a fan of it, I respect it. I think they have a lot of pressure to fulfill the media’s expectations and the society’s expectations. Regarding to whether we “try to dehumanise celebrities” as “mouse123”  ask, I personally think we do. We are trying to look for perfection and there is no such thing, so we must not impose it in celebrities.
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themediastudent

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Re: The ‘perfect’ face?
« Reply #11 on: October 31, 2014, 12:56:08 pm »

Living in an appearance - judgemental society, the judgements on Renee Zellweger's face do not really surprise me. Unfortunatelly the sole factor that determines the standards of beauty nowadays is photoshop, used by pretty much everyone that pleases due to its accessibility, There should be more campaigns and projects that promoted the healthy body image, without which there will be an increase in eating disorders and so on.
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