Body Image Impact On Society

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What You See Isn’t Always What You Get : Media’s Impact on Society’s Body Image

Recently in media, there has been a focus on the hyper-sexualization of the female body, as well as very specific body images which have been presented as the perfect body in society. Both of these issues enforce ideas of unrealistic, and even unhealthy beauty standards among teens, and even adults in today’s society. Though it may not be the sole cause of society’s body image issues, media has certainly had a very clear impact on these issues. Media today has a profound impact on the perception of the human body and how it should be as a result of increased use of modification softwares to distort society’s image of the human body, the use of social media to give
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One particularly harmful method of presentation has been the use of photoshop and other body modification softwares in order to create the image of a “perfect” person. Photoshop is often used to remove blemishes, create smoother looking skin, brighten teeth, and even make people skinnier among many other things. As a result of this, the images we see in magazines, or on billboards is often distorted- not even bearing resemblance to the models and celebrities they originally depicted. In the USA Today article, a student named Haley Bianco is mentioned as writing that “in a society where flaws are erased, insecurities are heightened” (USA TODAY College. USA TODAY, 2 July 2014. Web. 13 Apr. 2016). As ad campaigns use programs like photoshop to edit out every blemish and “imperfection” the human body has, it only makes people increasingly aware of their own “imperfections, and more insecure of the irregularities of their appearance. In the same article, another student, Christina Mazzeo is quoted as writing about the idea that society is presented with unrealistic body images, saying that “People get these ideas of…show more content…
Another issue of late has been the increase of social media activity as a means to validate appearance. Though mainstream media does a lot to give people of all ages unrealistic standards of beauty, it has been social media, lately, that has been having a profound impact on the way kids see themselves. Media such as instagram and snapchat have lead to an increased focus on peer validation of physical appearance as a means of living up to society’s standards. Through this need for validation, and the possibility for a lack thereof, many younger children have found themselves facing unrealistic body standards at a younger age. Kids use social media as a way to see if they are up to their peers’ standards, and if they are not, they can tell through the lack of validation or even the negative reactions. The article also notes that “Body image doesn't just happen. It's a complex phenomenon influenced by many factors, including parents, peers, and social contexts” (Common Sense Media. Common Sense Media, Inc., 28 Apr. 2014. Web. 7 Apr. 2016.), and as such it is clear that social media can play a significant role in the way kids are learning to perceive themselves. It’s clear to me that media, in all it’s forms, has come to have an impact on the way people perceive themselves, seeing as such a huge part of media is the feedback that is received on
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