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Effects Of Media On Women’s Body Image

897 words - 4 pages

Effects of Media on Women’s Body Image
In this age, media is more pervasive than ever, with people constantly processing some form of entertainment, advertisement or information. In each of these outlets there exists an idealized standard of beauty, statistically shown to effect the consumer’s reflection of themselves. The common portrayal of women’s bodies in the media has shown to have a negative impact on women and girls. As the audience sees these images, an expectation is made of what is normal. This norm does not correspond to the realistic average of the audience. Failing to achieve this isolates the individual, and is particularly psychologically harmful to women. Though men are ...view middle of the document...

In terms of representation, women who are thin are the majority of women prevalent in media. This lack of realistic body diversity, combined with the shaming of bodies that deviate from this representation, also contribute to the normality of female viewers’ attitudes. A study regarding television’s treatment of overweight individuals concluded, “Of 1018 major television characters, 14% of females and 24% of males were overweight or obese, less than half their percentages in the general population. Overweight and obese females were less likely to be considered attractive, to interact with romantic partners, or to display physical affection.” Greenber, Bradley. Most oppressively is the idea that overweight individuals cannot be satisfied or happy with themselves. “Kids read it loud and clear that fat is bad and thin is in. They simply can't escape the onslaught of images promoting the slender, better life. It's estimated that children see a total of 350,000 television ads by the time they reach high school. The insidious message in over half of these commercials is: You've got to be skinny to be happy.” Greey, Madeline. These types of messages about female bodies are not exclusively seen by women, and as male viewers see this type of presentation, they too create unrealistic expectations for women. The audience is taught to target and actively reject any form of body that does not meet an idealized thin type.
The internalization of societal standards psychologically creates the idea from a young age that women are objects to be displayed. Women and young girls are often seen from a standpoint of a male gaze, beginning their regular association of attractiveness coinciding with what is appealing to men. Therefore, a disassociation with women’s bodies being their own...

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