Argumentative Essay On Body Image

715 Words3 Pages
By definition, body image is “the internal representation of one's own outer appearance which reflects physical and perceptual dimensions” (Kovar). What that means is the way in which one sees themselves when looking in a mirror. For example, two women who have the exact same weight and height might see themselves in completely different ways. Not everyone has the same body image. Self-esteem and self-worth as well as physical features play a role in how people see themselves. So, one of the women might see herself as having the most perfect body while the other sees herself as too fat or too short. The media has benefits that promote healthy lifestyles and ultra-thin models promoting drastic measures to look like them; it has an affect on people’s body image without a doubt, but in both a positive and negative light.
Society today is based on a standard that makes it harder for someone who doesn’t fit the cookie-cutter image to succeed than it is for a thin, clean-cut model. Basically, “what is beautiful is good” (Fox), and therefore what is ugly, dirty, or overweight is bad. People with the ideal body that fits the “normal” of today have an advantage.
The problem with this is that only a rough 5% of women in the United States actually fit the criteria of that perfect body image (Miller), most of which are half starved models being photo-shopped by the media. In the media, it is so common to see those “ultra-thin” models that they are considered normal, and even a standard to live up to. Fifty years ago or maybe even twenty years ago, these models would have been a good example for the world, a picture of health and fitness. Since then though, the average weight of models has dropped by 15% and is still going down (Miller). The...

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...men tend to exaggerate them; But that does not mean that they are immune to the attacks of their “internal photographer” (Gervais).
A sad fact is that there is almost no difference between ages of people whose body images are affected by the media -all are (Fox). Children are being exposed to the “ultra-thin” ideal so early in life and many don't have a positive role model from which they can learn the importance of a positive body image.
Studies have shown that ethnicity and race have a significant effect on the view of what a positive body image is and what kind of image is ideal. Caucasian women tend to have a more negative body image than Asian and black.
Other, more permeable factors play into positive and negative body image such as marriage status and life situations, like wealth and health. Pregnancy also causes women to have less of a negative body image.
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