In 2004 alone, Americans spent $12.4 billion on cosmetic surgery. With such an abundance of wealth, why are Americans so discontent? In almost 40,000 media messages a year, youthful Americas are being told that, unless you look like supermodels and rock stars, you're not good enough for anyone to love. This is a message that too many people are buying.
Filmmaker Darryl Roberts goes on a two year journey to examine America's new obsession. In America, we learn secrets, confessions, and strikingly harsh realities as Roberts unearths the origins and deadly risks of our nation's quest for physical perfection. These same images are found all over Europe, yet their citizens do not have this same obsession.
The hope of achieving these 'ideals' has consumers purchasing cosmetics, toiletries, fashion and plastic surgeries at increasingly dramatic rates. Has the 'American Dream' changed so much that it can only be achieved once we can perfectly emulate the super thin and sexy images of Britney Spears or other pop icons?
In "America the Beautiful" we see how these increasingly unattainable images contribute greatly to the rise in low self-esteem, body dismorphia, and eating disorders for young women and girls who also happen to be the beauty industry's largest consumers. Does America have an unhealthy obsession with beauty?