Beauty and the Media

2805 Words May 15th, 2006 12 Pages
Television is a rising source of entertainment and information. Many people use it as a fashion guide- a way to determine what is "cool" to do, or how one should look. Even seemingly innocent shows such as America's Top Model, Family Guy or One Tree Hill reflect a certain image of how a gendered individual should look or act. Yet media would not have such a huge impact on society if the people did not support it. Peers have a lot of influence over the people they come in contact with. The desire to be loved and accepted often outweighs one's sense of respect for themselves. In order to fit it, many people go to extreme lengths to make themselves fit the ideal image society places on a gendered individual. Media's influence on American …show more content…
Media has an undeniable influence on the way that American's not only view each other, but on the way they view themselves. Not only do people judge others by how well they fit the image stereotype, but they apply it to themselves-often with negative results as there are few people who can say they fully fit the image of the ideal individual. It is a proven fact that "Large women are often treated very poorly in Western society" which results in "women that are obsessed with thinness and unhappy with their weight" (Christine A. Smith 2). Society looks down on people that are fat as it is taught to reflect a lack of self-control. This results in a generation of very insecure women who are unhappy with how much they weigh. The line on what is fat and what isn't is actually even getting pushed forward, making even those who aren't overweight feel the pressure to be thinner. America's new personification of beauty is not human, but a doll- Barbie Doll. This doll represents all that American women want to be. Tall, thin, trim, and fine. This doll leaves no room for different ethnicities, and so neither does society. Esexx Hemphill writes in his poem, Soft Target, that"Barbie never told Black girls/ they are beautiful./ She never acknowledged/ their breathtaking Negritude" (13-16). Barbie- the spokesperson of American society-does not acknowledge the fact that anyone outside of her little aura could be beautiful. Media's
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