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EFFECTS OF THE MEDIA ON BODY IMAGE Essay

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Is the media helping or hurting the way women view their bodies? The media has a powerful influence in women's everyday lives. The media constantly sends messages of what women should spend their time and money on; Putting a picture in women's minds daily of what they should look like. False images of young beautiful women are airbrushed and altered to perfection to hide every flaw. It is impossible for young women to live up to the standards the media has created. Young women have been negatively influenced by these advertisements every day; something has to be done. Young women are striving for a perfection that does not exist; this then affects their self-confidence and causes them to see their own bodies in a negative way. Researchers have found that in the United Sates, 94% of female characters in television programs are thinner than the average American woman (Gonzalez-Lavin & Smolak). Therefore, Average women watching these extremely thin actresses compare themselves to a body that is not the minority standard. Seeing these special case bodies does not make women feel good in their own skin. The pressure from the media on women is giving women a complex about their bodies. Women are going to extreme measures to obtain the perfect look that they see on the magazine covers. These daily influences are affecting women's thoughts on the way that they look. These influences should be positive not negative. The ideal body showcased by the media should be realistic, attainable, and real; not made on a computer.
FBI-trained forensics artist Gil Zamora knows first-hand about how negatively women view their bodies. He did a campaign with dove where he interviewed and drew seven different women- two sketches of each. He had the wome...


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... what they have. Healthy lifestyles and confidence are key to a happy life, and the media needs to start showing women those are things to strive for, not trying to achieve the perfect body the media has implanted into their minds.



Works Cited
Bealing, Jacqui. "News." RSS. University of Sussex, 10 Nov. 2009. Web. 25 Nov. 2013.
Cullers, Rebecca. "Dove Hires Criminal Sketch Artist to Draw Women as They See Themselves and as Others See Them, Ad week, 16 Apr. 2013. Web. 26 Nov. 2013.
Gonzalez-Lavin & Smolak, Relationships between television and eating problems in middle school girls. Paper presented at the meeting of the society for research in child development.(1995, March).
Hardy, Leah. "A Big Fat (and Very Dangerous) Lie: A Former Cosmo Editor Lifts the Lid on Airbrushing Skinny Models to Look Healthy." Mail Online. Daily Mail, 20 May 2010. Web. 25 Nov. 2013.




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