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Body Image Portrayed By The Media

1074 words - 4 pages

Through the use of imagery, the display of life-styles, and the reinforcement of values, advertisements are communicators of culturally defined concepts such as success, worth, love, sexuality, popularity, and normalcy. Of particular concern over the past two decades has been excessive use of sexual stereotypes, especially of women. Women are directly affected by this advertising, beyond the mere desire to purchase the product or service described. The influence of the media on people is tremendous, and the effect of advertisements that direct images of beauty, and the perfect slim figure have a harmful effect on a great deal of the world's population, especially women. The media has portrayed the “perfect body image” so successfully, that women’s self-image, self-esteem and even their health is affected. Looking at the media, it’s almost impossible to ignore the many images of thin, beautiful women. In many women’s magazines, nearly every other page is covered with an advertisement that displays a person with the “ideal body”, a slim figure, a happy face, and trendy or chic clothes. Most of the advertisements in magazines try to present models as realistic representations for consumers, particularly women, to compare themselves. Not only do magazines try to portray the “perfect image,” but also television advertisements try to achieve this representation of the perfect body. Television broadcasts events and shows like “Miss America,” and “Baywatch” that represent unrealistic body types for ordinary women. To accomplish the goal of looking like the models being displayed all over the media, women think they need to diet. If it was dieting just for the fact of making women feel better, it would be all right, but the purpose of most people is different. When women compare themselves to models and pictures of people in advertisements, they believe the only way they will get noticed is if they also appear the in the same image of the models. To achieve this goal, they begin to starve themselves. They start to believe that by eating anything at all they will get fat and the most important thing to them is not to be fat. It becomes a compulsion to become thin and some women will do anything to get there. Women need to realize that what the media displays as the “perfect body” and what really is the healthy body are two different things. Even if a woman does get down to the smallest size, does this mean she will be happy? Looking like a model doesn’t necessarily mean women will feel like the models feel. Media brings out the conception that women will look and feel like the models. Media makes women feel bad about themselves and it is because of what is being displayed in the media that exemplifies this feeling. According to the American Anorexia/Bulimia Association, an estimated six- percent of American women has eating disorders. Low self-esteem and an unrealistic body image can trigger these eating disorders. A society that allows for such blatant...

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