Mass Media: A Destructive Force Essay

743 words - 3 pages

“People are sheep. TV is the shepherd.” Mass media is simply communication – whether written, broadcast, or spoken – that reaches a large audience and it is a significant force in today’s world. We live in a society which is dependent on it for news, entertainment, health, and education. Media reflects and shapes our world as well as influencing our thoughts, opinions, ideals, and way of thinking. There are many types of media such as radio, television, video games, films, newspapers, billboards, the Internet, and so forth. It is used for many purposes ranging from advertising and propaganda to entertainment through television shows and for public announcements and emergency alerts. However, ...view middle of the document...

Stereotypes are also used to create unrealistic and, sometimes, impossible standards of beauty, living, and wealth. Some analysts conclude that the reasons for these standards are economical. “By presenting a physical ideal that is difficult to achieve and maintain the cosmetic and diet industries are assured continual growth and profits.” Furthermore, it is estimated that the diet industry earns more than 60 billion USD every year, with 80% of dieters regaining lost weight. Marketers realize that women and females are insecure about their body, and to sell a larger amount of products, the media has developed an entire industry around fuelling this insecurity. However, men are also affected by these ludicrous standards of beauty and fitness. A 2006 study “found a relationship between the increase in idealized male bodies in media and the rise in body dissatisfaction and weight disorders in boys and young men.” In addition, the largest effect on whether middle-school boys were dissatisfied with their body and weight came from the media. However, the influence of these stereotypes and standards reaches far beyond the dieting and purchasing decisions of men and women and holds much more serious consequences. A 2009 study found that “[children and teens] who were unhappy with their bodies – whether they were genuinely overweight or not – were significantly more at risk for...

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