The most fashionable, sought after magazines in any local store are saturated with beautiful, thin women acting as a sexy ornament on the cover. Commercials on TV feature lean, tall women promoting unlimited things from new clothes to as simple as a toothbrush. The media presents an unrealistic body type for girls to look up to, not images we can relate to in everyday life. When walking around in the city, very few people look like the women in commercials, some thin, but nothing similar to the cat walk model. As often as we see these flawless images float across the TV screen or in magazines, it ...
As we approach the twenty-first century, the western world has become increasingly preoccupied with idealizing thin women. As young women are socialized they are exposed to images in the news media which perpetuates the vision that thin women are happy and successful. These are the role models to which women look up to, creating increasing pressure to live up to such an ideal. Desperate to achieve a figure that rivals Elle Mcpherson, women are willing to pay exorbitant costs, and sacrifice, trying almost anything to look like modern society's ideal woman.
portrayal of a woman’s body image by the media is the root cause of eating disorders and selfesteem issues among women and girls today and thus implore your support in getting the media to stop airbrushing and promoting these unattainable images of perfection. Everyone deserves to feel beautiful. The eradication of the pressure to be perfect begins with the media.
Body image as defined by Merriam-Webster dictionary “a subjective picture of one's own physical appearance established both by self-observation and by noting the reactions of others” Women are assaulted from all angles about what the perfect body is and how to get it. The media has a very influential effect on society. The media distorts and misrepresents beauty into something that is unattainable for women, especially young girls. Whether it is the airbrushed Victoria’s Secret model in magazines or advertisements about new weight loss options, women are more insecure and unhappy than ever before trying to achieve the ”perfect body” to make them happy. The media as well as our own issues with self-image has pushed the fashion industry into the multi-billion dollar machine it is today. According to Susie Orbach, women are urged to conform, to help out the economy by continuous consumption of goods and clothing which are quickly made unwearable next fashion season styles in clothes and body weight. With the exploits of too thin women on magazine covers, these are the women whom we have chosen to look up to as what normal is even though the average woman is a size 12. We are starving ourselves to fit the ideals of what is visually put out there by the media and what the fashion industry wants us...
By posing the “thin-ideal,” advertisements convince women to believe that their bodies are objects in need of constant improvement. Striving for the “thin-deal,” however, causes many girls and women to become self-conscious and dissatisfied with their bodies. One research group has found that after being exposed to women’s magazines – such as, Vogue, Glamour, and Cosmopolitan – “girls…showed more dieting, anxiety, and bulimic symptoms” (www.media-scope.com). Interestingly enough, a newspaper that has no photos, The Wall Street Journal, does the best job at advertising diet doctors, pill mills, and weight loss scams. Among the many reasons, advertisements are one reason why only a body is what a woman is see as and becomes. For the sake of selling products, advertises purposely normalize unrealistically thin bodies in order to create an unattainable objective for women.
“From children's toys to TV programs, images of the idealized body have permeated every level of our visual culture” (Swinson). As the Advertisement industry continues to grow, the focus on looks is increasing as well. With around half of the advertisements using beauty as an appeal to sell their products(Teen Health and the Media), the pressures to be 'perfect' are causing women to become dissatisfied with their looks, driving them to turn to unhealthy measures. The average teenage girl gets a significantly greater amount of media time each day compared to the amount of time they spend with their parents, this is usually around 180 minutes of media per ten minutes spent with their parents (Heubeck). With so much time spent on media influenced activities, and the constant exposure to unhealthy models, it is no surprise that women are being influenced. Most female fashions models wear a size two or four, while the average American wears a size twelve or fourteen (Mirror-Mirror).When advertisements manipulate the photos of their models, it alters the way that women view themselves. Advertisers should not be allowed to promote unhealthy body images because it leads to an increase in self-consciousness, eating disorders, and suicide.
In conclusion it is possible to see how the media promotes a physical and psychological disease among women through the usage of unrealistic body images as it urges them to change their bodies, buy “enhancing” products, and redefine their opinions. Such statements may appear to be ridiculous, but for young women who are seeking to perfect their body according to how the media portrays “good looks” it is the basis for corruption. Confidence, contentment and healthy living are the keys to a perfect and unique body image and no amount of money can advertise or sell as genuine a treatment as this.
According to the National Eating Disorder Association the media has a major influence on what a woman’s body should look like. Every print and television advertisement suggests that the ideal body is extremely thin. However, most women cannot achieve having a super-thin body that the media favors. The resulting failure leads to negative feelings about one’s self and can begin a downward spiral toward an eating disorder (National Eating Disorders Association).
It indicates lack or resources or poverty. On the other hand, obesity was considered prestigious. In today’s society, which is fixated on physical appearance, fatness is despised while thinness is worshipped. Although women today are very much aware of the unrealistic body figure, they still aim for it. Findings show that cover models are getting thinner than the average women over the years (Rehabs.com). The gap between actual body size and the bodies of idealized women are more noticeable than ever (…). This is referred to as the “thin-ideal media” (Farrar, 2014). The “thin- ideal media” includes media images that appear in fashion magazines, catalogues and movies with thin female models or celebrities (Farrar, 2014). Not only that, advertisers used photo editing softwares to alter images which can be found in all sort of media. In fact, a photographer said that he manipulated 107 commercials and 36 cover photos in one issue of Vogue magazine (Kretz, 2011). It has become a norm for the media industry to alter images of models and celebrities for their own benefit. These thin-ideal media makes women think that being thin is a good and desirable, even if it is to a point that is potentially risking a person’s health. As a result, more young women are developing eating disorders and other unhealthy behaviour. What cause the change? Why women are constantly pressured to live up to the ideal body
The media has one of the most influential impacts on what is seen as beauty in society (Bromley, 2012).Women spend thousands of dollars on products and cosmetics to achieve the unrealistic and unhealthy look of models on advertisements (Valenti, 2007). In most extreme cases, women who feel that their unhealthy weight goal is not achieved turn to extreme eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia, and binge eating (Cunning, 2011). However, despite the unrealistic frames of models on advertisements, women are still lured and pressured into the “perfect” image that is portrayed by the media using race, youth, and sexuality (Bromley, 2012).