Women's Misleading Magazines Essay

1677 words - 7 pages

Women's Misleading Magazines

I was flipping through some channels on the television set one day and came across a woman's talk show, "The View." It caught my attention when one of the hostesses asked the audience of mostly women to raise their hand if they thought they were truly beautiful. Much to my surprise the audience did not respond with very many show of hands. The hostess then introduced a study done by Dove, the makers of the body soap. Dove polled over 6,000 women from all over the country and only two percent of the women polled said they feel beautiful. Women are surrounded by images screaming physical beauty is more important than their talents and accomplishments. Women are deriving their self worth from an ideal of how they think they should look and how they think everyone else wants them to look instead of focusing on their sense of who they are, what they know, and where they are going in life. In "Help or Hindrance?: Women's Magazines Offer Readers Little But Fear, Failure," Mary Kay Blakely states, "Instead of encouraging women to grow beyond childish myths and adapt to the changes of life, women's magazines have readers running in place, exhausted." She goes on to say, "This is a world we have 'made up' for women, and it is a perilous place to exist." One of the biggest culprits feeding women's insecurities are the popular women's magazine that line the book shelves of grocery stores, gas stations, and waiting rooms. They supply readers and the occasional innocent passerby with unrealistic images of what women should be instead of showing diverse age groups and women with natural beauty. Reading through a couple of magazines, Cosmopolitan, Elle, and Shape, I found nothing but hidden agendas and ways to improve yourself for everyone but yourself.

There are many complex women's health issues that women would like guidance on. Issues that don't necessarily need a doctors opinion, but issues that women need helpful advice from another knowledgeable woman, maybe with some experience on the issue. Women's magazines trivialize these issues or use these issues to make women insecure enough to buy certain products that deliver empty promises. For Instance, many women struggle with weight problems. Some struggle a great deal and others struggle with a few vanity pounds. Either way, Women's magazines capitalize on these struggles and often times make them worse. An article jumped out at me from an ELLE magazine. The title of the article was "Thin Theory." It rationalized anorexia, a disease that many women have welcomed to better fit into societies thin category, by stating in the first line, "…it [anorexia] may be an ancient survival instinct gone awry in our modern culture of plenty." The article goes on to explain that it is natural for women to go on a long hunger strike because back when famine was a part of everyday life, women could survive the long periods of famine until the lack of food passed. ...

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