Portrayal of Women in the Media Essay

1291 Words Jul 15th, 2012 6 Pages
The facts are haunting. The American research group Anorexia Nervosa & Related Eating Disorders, Inc. says that one in every four college-aged women use unhealthy methods of weight and diet control – including fasting, skipping meals, and laxative abuse. The pressure to be thin is also affecting young girls; the Canadian Women’s Health Network warns that weight control measures are now being taken by girls as young as 5 and 6. In 2003, Teen Magazine reported that 35% of girls 6 to 12 years of age have already been on at least one diet. It is estimated that up to 450,000 young girls and women were/are affected by an eating disorder; Women’s magazines have over 10 times more ads promoting dieting and weight loss than men’s magazines. Women’s …show more content…
The girls of our society are learning to grow up and look up to role models that may not be perfect, including Lindsay Lohan, Nicole Richie and Britney Spears. Why not encourage them to look up to people who have truly contributed in positive ways to our society, like Oprah Winfrey or Ellen DeGeneres?
Body image involves our perception, imagination, emotions, and physical sensations of and about our bodies. It is not static, but ever changing, sensitive to changes in mood, environment, and physical experience. It is not based on facts; it is psychological in nature, and much more influenced by self-esteem than by actual physical attractiveness as judged by others; it is not inborn, but learned. This learning occurs in the family and among peers, but these facts only reinforce what is learned and expected culturally. In this culture, women are starving themselves, starving children and loved ones, gorging themselves, gorging children and loved ones, alternating between starving and gorging, purging, obsessing, and all the while hating, pounding and wanting to remove that which makes us female: our bodies, our curves, our pear-shaped selves. Twenty years ago, the average model weighed 8% less than the average woman – today, models weigh 23% less. It is crazy that in magazines, meant for the latest trends or advice about boys, also pack in info on dieting and how to stay thin. This message tells teens that they…