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Media Has A Negative Impact On Females' Body Image

2219 words - 9 pages

Media has a negative impact on females’ body image by promoting artificial beauty. Women often become dissatisfied with their bodies, which cause them to develop eating disorders. Body image affects a woman’s perceptions and feelings about their physical appearance when looking in the mirror. The media portrays unrealistic beauty of women who are thin with perfect hair and make-up. Many women who expose themselves to the unrealistic standards of the media often idealize, covet, and become very insecure. The many women who do not expose themselves would influence others to perceive their physical appearances as beautiful. “Many popular magazines for females tell women to focus on their physical, outer attributes (i.e. body shape, muscle tone, bone structure, hair, makeup, clothing, etc.) and rarely mention the importance of being smart, sophisticated, funny and/or possessing many other positive attributes that have nothing to do with physical attributes” (Sparhawk 1). Obviously, the media’s representation of the thin ideal connects to the majority of body dissatisfaction and eating disorders. In other words, the media’s use of unrealistic women sends a hidden message that in order for women to be beautiful they must be unhealthy. The importance of physical appearance is encouraged at an early development for most girls. For these reasons, the connection between media and body image is very important because low body image will lead to eating disorders and potentially death.
Many women are very sensitive about the way they look, which makes them depend on media products more. The media culture sends mixed messages about what is sexy, which causes women to face similar unrealistic expectations when exposed to media images. Some messages would have women believe they are not acceptable and attractive if they do not match society’s high standard of beauty. The victims who face the unrealistic expectations are teens and aging women. They both fear the thought of not being beautiful, which causes them to aspire to look like the unrealistic women shown by the media every day. The media is making unrealistic standards seem normal for women to fulfil.
Beauty is the core feature of femininity as portrayed by the media and the core factor in the attractiveness stereotype of women. Many women and young girls experience social pressure to be thin. Overweight girls and women experience significant social pressure, including the teasing of weight, discrimination, and disapproval. Society and media have constructed the thin ideal, while women and girls are to conform to it. The exposure to images of thin and young women links to cosmetic surgeries and eating disorders.
“The media was anticipated to have both a direct and indirect effect via body dissatisfaction, appearance investment, and aging anxiety” (Slevec, Julie, and Marika Tiggemann 67). Middle age women between the ages of forty and fifty-five are going through the phase of aging anxiety that...

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