Effects of Media on Women’s Body Image

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Effects of Media on Women’s Body Image
In this age, media is more pervasive than ever, with people constantly processing some form of entertainment, advertisement or information. In each of these outlets there exists an idealized standard of beauty, statistically shown to effect the consumer’s reflection of themselves. The common portrayal of women’s bodies in the media has shown to have a negative impact on women and girls. As the audience sees these images, an expectation is made of what is normal. This norm does not correspond to the realistic average of the audience. Failing to achieve this isolates the individual, and is particularly psychologically harmful to women. Though men are also shown to also be effected negatively by low self-esteem from the media, there remains a gap as the value of appearance is seen of greater significance to women, with a booming cosmetic industry, majority of the fashion world, and the marketing of diet products and programs specifically targeting women.
The overwhelming idea of thinness is probably the most predominant and pressuring standard. Tiggeman, Marika writes, “This is not surprising when current societal standards for beauty inordinately emphasize the desirability of thinness, an ideal accepted by most women but impossible for many to achieve.” (1) In another study it is noted that unhealthy attitudes are the norm in term of female body image, “Widespread body dissatisfaction among women and girls, particularly with body shape and weight has been well documented in many studies, so much so that weight has been aptly described as ‘a normative discontent’”. (79) Particularly in adolescent and prepubescent girls are the effects of poor self-image jarring, as the increased level of dis...

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...ght, eating disorders, and other forms of self-destructive behavior has increased, coinciding with the disturbing notion that such problems are normal.

Works Cited

Tiggeman, Marika. “Body image across the life span in adult women: The role of self-objectification.” American Psychological Association 37. 2(Mar 2001): 1-253. ProQuest. Web. 12/20/2013
Tiggeman, Marika. Miller, Jessica. “The Internet and Adolescent Girls' Weight Satisfaction and Drive for Thinness.” Sex Roles 63. 1-2 (Jul 2010): 79-90. ProQuest. Web. 12/24/2013

Greenberg, Bradley. Eastin, Matthew. “Portrayals of overweight and obese individuals on commercial television” American Journal of Public Health 98.3 (Aug 2003): 1342-8. ProQuest. Web. 12/26/2013

Greey, Madeline. “Fear of fat: why more and more young children are dieting.” Today’s Parent 10. 17. (Nov 2000): 1-114. ProQuest. Web. 12/24/2013
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