Downfall of Female Body Image: Media’s Influence

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Throughout the years, the connotative definition of beauty has gone through constant change. In today’s world, young women are constantly under the impression that they have to fit the current definition in order to fit in with society and be recognized by men. Many girls feel they need to fit the mold instead of being their true unique selves. Every single individual is different in their own way, however the media has drilled it into every young girl’s mind, that they have just like a Barbie doll in order to be happy. Furthermore, these same girls are resorting to extreme methods in order to feel like they fit in such as taking unhealthy weight loss pills and developing eating disorders. Advertising has caused more harm than good in this particular situation by compelling girls to feel like they cannot be themselves. Even fashion trends have added to this downfall of women’s individualism. Teenage girls feel the need to match the current fashion trend, no matter how expensive, just so they can feel the same as everybody else. As Andrew Delbanco explains in his work, The Real American Dream, consumer culture has the power to “evacuate the self” (105). This is exactly what is happening in today’s world due to media influence. Young women are idolizing media images and trying to imitate them. This in turn is causing a negative effect on individualism. Young women should grow up wanting to be themselves as individuals. Girls should not mature with the mindset that they want to be just like the models in magazines and television commercials. Kristin Noelle Weissman discusses the effects of the mass media in her book Barbie: the icon, the image, the ideal. Weissman explains, Wood 2 “The mass media –as a primary and ... ... middle of paper ... ...y. Women all over the world are affected by the media. Even the slightest flash of a tall and skinny girl in a TV commercial can have an influence on a young girl that just wanted to watch cartoons. Starting as kids, icons such as Barbie engrain is a child’s mind that beauty and being thin comes with popularity and happiness. But what happens when those goals of the media’s Wood 10 perfect image are just out of reach? This can cause negative effects on young women and has been for several years. Women everywhere are stuck on the idea that they have to look like Barbie or like the models and celebrities in magazines, sometimes resulting in detrimental methods such as eating disorders. These women eventually develop a loss of their individuality and are left unhappy and disappointed. The cookie-cutter idea is taking over society and the media is to blame.

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