Are The Ideals Promoted By The Media And The Advertisement Industry Harmful?

1076 words - 5 pages

The concept of beauty is one of the fundamental ideas embedded in human beings’ consciousness and is always under change due to external factors. Currently, myriads of people appear to be fascinated by those photos presenting extreme leanness and emaciated shape commonly appeared in a variety of media, and these virtual impacts are converting our aesthetic criteria. It results in a prevalent discussion of whether such transition will act as a pernicious role in people’s values or not. There have been numerous independent studies showing that these advertisement-based objectifications not only cause individual or public health problems, but lead to distorted values of beauty as well. Considering several essential factors and the consequent implications, this essay will provide a valid argument and prove that these ideals are harmful indeed.

One of the main aspects of the public concern over this question is the health problem. The most common and widespread opinion is that these ideals might cause severe eating disorders that are flourishing at present, which might consequently put their physical health in jeopardy. Empirical evidences for negative influences have prevailed over decades. Nonetheless, experimental results present more overt and explicit support. According to a research carried out by Stice, Schupak-Neuberg, Shaw and Stein (1994), the relation between media exposure and eating-related symptomatology is statistically significant. Therefore once we set the result correspondingly into the case we are discussing, it could be concluded that ideals promoted by the media and the advertisement industry are linked with eating pathologies. Moreover, as Treasure, Wack and Roberts (2008) point out, as consequences of excessive pursue of extremely lean body shape, eating disorders may increase the possibility of serious drug abuse and everlasting diseases related to eating behaviors. This indicates that the influences exerted by eating disorders are hazardous and likely to be persistent, which exactly verifies the public concern over this topic. From what we discussed above, it is rigorously proved that this health concern is indeed reasonable, with the introduction of two progressive arguments.

As a matter of fact, these ideals also render the distortion of our aesthetic values. More specifically, when people are exposed to these touched-up photos promulgating seemingly attractive leanness, especially with visualized sex appeal and fair complexion, they are more prone to accept these physical objectifications, and gradually convert their initial cognition of beauty. A study shows that extensive sexual seducement is applied in media advertisements in order to attract people’s attention (Frith, Shaw, & Cheng, 2005). This implies that the improper utilization of erotic and aphrodisiac cue undoubtedly raises higher visual recall and therefore, exerts an adverse influence on people. Additionally, this quantitative study also shed light on...

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