Models shown in all forms of popular media are often under what is considered healthy body weight, which sends a powerful message that women must sacrifice their health to be considered attractive by societal standards. When we look at women images, we will see they are thin, beautiful, sexy, and fashionable. They are different from average women. The women who see perfect women images every moment are not pleased with their appearance. In addition, they are losing their self-esteems, because they believe that they must look more beautiful, sexier, and more fashionable.
At no time in history have women been so pressured to be thin. Inner beauty and personality is no longer enough. Women all over the world look at themselves and can only find imperfections. Media constantly shows thin, youthful, and “perfect” women, whom in reality have just as many imperfections as the average woman. Body image in the media tends to be a controversial topic on whether or not it has a negative effect on women in today’s society.
Girls want to be deemed beautiful by society so badly that they will conform to any idea presented by the media (Piercy). Technology has made it near impossible to avoid images of stick thin models and advertisements on getting thin quick. Media has made women conform to their idea of the perfect body and the perfect weight. Magazines are read by millions of women every day, and they do not portray real images of models. They are air-brushed, photo shopped, and computer generated versions of those women (Eating Disorders and Media Influence).
This means that women who are not capable of reaching the “ideal” will feel insecure. Women look at other thinner women and look at them as someone inspirational. They tend to compare themselves to them and find themselves dissatisfied with their own bodies. Society expects women to have a perfect body that make woman feel depressed when they have a hard time reaching this ideal goal. The negative body image has been associated with depression,
Women are being driven to take drastic measures for approval. Females will do anything to be skinny so that they are socially accepted as beautiful, even if that means putting their health in jeopardy. There are many determinants for this conviction in society. However, the major cause for this conviction is the media. Rarely does society see a female celebrity that is not skinny.
This has led to a public outcry against impossibly thin, airbrushed models and a demand for more honest advertising. The movement toward “body positive” advertising is a response to the damaging eff... ... middle of paper ... ...ove, it still rejects older and disabled women as beautiful. It also renders women with imperfect skin or tattoos as unacceptable. Although Skinnygirl claims to show the average woman in their advertisement, they still only represent a limited demographic. Although presented as body positive, Dove, M&S and Skinnygirl’s advertising campaigns using “real women” still subscribe to existing beauty standards to maintain firm body margins and reject certain body types as beautiful.
Now, what should blame for this unhealthy obsession that has bloomed among today’s women? Of course it would have to be the media. Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely other causes of eating disorders, but with constant advertising and material showcasing visuals that feature seemingly flawless and thin women, who would not feel insecure? Who would not feel influenced to want to have a similar body image? The very image of the ‘ideal’ woman has caused many women around the world to place outer appearance on a pedestal, to hate their own image, and ultimately fall victim to terrible eating disorders.
The pageants objectify woman creating a homogenous unachievable model of attractiveness that promotes poor self-image among girls (Beauty Pageants”). Often thin models are suffering from eating disorders of their own and girls are looking up to them as “body goals” which just is not right and can lead to the girls themselves having eating disorders. Models should be a healthy weight, they would still look great and it would have a positive effect of the girls who are looking up to the models. Plastic and cosmetic surgery is another effect media has had, more females are taking the “easier” root and getting surgeries to like the way they look. Girls under eighteen should not get surgery, the risks are too high.
“Whereas body esteem is supposed to be a minor component of self-esteem in our society, body esteem ellipses the self-esteem and becomes the primary and sometimes the only dimension on which women evaluate their self-worth” (Cynthia M. Bulik, page 2). Modern society has become sick and obsessed in physical appearance where women are suffering and torturing themselves to reach the unattainable outer perfection. Being happy and satisfied has now been linked to being beautiful and fit. This beauty mania has overwhelmed everyone especially female teenagers in a way they start developing negative body image that has been linked to many factors. Some consider that media exerts a powerful pressure on young females to reach high level of fitness
Two of the many effects of media on females are depression and self esteem issues, as well as eating disorders. Unfortunately, body dissatisfaction caused by media is becoming more and more common. In today’s society, media is a part of everyone’s lives, whether people want it to be or not. One of the most openly disliked components of the media is the thin, ideal, hour-glass figure that is virtually unattainable. This ideal body is becoming “increasingly unrealistic for most women to achieve by healthy means” (Tiggemann).