Beauty: The Media Profits by Making Girls Hate Themselves Essay

Beauty: The Media Profits by Making Girls Hate Themselves Essay

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Beauty is a cruel mistress. Every day, Americans are bombarded by images of flawless women with perfect hair and smooth skin, tiny waists and generous busts. They are presented to us draped in designer clothing, looking sultry or perky or anywhere in between. And although the picture itself is alluring, the reality behind the visage is much more sinister. They are representations of beauty ideals, sirens that silently screech “this is what a woman is supposed to look like!” Through means of media distribution and physical alteration, technology has created unrealistic beauty ideals, resulting in distorted female body images.
Female beauty ideals are an overwhelming force in teen media. Approximately 37% of articles in leading magazines for teen girls emphasize a focus on physical appearance. This is none to surprising considering two of the top contenders in this media genre are Seventeen and Teen Vogue. CosmoGIRL and Elle Girl were among the ranks of popular teen magazines, but in recent years have become exclusively online publications. Add in a dash of publications Tiger Beat and Bop, and it becomes glaringly obvious that girls are charged with the prime directive of looking good to get the guy. The story becomes more disturbing when the actual audience, which includes girls at least as young as eleven years old, is considered. In a stage when girls are trying for the first time to establish their identities, top selling publications are telling them that their exteriors should be their primary concern of focus. Of course, this trend doesn’t stop with magazines. A study conducted in 1996 found a direct correlation between the “amount of time an adolescent watches soaps, movies and music videos” a...


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