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Ideal Female Body Image Essay

1210 words - 5 pages

The media’s depiction of the perfect female body image is appalling. It is the largest contributor for many adolescent female’s dissatisfaction with their bodies. At an early age, girls are introduced to perfect body ideals; from the advent of Barbie dolls to the launch of a wide variety of Disney Princess movies, they are exposed to unrealistic portrayal of the perfect female body. Young girls are very impressionable therefore they are more susceptible to the idealistic image of a size zero waistline. The means by which these young girls try to achieve the glorious size zero waist can lead them to dangerous life styles. The media should have realistic body images for women because the images they circulate do physical and psychological damage to adolescent girls.
The media’s ideal female body image has changed over time. Starting in the nineteen hundreds, the socially accepted female body has changed from voluptuous figures to that of their slender counterparts. In an article titled, “Curves! Curves! Curves!” the author mentions that you can tract the variety of ways in which the media has changed the ideal body figure for a woman through the movies of the past time periods. “The look of the late 1920's was termed "the new slender look" and…was quite different than that only twenty years earlier in that attention was drawn away from curves (bust and hips) and to a more toned-down look. The look was flat-chested with narrow hips and waist.” The author also states that the ideal female body figure changed again in the 1940’s with a switch from the slender flat chested look to a more curvaceous appeal. “This new image was very pronounced: a higher bust, defined waist, and rounded hips.” With the media constantly evolving sooner or later the acceptable body image will be that of a skeleton.
The media affects the way adolescent girls view their bodies. Since the media is ubiquitous, adolescents are exposed to continuous images of thin bodies. Because young girls are being exposed to such unrealistic body image, they often times develop eating disorders. Classic eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia are being diagnosed at younger age…and with higher frequency (qtd. in Derenne, et al). In an article by Kasey L. Serdar, she explains that, “Mass media's use of such unrealistic models sends an implicit message that in order for a woman to be considered beautiful, she must be unhealthy.” Young girls often take drastic measures to try to emulate these models. These girls are unaware of the numerous editing that magazines and advertising companies do before publishing pictures of these ‘perfect’ models and the drastic measure supermodels take to remain thin. An example of this can be shown in an article by Liz Neporent, where she tells of supermodels eating cotton balls to supplement food.
“The diet…involves gobbling up to five cotton balls dipped in orange juice, lemonade or a smoothie in one sitting. The idea is to feel...

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