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Body Image Essay

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Approximately 91% of women are unhappy with their bodies and resort to dieting to achieve their ideal body image (Cosslett, LucyBaxter). Before the beginning of the 20th century, most women who were considered attractive had bodies richly equipped with typically feminine curves. Researchers have stated that in former times the ideal of attractives, or being fat, was considered to be a status symbol. Between examining the careers of Marilyn Monroe and Kate Upton, one can see that over time society’s views of body image has evolved in very different ways.
Most of the time when females hear the word “curves” the first women that comes to mind is Marilyn Monroe. According to the article Cosmo Girl, “Marilyn Monroe graces the cover of the Playboy magazine, making her body type ‘large breasts and a curvy bottom’ the ideal.” She was born in 1926 with her original name Norma Jean (Owings). To become a star she changed her name and that’s where she got her start. With her signature curves and her sexual appeal, she was simply every girls idol and every man’s celebrity crush. She was a very talented women, she acted, sang, and modeled a little. Even though she was very popular, she was also very troubled. During film making she often seemed depressed (Owings). Finding confidence became a struggle for her and criticism from the paparazzi didn’t help. Rumours went around that President JFK was having an affair with Marilyn, which also didn’t help with her self-consciousness. American Society at that time was just as harsh as it is now. Especially when it comes to being famous and unique, like Marilyn. The author Lisa Owing states, “By 1962 Marilyn was perhaps more beautiful than she had ever been. At nearly 36 years old, she was trim, but ob...


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... Upton.” Newsmakers. Vol. 3. Detroit: Gale, 2013. Student Resources in Context. Web. 4 Feb 2014.

Lassek, WillGaulin, Steve. “Eternal Curves.” Psycology Today 45.4 (2012): 70. Mas Ultra - School Edition. Web. 17 Feb. 2014.

Owings, Lisa. Marilyn Monroe: Hollywood Icon. Minneapolis: ABDO Pub., 2012. Print.

Serdar, Kasey. "Female Body Image and the Mass Media: Perspectives on How Women Internalize the Ideal Beauty Standard." Westminster College: A Private Comprehensive Liberal Arts College in Salt Lake City, UT, Offering Undergraduate and Graduate Degrees in Liberal Arts and Professional Programs, including Business, Nursing, Education and Communication. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Mar. 2014.

Stein, Sadie. “For the Last Time: What Size was Marilyn Monroe?” Jezebel. N.p.,n.d. Wed. 18. Feb. 2014.

Willis, Laurie. The Culture of Beauty. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2011. Print.





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