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Analysis: Effects Mass Media Has On Body Image

1947 words - 8 pages

Mass media portrays men and women in ways that are impossible to reach. Women are portrayed as sexy, beautiful, thin, tan, no imperfections and fit. Men are portrayed as muscular, tall, handsome, tan and also no imperfections. Magazines, commercials, movies, or any sort of mass media show that a man or women has to look a certain way and if you don’t you are an outcast. Studies have shown that mass media effects people by giving them a low self-esteem or even eating disorders. It can also lead to some sort of bulling if you do not look a certain way. It is also proven that men are less likely to be affected by mass media than women are. One reason being they do not read the amounts of magazines as women do.
When you start to think a model cannot get any thinner you are proven wrong by the next “best” and thinner model. The sizes of these models are starting to become dangerous to their own health. This kind of “perfection” is unrealistic and just wrong. In the study done by Serdar, mass media starts to affect females when they start to go through puberty. Around 20% of nine year olds and 40% of fourteen year olds are reported to want to lose weight and start exercising. Also of those, two thirds of younger females are on some sort of weight loss program. Their eating habits start to form and some lead to eating disorders. 3 to 10% of females between the ages of 15 to 29 are diagnosed with either being anorexic or bulimic. It tends to show in females that are earlier disturbed by their own body appearance. 83% of teenage girls read fashion magazines for about 4 hours a week. This is one major source for these girls to get their heads filled with the “perfect” body image idea. Throughout the magazine you see women that are thinner than thin and have the perfect body or are touched up by computers making them unreal. One marketing strategy given is different ways to “better themselves.” They will give advice that will make them more attractive or dieting advice to make them the perfect size, even if it doesn’t actually work. They tell them this will make them more self-satisfied with their appearance and make them feel better. Studies have also shown that looking at these perfect women will increase their levels of depression (Serdar).
Crane found that an average person sees around five thousand ads per day with one third of those ads portraying the ideal body image. Computers have become a huge asset to these commercials because they are not only used in everyday life whether they are a necessity in a job or just to check their social media networks, they are also used now to change a women’s appearance by being able to take women and make them thinner than they really are and also erase their blemishes. They take the unrealistic, unhealthy, and impossible to reach body to the next level. The media, one thing we can’t control, is known to be everywhere whether you are passing a billboard driving in your car or watching the television with the...

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