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Media Negatively Affects Women's Self Esteem The Media's Unrealistic Thin Ideal Of The Female Body Leads Women To Have Low Self Esteem Issues.

1929 words - 8 pages

The media has developed an ideal image for the female body and female attractiveness. Television, magazines, movies, music, and advertising depict the ideal female image as thin. Above any other characteristic, thin to the point of unrealistic and unattainable is most common.The ideal image of feminine attractiveness that is presented by today's media places extreme emphasis on thinness. In doing so, television and magazines are reinforcing the cultural preference for thinness. When a woman is continually exposed to depictions of the thin ideal, as portrayed in media, she will often come to adopt the presented ideal as a realistic goal. Concern that her weight is not acceptable is likely to develop, and self-dissatisfaction will grow. Increased weight concern causes lowered self-esteem, and for many, the development of eating disorders (Slatkavitz, 2004).The unrealistic and unattainable thinness that is found in most advertising and that is depicted in the media has caused an outbreak in low self-esteem among women. Because most women do not fit into the model body type, constantly being bombarded with such images causes women to feel depressed, have lower self-esteem, and leave them assuming that they are not good enough. Such feelings lead to eating disorders, unhealthy infatuations with exercise, and loss of self-respect. "Pick up a fashion magazine today and you'll find models that are thinner than 98% of all the girls and women in America. Turn on a television and see 'sexy' celebrities such as Shania Twain, Britney Spears and Pamela Anderson baring their flesh. It is these role models who have become the standard of what is in vogue in the twenty-first century" (Nault, 2005).By women comparing themselves to models, they can experience feelings of unworthiness or self-doubt. Although it is assumed that most women know the images in the magazines they see are digitally edited and enhanced, they tend to disregard that fact when in the process of comparisons. It brings the society to the point of forgetting what real people look like and assuming the normal person looks like that depicted in the media. By doing so, the beauty seen in real people can no longer be seen.The models on the advertisements are employed as models simply because they are 'abnormally' constructed within the current cultural code of what counts as beauty. Even then, their image is subjected to hours of heavy make-up, hair blowers, special lighting, computer touch-ups and air brushes. Advertisements display images of seemingly perfect women as the norm with such incessant regularity that it's small wonder our diversity - which is actually the norm - begin to look hideously abnormal (Kee, 2004).One may ask why the media would be placing impossible measures on women knowing that these images can lead to low-self esteem and health related issues. "The industry tries to create an unreachable ideal, because they know the onlooker will be made to feel inadequate, which fuels...

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