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February 20, 1989 - Image 19

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The Michigan Daily, 1989-02-20

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MARCH 1989 Opinions

U. THE NATIONAL COLLEGE NEWSPAPER

MARCH 1989 * Opinions U. THE NATIONAL COLLEGE NEWSPAPER 7

THE NATIONAL COLLEGE NEWSPAPER'
By presenting a wide range of opinions and ideas reprinted from hundreds of campus newspapers, we hope to
enhance the quality of campus life as we inform, entertain and engage the national student body. We acknow-
ledge the commitment of student journalists across the nation, supported by their media advisers and journalism
professors, to report the activities, issues and concerns of their fellow students.

PRESIDENT AND PUBLISHER
Sheena Paterson-Berwick
ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER
Mike Singer
DIRECTOR OF CAMPUS RELATIONS
Dick Sublette
CIRCULATION AND DISTRIBUTION
Operations Manager: Annalee Ryan
RESEARCH
Director: Steve Nachtman
PROMOTIONS AND PUBLIC RELATIONS
Manager: Julie Du Brow
MARKETING OPERATIONS
Account Executive: Ross Fischman
Coordinator, Data Systems: Troy Rennebe

EDITORIAL
Rebecca Howard, News Features Editor
Brent Anderson, Life and Art Editor
Marc Bona, Dollars and Sense Editor
Mark Csanock, Student Body Editor
Liz Camfiord, Assistant Editor
ADVERTISING SALES
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EDITORS ON FELLOWSHIPS
Brent Anderson, Daily Nexus,
U. of California, Santa Berba'
Marc Bona, The Daily Iowan,
U. Of Iowa
Mark Charnock, The Breeze,
James Madison U., VA
* Rebecca Howard, Kansas State
Collegian, Kansas State U.

EDITORIAL ADVISORY COUNCIL
DR.J. DAVID REED, Immediate Past President, DR. FRANK RAGULSKY, Manager of Student
Society r terColle Journalists, The Eastern News, Media, Daily Barometer, Oregon State U.
leeerentteteU.JAN T. CHIL.DRESS, DirectreofStedent Peb-
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Florida Alligator, U. of Florida
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tions, Daily Trojan, U. of Southern California Red & Black,U. of Georgia
EDMUND SULLIVAN, Director, Columbia Scho-
lastic in, Clm U BRUCE D. ITLE, Manager of Student Publica-
TOM ROLNICKI Executive Director Associated tions, State , na tte U.
Collegiate Press ' ' ERIC JACOBS, Immediate Past President, Col-
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DR. DAVE KNOTT, Immediate Past President, The Daily Pennsylvanian,U. of Pennsylvania
Cellegn MediaAdvisers, The Ball State Daily RICHARD C. LYTLE, General Manager, Texas
News,,Intl Stete U_, IN Student Publications, The Daily Texan, U. of
W. B. CASEY, Publisher, DailyIowan, U. of Iowa Texas, Austin
U. is published eight times a year by The Amer- Copyright 1988. All rights reserved.
ican Collegiate Network, 3110 Main Street, Santa BPA Consumer Audit membership applied for
Monica, CA 90405. Tel: 213 450-2921 August 1987.

The beautiful shall inherit the media in '80s America

By Ross Levi
The Daily Free Press
Boston U., MA
First off, let us agree that beauty is
seen in the eyes of the beholder. A look
at the Russian version of a hot babe
ems to put an end to any argument on
t at subject. Clearly, different cultures,
times or individuals have their own con-
cept of what is sexually, emotionally or
aesthetically pleasing.
We all have a picture, provided by the
media, in our mind of what our culture
holds up as the perfect woman or man.
She is in her early to mid-twenties,
medium height, blond, thin and lightly
b sty. He is in his late twenties, tall,
k-haired, thin, and muscular. Those
with blemished or non-white skin,
crooked or colored teeth, or an overly
prominent nose or set of ears need not
apply.
From films to television to fashion
magazines, we are constantly presented
with generically beautiful people doing
fun, exciting things. It's the Kevin Cost-
rs and Tom Cruises that become
ball or billiards stars, are chased by
the CIA, or lose their virginity and get
accepted to Princeton all in the same
weekend. And it's the Elizabeth Shues

v N
V O
G !
c J
'0
and Kelly McGillis's that actually have the physically and economically uncon-
an exciting night of babysitting, teach ventional to find a respectable niche in a
pilots to fly and always get the man. landscape as varied as the national
In a way, it's justified that we look for media. Just look at those times in Holly-
pleasant-looking people in our films, wood when average, even slightly un-
television, and advertisements. Enter- attractive people were able to make
tainment is for enjoyable escape and it's their presence known.
hard to enjoy yourself when watching a Humphrey Bogart wasn't very attrac-
400-pound leper. (Well, unless she is a tive. Neither was James Cagney. Clark
he named Divine.) Still, it is possible for Gable had ears like Dumbo. Even Bette

Davis with her gorgeous, riveting eyes
was no looker. Even recently, the '70s
seemed to celebrate unorthodox beauty
(remember The $1.98 Beauty Contest?).
The '80s and its values have created
an intolerance for deviant looks, be-
havior and class. The only black fami-
lies we are interested in today are those
of a comfortable obstetrician who acts
whiter than a freshly cleaned diaper.
And that's the danger in exclusively
beautiful and wealthy people setting
the standard for success in our fictional
stories. Is media just reflecting society
or is society beginning to incorporate
the ideas of media?
One of the most famous episodes of
The Twilight Zone television series told
the story of a deformed, hideously ugly
woman who's only hope was a corrective
operation that might allow her to look
normal and live a productive, worth-
while life. When the bandages were re-
moved, the audience saw the face of a
beautiful woman. It was then that the
operation was announced a failure by a
deformed-looking doctor and his
nurses. It was titled "Eye of the Be-
holder."
But what did Rod Serling know any-
way? He was ugly as sin.

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