The female body image is highly influenced by the mass media and the media’s portrayal of women, ‘70% of college women say they feel worse about their own looks after reading women’s magazines’ (University of Massachusetts & Stanford University, 2006), the portrayal of women in the media has an unrealistic approach and brings out body dissatisfactions and this results in eating problems and disorders.
Self-esteem can hit an all-time low for women who find themselves pursuing these methods but still don’t find themselves measuring up to the women in the images. What these women don’t realize is that the images they are seeing are fictional and that the women’s bodies do not look that way in the real world. Yet these women are still trying to attain this body type. They are working for an unachievable goal, and that is to have a body that looks like the photo-shopped and airbrushed bodies that are shown in the media. Not only can the media cause women’s self-esteem to plummet, it can cause them to become over sexualized.
Time and time again women are told what is considered desirable or not acceptable about their body. The reality of it all, is that women in the media are unrealistic and harmful and do not represent the average human being. According to Whyte, Newman, and Voss (2016), “Women prominently featured on television, on the internet, in film, and in the print media often have body proportions representing (and often exaggerating) cultural ideals—specifically, ‘a thin body size, curvaceously slender, physically appealing and unrealistically thin" (p.823). The women we see behind the cameras should not be our role models. They do not perceive the daunting truth that their bodies are created to shame figures that can never be as “perfect”. Many women diet merely because they “feel fat”, and they take it to the extremes which can be detrimental to one’s health. Within the past few decades women have become more aware with the idealization of thinness and what risks follow the idea (Fuchs, J. N, 2008). Women
Mass media is effective in teaching us what we “should” look like. Women should be thin. Men should be muscular. The skinny and muscular ideals portrayed in advertising encourage men and women to look a certain way. The depiction of the female ideal has helped shaped society’s perspectives about beauty. The media pushes you to “improve your body” by buying their products but soon the road to a skinny and toned body leads to a self destructive path of self hatred. The powerful ideas that the media transmits through words, images, and movement can have lasting impacts on the human brain, affecting how we think and
For centuries mankind has unsuccessfully attempted to define beauty. Greek philosophers, including Plato, tried to define beauty as if it were as simple as any other law in nature. However this cannot be so because the idea of what is beautiful has varied throughout cultures and the ages. In the 1800s women who were pale and rather plump were considered objects of desire; but in today’s society, desirable women are slender and tan, among other things. The fact is that today, beauty is as unobtainable as it is indefinable. All of today’s supermodels, as seen in millions of advertisements, have been modified, airbrushed, and photoshopped. Women desiring this beauty have turned to various
We are spending countless time and energy trying to achieve the perfect body that the media has created for us. People will pay physically and mentally to achieve the unachievable look that the media has driven into our minds. In the media we see so many commercials that are being promoted for the latest developments in weight loss from pills to exercise videos. Our women and children are tricked in to thinking it is okay to force your body full of harsh chemicals to obtain an image that is not obtainable with pills.
To begin with, the media industry has the power to decide what reaches the public’s eye; therefore, they present to the public their versions of what “beautiful’ women should appear like. The media has created their version of what the “ideal body” should be. They continuously show the audience photographic images of models that appear extremely thin. Media meticulously chooses women with bodies which media calls “sexy”. Spectators rarely get a glance of women who are overweight. For example, all of the actress that make an appearance on television shows are below what is considered a healthy weight. Yet, this concept is what media has defined as beautiful, influencing many women to obtain a thin figure. As a result, of these messages sent by
Today, we are always surrounded by a variety of media and we identify ourselves in parts of those images we see. Media believes women should look like Victoria Secret models: tall, lean, and tanned women, but lately there has been issue from women all over the world who are tired of having to be set at impossible types of female figures. Revolving around a certain type of body figure is horrible because bodies come in different shapes and sizes. The media has influenced the female body perception by showing that women need to have a “perfect body” to pass in society. These magnificence gauges, multiplied through the media, impacts affect women and their self-perceptions. The medias influence on female body image has led to eating disorders, dissatisfaction in women, depression, and substance abuse in women.
Basically, the media is doing nothing but using subliminal messages. The way they portray the models in magazines, it only confuses a human’s mind. This makes them believe that they must look like them to be considered beautiful. Often in magazines, when positive values, success, love, and happiness, a thin person is shown. This not only completely lowers a “healthy”, or a plus sized person’s self-esteem, but the media also tries to make it seem as if in order to be happy and successful, a person must be skinny (Piazza). Every day, companies come up with a new beauty product, or a new diet product to leer someone into buying it to make themselves beautiful. New products every day completely sets aside the idea that natural beauty is already beautiful enough. According to the media, though, people need these products to look more humane, or look younger and thinner. The media also using editing and
The media group that retouches images skews the “normal” body image of people through many of its outlets, including models in advertising and magazines, and actors in TV and movie productions. “The average model portrayed in the media is approximately 5’11” and 120 pounds. By contrast, the average American woman is 5’4” and 140 pounds” (Holmstrom, 2004). This statistic shows how the media manipulates consumers into believing that because they are not what the average model looks like, they are not living up to a certain standard which implies that they need to look like that to be beautiful. Another research fact that shows a similar concept is that, “In the United States, 94% of female characters in television programs are thinner than the average American woman, with whom the media frequently associate happiness, desirability, and success in life” (Yamamiya et al., 2005). This association of female thinness and happiness, desirability and success makes consumers believe they must achieve this unrealistic thinness to achieve more ultimate goals and fulfillment in life. “The media also explicitly instruct how to attain thin bodies by dieting, exercising, and body-contouring surgery, encouraging female consumers to believe that they can and should be thin” (Yamamiya et al., 2005). This idealization of thinness in the media is seen so much, and is extremely harmful to women’s self confidence and is often associated with body image dissatisfaction, which can be a precursor to social anxiety, depression, eating disturbances, and poor self-esteem (Yamamiya et al.,
In society, women relate to friends, models and actresses which are actually people who are in the industry portraying the ‘ideal body.’ Women think too much about what others think of them instead of just caring about themselves. They also choose to take the unhealthy approach and gain all these bad habits to obtain the ‘ultimate’ body image of this ‘ideal woman’ society has created.
The media is our source of constant information, and is presented in many forms such as, daily newscasts, social media like Facebook, and the magazines strategically placed in our doctor’s office. There is no surprise that it is also the dominant influence when it comes to society’s beauty standard either. Unfortunately media isn’t a positive influence all the time, and is the main force behind negative body image epidemic that plagues women, especially the 18-25 age group. In order to fully understand the severity of what some call a “Vanity” issue we must look into the facts of how exactly the media damages women’s perception of their own bodies, and then observe the extent of the damage done to the physical and mental states of these women
Looking good and being in shape is a top priority of today’s adults. According to the American Society of Plastic surgery (ASPA) 14.6 million cosmetic surgery procedures were performed in the United States in 2012. This is a 5 percent increase since 2011. The constant media advertisement of weight loss, sex appeal, and cosmetically enhanced beauty often leads to unrealistic standards of beauty and dissatisfaction in personal appearance. This overexposure to Hollywood beauty causes women to wonder how come they don’t look like that and often leaves them questioning what they can do to have a picture perfect body and face. According to the National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA), the promotion of unhealthy standards of beauty by the media often leads to depression and dissatisfaction in personal appearance (Chittom 3). Media have a negative impact on women’s body image and how women respond to the media’s portrayal of what is beautiful by advertisements emphasizing the importance of physical attractiveness, using Photoshop and airbrushing techniques to alter images people see in advertisements, and disregarding healthy living.
Researchers Emily Balcetis, Shana Cole, Marie B. Chelberg, and Mark Alicke, in their study titled “Searching Out the Ideal: Awareness of Ideal Body Standards Predicts Lower Global Self-esteem in Women” aim to determine “whether awareness of the thin ideal has long-range and immediate consequences for self-evaluations, namely young women’s global self-esteem”. The question is interesting because it aims to find a direct correlation between society’s standard of beauty, most profoundly portrayed though the media, and women’s increasingly dropping levels of self-esteem as related to body-image. The article states that, from 1972, the number of women in the United States who feel dissatisfied with their body’s increased from 23% to 56% and the research question aims to establish the medias role in this astonishing increase (Balcetis, Cole, Chelberg, & Alicke, 2013, p. 1). The researchers hypothesized firstly, that “general, self-reported awareness of ideal body standards would correlate with baseline levels of self-esteem” (Balcetis, Cole, Chelberg, & Alicke, 2013, p. 3). And secondly, “that self-esteem would fluctuate in accordance with the ideal body standards that women are confronted with when they orient attention to and become aware of ideal body information” (Balcetis, Cole, Chelberg, & Alicke, 2013, p. 3). To determine this, the researchers tracked changing levels of self-esteem based on exposure to ideal body
In today’s society we let the media decide everything in our lives from what clothes we should wear, music we should listen to, and how we should look. One of the biggest problems that both men and women face is body shaming, because the media sets standards for young kids and young adults., they often times try and fit the description of “perfect” which leads these people to either be depressed because they do not look like people want them to look or harm themselves in order to achieve the desired look. The most common ways the media shames both men and women are by celebrities and how they are the “perfect” body, publishing magazines of what is the ideal man and woman, and by the people who believe being “too” fat is bad and being “too” skinny is bad.