As the presidential race continues to center on topics that pertain more to personal biases than legal action, cultural standards have found their way into the spotlight. One of the most recent issues has been women and how they are perceived by Americans.
Expectations of females to have the right weight, height, occupation and reputation are constant battles. As members of a changing society, the “correct” opinion on many of these has been blurred — and for good reason. Women no longer need to be the homemakers; women no longer need to rely on looks to survive without a dowry; women no longer need to fit the mold. The closer females get to breaking through these barriers, the more poignant these outdated standards become.
This is especially evident in the recent Donald Trump scandal, where the candidate was recorded using profane and degrading language towards women. He had previously slandered women on multiple occasions and has been named as the reason former Miss Universe developed an eating disorder. The election is covered closely and widely, allowing people of all ages to be exposed to this kind of hatred toward women.
Beauty has been examined and re-examined, and it continues to remain the same. Companies have pushed for “real-sized” models and created ad campaigns for body image positivity, but to little avail. Now, it’s not just magazine covers supporting beauty standards, but also the presidential debates and the commentary surrounding them. This shows that many misconstrue beauty, and people in power have the ability to continually spread the misconceptions.
Students in college who are attuned to politics tend to already have relatively set views of the world. Because of this, the fact that Trump’s stance on women is supported is an even bigger cause for worry. In order for him to gain enough influence to be the Republican candidate, he had to win over many demographics. According to a poll by Pew Research Center, 30 percent of 18 to 29 year olds are planning to vote for Trump, with 60 percent voting for Hillary Clinton.
While this does not mean that all people who support Trump are openly bashing women, it does show that supporters are willing to look past his behavior towards women in order to side with his political views. This means that there is a large enough backing for these stances on women to be seen as a nationwide problem.
Beauty may not seem on par with international legislation or arms rights, but it is a movement that can impact the nation on a grand scale. The culture of a nation depends largely on its standards, and beauty is only the tip of the deeply engrained standards to which women in America are held. There is a constant battle for equal pay, equal rights and positive perceptions of women who fight for more rights.
Presidential candidates are simply people with opinions that others find agreeable. Allowing for the individuals on stage to spread images of hatred in any capacity is not good for an already hate-filled world. Begin with beauty, an issue that pertains to all ages and all races, and find a standard that is positive for our nation. Follow this trail to government and possibly find a positive stance on politics.