More Than Meets the Eye

Media's presence in society takes a toll on young relationships' standards

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More Than Meets the Eye


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When people think of gender stereotypes most people think of the Barbie and Ken lifestyle –  all women have to be a size two, have large breasts, and a flawless complexion.  All men have to make six figures, be fit, and ooze confidence. In reality,  society does not live up to it.
The Crier asked students around SFHS about stereotypes and their own self image, and we had our own preconceived notions about what we would hear.
At first we thought girls would be pickier and have higher expectations when looking for a partner.  In actuality, it was the other way around.  The boys interviewed had almost twice as much to say and had more criteria for girls to meet.
Girls said they like boys who have a good smile, nice eyes, are not too cocky, and are caring.  Boys said they like it when girls have a pretty face, big boobs, nice butt, long hair, perfectly sized ears, are caring – but not too clingy, not stuck up, likes to have a good time, not too serious, the list goes on and on.  So why is it that society seems to think women are the ones who are such perfectionists?
On the surface stereotypically it always seems that people go for just looks, especially men.  But is that really the case?  Although men did have a long list of physical traits they like in a mate, they had just as many personality traits as well.  These included: friendly, being open minded, honest, trustworthy, and most importantly make them happy.
People always say its the looks that get you, but the personality that keeps you.  So we decided to ask students about what they thought of that.  One male commented and said “You’re not going to walk up to an ugly girl and be like ‘wow you have a great personality, lets hang out.’ So no, no one would ever say that.”   A girl commented and said “If I didn’t find them physically appealing I wouldn’t make the extra effort to go and talk to them.”  A lot of people had also said, “well if I knew them and they were nice, that’s a different story.”
Overall the real question is where do all of these expectations come from? Those sort of expectations have to come from someplace. When asking about what people liked in others we always finished off the conversation with asking if they felt they live up to those expectations themselves, the answers consistently no.

From there people said why they felt they did not live up to society’s expectations.  One male commented by saying “… but I think I’m tall enough and funny enough, maybe a little better looking and a bit smarter.”  When girls answered they commonly said that girls try to live up to boy’s expectations but rarely succeed because the magazine body was not possible.
By this survey we learned alot.  Regardless of your gender or who you are, every person is always trying to live up to some sort of expectation.  Whether it’s what you are supposed to look like or how you are supposed to act.  With today’s media presence in society it is human nature to want to try and improve yourself in any way possible.
The thing that people need to realize is that they are perfect the way they are.  That there is someone out there that will always accept them as they are.  So the next time you think about changing what to wear that day or what to say to someone , just think, “Is it me?”  That you should not have to alter yourself to make others happy, because you are the one living with yourself no one else.
“Learn to love yourself first, instead of loving the idea of other people loving you.” – John Spence

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