Media Portrayal of Women and Its Effects

1187 Words 5 Pages
Throughout the century, the ideal image of a woman has changed drastically, which can be directly attributed to the powerful persuasion of media. This ideal image has transformed from a voluptuous, size 14, 1950’s Marilyn Monroe to a 5’9, 100 pound, 1990’s Kate Moss. The most shocking aspect is specifically what young girls are now doing to achieve this “Kate Moss” image. Through the utilization of advertisements and stars on the big screen, this female portrayal directly targets the physical and mental well-being of females in cultures across the globe.
Throughout history, typical characteristics of the ideal woman have fluctuated between a muscular, curvaceous physique and a small, narrow-waisted physique. In colonial times, women played
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During World War II, men were sent off to war, leaving behind a predominantly female nation. At this time, the ideal woman retorted back to the same values of strength and competency. Upon the return of the men at the war’s end, the infamous Baby Boom gave birth to more than children. Curvaceous and feminine women were desired across the nation, with famous model and actress, Marilyn Monroe, paving the way as the face (and body) of normalcy.
In the present day, this concept of an ideal woman has slowly gravitated back towards the nineteenth century stereotype of having a frail, rail-thin body shape; however, social status is no longer the leading factor behind the movement. With the newly established capabilities of television access, commercial advertisements, and mass distribution, the rate of eating disorders skyrocketed. According to the American Obesity Association, 65% of adults and 30% of children are overweight. 30% of the adults and 15% of the children in the same category are considered to be clinically obese. Concurrently, the rate of eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa, continue to rise at a phenomenally simultaneous rate (257). These disorders can be viewed as a direct result of media consumption.
Pegging television as the main contributing factor for this increase may initially seem
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