Cross-cultural beauty standards, mainly applied to women, and societal perspectives and behaviors attendant to women in today's world affect gender equality along the important dimension of physical appearance. Members of a society are greatly influenced by social dictates, or social influences. Women (and sometimes men) are denied or afforded social opportunities, primarily economic opportunities, based on their physical appearance. Employment, marriage-ability, educational achievement, and social networks (such as club memberships) are dependent upon adhering to current beauty standards. Cross-culturally, we are subject to the coercion of socially imposed beauty standards and these standards may be unachievable due to our native cultural makeup.

This is not to say that nonwhites, for example, Africans, African Americans, or Asians cannot be successful (well-employed and well-connected) members of society. It ...

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