Conforming Beauty: Media Should Use Realistic Models

2497 words - 10 pages

Ever since World War II, the media has used models that become increasingly thinner and thinner over time. Teens and even young children see these women, who are beautiful by the modern standards, as role models and therefore look up to them. Children as young as five aspire to be like the women and models that they see in the media. Teens and young children see the style of clothing that is modeled on the models in today’s society and are then lead to believe that in order to look and feel good in certain clothes that they must look a certain way.
The media exposes us only to the after math of their models, something that teens are too young to realize. The media does not tell us that their models are perfectly airbrushed so that their tummies appear thin and trimmed, or that their blemishes are covered up, or even that their facial features are enhanced. Viewers do not realize that they are looking at much of what is unrealistic and unnatural beauty. Because of this, teens then go to whatever measures they can in order to look like what is portrayed to them on T.V. Eating disorders due to the media can now start at the age as young as five. When will America wake up?
The media should use realistic models, models that fit the average weight and appearance, not ones who are skinnier than many would be able to achieve. Models should be used in order to build teens and young children up, teaching them that everyone is beautiful despite any of the differences that they may have. Instead, media is only teaching these kids that in order to be considered beautiful you must look a certain way or fit certain standards.
Many people may think that it is normal for young girls to feel self-conscious about themselves, but does that make it right? The fact that something so serious has become so normal in today’s society proves that the issue has officially gone too far. Something must be done. We need to make it known that the images of the “beautiful women” portrayed in our society are simply unrealistic. Young teens already have to fight so many battles and the last thing they should have to struggle with is their own body image. We need to learn to help build others up instead of destroying them to the point of developing dangerous and life threatening habits.
Body image is how people picture themselves and how they believe others perceive them. More simply, it is how you feel about your own body. Susie Orbach says that body image also includes your “perception and how you see things, imagination, emotions, such as confidence, pessimism or optimism, as well as your own physical sensations” (2). Orbach also states in her article “Market Principles Foster Dangerous Standards of Beauty” that mass media is often able to mold and shape the popular culture of society and influence public opinion. Susie then goes on to say that if this power happens to be misused/abused by the media, then it can potentially cause harm to the general population. For example,...

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