Societal Pressure To Be Thin Essay

760 words - 4 pages

“To be happy and successful, you must be thin,” is a message women are given at a very young age (Society and Eating Disorders). In fact, eating disorders are still continuously growing because of the value society places on being thin. There are many influences in society that pressures females to strive for the “ideal” figure. According to Sheldon’s research on, “Pressure to be Perfect: Influences on College Students’ Body Esteem,” the ideal figure of an average female portrayed in the media is 5’11” and 120 pounds. In reality, the average American woman weighs 140 pounds at 5’4”. The societal pressures come from television shows, diet commercials, social media, peers, magazines and ...view middle of the document...

They were also praised if they were in shape and in good health. The “Gibson Girl” transitioned to the “Flapper” in the 1920’s where as Flapper’s were immature, young women who were described as independent and reckless. Their particular lifestyle represented a refusal of the Victorian style. The ideal figure in this era was small breasts, no curves and short hair. It was ideal to have a flat chest, dark make-up, tan skin, and live a sporty and healthy lifestyles. The 1930’s to1940’s was America’s wartime. The Great Depression brought back a traditional style for women’s fashion and body image. This era focused on a trend toward practicality because of the plethora of men in combat. Shoulder width was emphasized and women were aspired to show off their curvy and feminine figure. Advertisements were focused on telling women how to avoid looking too skinny. After the war in the 1950’s, the ideal body image for women was a busty hourglass look such as model Marilyn Monroe. Women were expected to never leave the house without looking their best. They always had to look well composed and have flawless skin. The 1960’s focused back onto the “thin” look almost like...

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