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Media And Body Image: The Negative Side Of Media

1234 words - 5 pages

Imagine someone telling another, “You’re ugly just the way you are. That maybe, if you lost 20 pounds and wore a cool tie like me, you could look and be fabulous.” Well, everyone is constantly being told this every day, but in a more subtle way–through media. Media are the means of communication, like television and newspapers, magazines, and advertisements that reach or influence people. Society today is surrounded by media. But these means of communication are attacking teens with false images. Think about all of the advertisements in cosmetics, clothes, dietary supplements or muscle enhancers, how many times would the thought of “I would look that much better if I wore that Maybelline mascara that it’d make me look like Scarlet Johansson? If my muscles would be bigger I’d look like that dude that plays Thor?” The media has powerful influences on society, and the medium has negative effects on the youth and their body image.
Teens are struggling with their body image. These insecurities are brought out when they look at “perfect” women and men in media (Gandhi). It’s hard to hear that teens will do anything to become an image that doesn’t exist. According to American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery “In 2012, there were 130,502 plastic surgery procedures done for teenagers under the age of 18 in the USA” (ASAPS). The reason why most teens do this, is to achieve this perfect image; but, don’t realize that these images are fabricated. And in reality, these models they see in ads are giving up their health to contribute to a false image. In the 1970’s, models weighed 8% less than an average woman, and in the 1990’s, models weighed 23% less than the average woman (The Negative Side of Media). In effect, teens are comparing themselves to fakeness. Did you know that 3 out of 4 women say they are overweight but only 1 out of 4 actually are (Self Image/Media Influences). And, adolescent girls are self-conscience about their bodies, and are more fearful of gaining weight than getting cancer, or losing their parents. The problem is that teens are really trying to meet the medium’s standards and are leading to eating disorders like bulimia and anorexia.
This issue does not follow unto just young girls. In the last 15 years media has increasingly displayed men with perfect physiques and chiseled abs that degrades the natural body of a man. Young men turn to steroids to reach this unreal image, but the consequences can be most severe. Use of steroids in adolescent years can come with depression, rage attacks, and suicidal tendencies, and cardiomyopathies. Because of the impression that disorders look the same in males as they do in females, weight disorders are under-recognized in men. Young men are often more concerned with gaining muscle than becoming thin. They typically aren’t presented as underweight, as girls often are. In the words of psychologist and an expert on male eating disorders Dr. Raymond Lemberg, “Instead of wanting to do something...

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