The Negative Effects Of The Media On Body Perception In Young Adults

1763 words - 7 pages

Some may say that the media does not have much substantial influence on young adults, but some at risk teens have cited that their reasoning behind their development of eating disorders are in response to the many adverts and images that are represented in social media culture. The media in today’s society continuously advocates images of falsely induced perfection on men and women all around the world. The industry that controls what people see on television and in advertisements knows that only a small percentage of average individuals possess these attributes or fit their set high standard of beauty. The idea that one can never be “too rich”, or “too thin” is prevalent in the media as well as in most media oriented images. Mass media’s use of unrealistic models send an implicit message, that in order for a woman to be considered up to an acceptable standard, they must be in some sense of the word unhealthy, most models that are being portrayed in advertisements are well below the range of being considered healthy. To understand the reasoning behind why women and even men take this idea of body image to extremes, the term body image needs to be examined. Body image is the aspects or the self-conscious desire to view one’s own body as its desired appearance. The media in today’s society portrays women as well as men as being shown as an object of desire, never showing their goals or putting emphasize on education or academic achievements. Objectifying the body and making it seem as though appearance is the only achievement to be set in one’s life, young men and women are not encouraged to place higher value and focus on additional educational goals.
From a young age the importance of the outward appearance is held at a higher standard than education or higher learning. Women and men alike are continuously being stream fed a plethora of unhealthy images from their adolescences to their adulthood. In a study, “adolescent girls described the ideal woman as being 5 ft. 7 in, 100 lb. size 5, with long blond hair and blue eyes (Levine).” The effects of the modernized media have affected young girls so thoroughly that they no longer have their own sense of self-worth. Young girls who are exposed to unhealthy images are more likely to develop eating disorders later on in their teenage years. The mass media, however, presents girls with a narrowly defined body-type ideal, and for too many girls, having the ideal body is a very compelling aspiration. When these girls are not able to achieve this standard of beauty because of either genetics or lack thereof they begin to cultivate resentments and even in some cases self-hatred. “Concern over weight and appearance related issues often surface early in development, and continue throughout the life span (Levine). Body image becomes a major issue as individuals reach puberty, fearing weight gain or even lack thereof in the case of male participants. When the idea that one might never be worthwhile is planted...

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