Essay on The Decline of Self-image in Women

Essay on The Decline of Self-image in Women

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Throughout history, the female form has always been a prevalent source of artistic muse. The introduction of the modern photographic camera allowed the objectification of women to increase exponentially. In today’s society, women of all ages struggle to exemplify what is perceived as the ideal female form. Studies show that women – beginning in their mid-teen years – experience a steady degeneration of self-esteem relative to the level of dissatisfaction with their internal body image. The decline of self-image in women can be directly linked to several contributing factors including: film and print advertising, social media, and the early exposure of adolescent girls to overly-sexualized products and media.
“Sex sells” is an aphorism closely adhered to by both the film and print advertising industries. For over a century, magazines, newspapers, film, and other advertising mediums have utilized women and sexuality to persuasively market their products to consumers (Reichert, 2003). By representing an assortment of consumer products surrounded by women who exemplify a “desired” body type, marketing specialists quickly discovered the direct correlation between sexuality and consumer buying. So why is using beauty and sexuality as a marketing gimmick so harmful? With women being the primary audience of both general interest and consumer product magazines there is constant exposure to the idealistic body image that advertisers and mass media believe women should adhere to.
What is considered to be the ideal body shape in current trends is rapidly becoming more and more unattainable by the average individual. The false body shapes created by using photographic manipulation software, airbrushing, special lighting effects, surgical alte...

... middle of paper ...

... self-worth, nor should it be a determining factor when examining someone else. Personal health should never be risked in order to achieve unrealistic body image goals.

Works Cited

Reichert, T. (2003). The erotic history of advertising. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books.
American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders
(4th ed., text rev.). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association.
Spitzer, B.L, Henderson, K. A., & Zivian, M. T. (1999). Gender differences in population
versus media body sizes: A comparison over four decades. Sex Roles, 40(7–8), 545–565.
Walton, A. (2012). The True Costs of Facebook Addiction: Low Self-Esteem and Poor Body
Image. Retrieved from

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