and rarely mention the importance of being smart, sophisticated, funny and/or possessing many other positive attributes that have nothing to do with physical attributes” (Sparhawk 1). Obviously, the media’s representation of the thin ideal connects to the majority of body dissatisfaction and eating disorders. In other words, the media’s use of unrealistic women sends a hidden message that in order for women to be beautiful they must be unhealthy. The importance of physical appearance is encouraged at an early development for most girls. For these reasons, the connection between media and body image is very important because low body image will lead to eating disorders and potentially death.
Media has become a significant component within society. While media provides many pros, it supplies various cons as well. One very prominent fault that the significance of media has is its visual depiction of women. There is an abundance of media portraying women to have ideal bodies, and this undoubtedly has a negative effect on adolescent girls. Two of the many effects of media on females are depression and self esteem issues, as well as eating disorders.
The Effects of Media on the Body-Image of Preadolescent Girls Media is infamous for having a tremendous effect on teenage girls. The mass media have long been criticized for presenting unrealistic appearance ideals that contribute to the development of negative body image for many women and girls (Harrison & Hefner, 2006). Whether it’s the influence on their choice of friends, school, or their self image, media has played an important role in affecting those decisions. A growing number of experimental studies have demonstrated a causal link between acute exposure to "thin-ideal" images (i.e., images of impossibly thin and attractive female beauty) and increased body dissatisfaction (Hargreaves & Tiggemann, 2003). It has recently been brought up that media influences girls in preadolescence, which is highly likely since most young girls idolize Barbie (Rintala & Mustajoki, 1992).
The mass media over the years has had such a profound role in creating an image on how women should be viewed. From their appearance to what their duties are in everyday life, the media has made sure to depict unrealistic images of women. These images have caused not only the male public but women themselves to believe that they must attain a certain kind of body or occupation to fit into society. Women often feel obligated and pressured to comply to this praised image of perfection. The media negatively influences the way women are portrayed in modern society and culture.
Patently, the main culprit of this phenomenon is the omnipresent weight loss advertisements. The slimming companies use advertising as a tool to inculcate the concept that being thin is equal to beauty into people’ minds. The repetitive weight loss advertisements seem to be successful in conveying the wrong message to every citizen. Some girls who are of tender age may easily be susceptible to the advertisements and participate in the weight loss treatment without a second thought. The weight loss advertising has definitely caused adverse effects on the youngsters and women.
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.
Therefore they strive to improve their figure to meet societies standards. However, the standards that society has set (for example, supermodel Kate Moss) are out of reach for most women. Often times, teenage girls compare their body size to those of popular actresses and supermodels such as Jennifer Aniston and Elizabeth Hurley. With examples such as these, is society sending out the wrong message? Vast amounts of people consider these women too thin.
Social media’s use of unrealistic models send an implicit message, that in order for a woman to be considered up to an acceptable standard, they must be in some sense of the word unhealthy, most people who are being portrayed in advertisements are well below the range of being considered healthy. To understand the reasoning behind why women and even men take this idea of body image to extremes, the term body image needs to be examined. Body image is how an individual feels when they look in the mirror or when they picture themselves in their own mind. It encompasses it what some one believes about their own appearance (including memories, assumptions, and generalizations). Never showing goals or putting emphasize on education or academic achievements.
While trying to live up to the specific beauty standards that are proliferated through the media by society and culture, a woman’s life is often impacted drastically both physically and psychologically. What remains similar between the bodies flaunted across the media, is that they all possess popular standards of some kind of objective beauty. Women have an aptness to fall prey to advertisers and somehow unknowingly accept the creation of such standards for a woman’s body that is unrealistic for the majority of society. Slender, good-looking models are so prominent in today’s culture that chronic exposure to them reinforces a discrepancy for women between their actual body and the ideal body. Media fuels this unrealistic image and convinces women that in order to be accepted and considered beautiful, you better be fat-less, have silky hair and a flawless complexion.
It cannot be denied that advertisement consist of negative scenes that shape females identity. Nevertheless, majority of individuals in modern societies deem that, such advertisements can caused so many harmful effects to women gender identity, such as low self-esteem. Also, it can cause depression to the women advertising due to the lack of confidence. Whereas, minority of people believes that, it is all about the women own decision whether to be exposed in such kinds of images or not. As well, it may benefit both parties, women who advertise and the advertising companies organizing them.