The Destructive Power of the Media
I have the most adorable little cousin named Alexandra, whom I love with all my heart. One day I was very disturbed when she told me that she was fat. She was 4 years old at the time. I was stunned and had no idea what to say to her, so I just told her that she is a healthy little girl and that she needs to not to worry about that. I tried to think of where she would come up with this thought, and after a while I remembered a conversation that her mother and I had. We were talking about how nice it was when we were younger and we did not have to work at being thin. Her mother said something about being fat and Alexandra must have been listening. This got me thinking about how I came to be self conscious about my body. I came to the conclusion that it is just something that every woman has to go through at least one time in her life. But why, what is it that makes every woman want "the perfect body?" I pondered this question for a while, but I was baffled. Later that day I began to read the "Cosmopolitan" and I began paying attention to the advertisements in this very popular woman's magazine; I was amused at the angle the advertisers use to try to get women to buy their product. One advertisement was for an alcoholic drink called Tequiza. The advertisement compared the calories and the fat content of that drink to the calories and fat content in another popular alcoholic beverage. I am under age, but I am a college student so I will not lie and say that I do not drink on occasion, but when I do drink I do not worry about how much fat or how many calories I am taking in. To me this advertisement was completely ridiculous and instead of making me want to buy the product I have now vowed that I will never buy it, all because of its absurd advertisement.
Advertisements play a large part in our culture. The images that are used in most advertisements are our fantasies. They portray beautiful, thin people having a great time with whatever product is being sold. According to ads, all women are stick skinny with very large breasts, and all men have a six pack of abs and the pecs to go along with them. Most all people wish they looked as perfect as the models in advertisements, and the advertisers use it to their advantage. This is very disheartening for the normal people of the world. I myself find it to be discouraging, knowing no matter how hard I try, I can never naturally look like those women, and most likely I will not fall in love with a man like that.
The massive number of advertisements also shapes our culture. There is an enormous excess of advertisements in our culture; the amount of advertisements we see each day is incredible. I watched a half hour of television and within each three-minute commercial break there was an average of 6 commercials. There are advertisements everywhere. They are on television, on the Internet, in magazines, in newspapers, on billboards, on cars,...