Today society has never been more aware of the impact the media has on what is considered to be an attractive person. Those who are most vulnerable by what they observe as the American standard of attractiveness and beauty are young females. Their quest to imitate such artificial images of beauty has challenged their health and their lives and has become the concern of many. As a result, advertisements used in the media are featuring more realistic looking people.
As the modern world has changed, the idea of what is beautiful has changed as well. Since the middle of the last century, female adolescents have developed an obsession with their weight and how their body should look according to what is depicted in the media. As a result, this obsession has turned dangerous. Stress is placed on thinness to the point where looking normal is being underweight. Such a body image has become perfection. This is not only seen on television, in live action movies, and in animation, but in real life as well. For example, in the animated film, “Shrek”, Princess Fiona is an attractive slender woman during the day. However, at night she becomes an overweight, hideous ogre (Kovar, 2009). This indicates to young impressionable females that thin means beautiful and being overweight means not being attractive. Due to such images, an increase in body dissatisfaction and the development of eating disorders have put the health and lives of some young female teenagers in jeopardy (Van Vonderen, & Kinnally, 2012).
According to the National Eating Disorders Association body image is how a person sees themselves. For example, a young teenager will be critical of how tall she is, how much she weighs, and how developed her body is (“What is body image?,” n.d.). All this she compares in her mind to the standards of beauty and attractiveness she witnesses in her daily media intake.
The National Eating Disorders Association also explains that there are positive and negative body images. For example, a positive body image has to do with acceptance of how one’s body looks and not being concerned with diet. Conversely, a negative body image is the complete opposite of a positive body image. Unfortunately, more and more girls have not seen their bodies as a positive image and the result is body dissatisfaction (“What is body image?,” n.d.).
The pressure a young girl places on herself to have an ideal body shape has many of them experiencing body dissatisfaction, which is a term used to express, “… the feeling that their actual physical appearance is not how they would ideally like it to be” (Kovar, 2009). This also leads to young females becoming self-conscious about their appearance. Self-consciousness can lead to depression and the “victim” will stop participating in sports or daily activities that she once enjoyed (Clay, Dittmar, & Vignoles, 2005).
Depression is not the only factor involved with body dissatisfaction. Females who have body dissatisfaction are at...