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Should Media Change Women’s Ideal Body Image?

1020 words - 5 pages

In today’s society mass media creates unrealistic body images of women not ever being thin or flawless enough. Advertisements of this “ideal” body image affects how many women view themselves and how they think they should look. Advertising companies overly edit and photoshop images of women to create the so-called perfection that is the norm for the advertising world. These images of the “perfect” body send negative messages and create insecurities amongst many women. As the mass media uses unrealistic models to advertise its products and services, this sets the idea that the “ideal” woman must been unhealthily thin and blemish free. Advertisements of these “perfect” women negatively affect ...view middle of the document...

Society’s media constantly portrays advertisements of very thin and overly edited photos of models. The media’s thin “ideal” creates the message to women that the only way to be beautiful is to be really thin. As advertising agencies are constantly asking for thinner and thinner models, women become overly obsessed with the idea that they need to lose weight and reach an unhealthy weight to be beautiful. “This dissatisfaction is evident throughout a woman’s life span, with girls as young as nine indicating a desire to lose weight and it has led some women to take extreme measures to alter their bodies” (Spencer,Strahan, &Zanna, 331). In the article Don’t Take another Bite: How Sociocultural Norms for Appearance Affect Women’s Eating Behavior, Spencer, Strahan, &Zanna discuss various studies conducted on women’s exposure to mass media advertisements containing thin models and the studies showed that women who were exposed to these images more, felt the need to eat less and rejected their own bodies. Women feel dissatisfied by their body image and continuously strive to lose weight. These feelings of body dissatisfaction not only affect a women’s physical appearance negatively, but also it negatively affects a women’s mental and emotional thoughts.
Women of all ages have been reported to have weight and appearance related issues and are consistently comparing themselves to other women. By comparing themselves to other women (particularly thin models and actresses), the women develop a low self-esteem and depressive thoughts about themselves. In the article Psychology of Women Quarterly, Bessenoff states “High levels of self-discrepancy have been linked to various types of emotional distress including disappointment and dissatisfaction, feelings of shame low self-esteem, and chronic emotional problems such as clinical depression and social phobias.” Women and teenage girls often go to negative solutions to reach this “thin ideal” by doing a lot of exercising, going on extreme diets, and even go as far as to develop eating disorders. The most common...

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