Ideal Beauty Essay

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The perception of the "ideal beauty" is an arbitrary and abstract concept that is constantly being modified as a result of the times. People are influenced by the images they see in the media to determine what the ideal beauty is. The media is manipulative and deceptive in nature, and it continues to carry harmful suggestions about ideal beauty despite the concrete evidence of damaging effects to people of all ages. Fortunately, it seems there may be shifts in the media that are beginning to portray men and women more realistically. Sociocultural standards of feminine beauty are presented in almost all forms of popular media, bombarding women with images that depict what is considered to be the "ideal body." Images of thin, attractive and …show more content…

Not surprisingly, Attie and Brooks-Gunn assert that disturbed body image is one of the main precursors for disordered eating and dieting in adolescent and young adult girls (as cited in Serdar, n.d.). Moreover, Striegel-Moore and Franko argue that the prominence of dieting and maladaptive eating patterns has become an increasingly prevalent concern in adolescent and young adult populations; research has shown that around two-thirds of adolescent females report dieting at some point (as cited in Serdar, n.d.). Even more startling is the increasing number of girls who feel pressured to restrict their diet at dangerously young ages when their bodies are still developing. Hoffman claims that “while 42% of first- through third-grade girls wish to be thinner, a staggering 80% of girls have dieted by the time they reach the age of ten” (2004). Concerns with the development of disordered eating are an especially vital issue because such patterns have been found to be a major predictor of clinical eating disorders. “Research suggests that strict dieting to achieve an ideal figure often plays a key role in triggering eating disorders, which affect 5 to 10 million American girls and women” (Hoffmann, 2004). Early signs of bulimia and anorexia nervosa are appearing in girls of surprisingly young ages. “According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, as many as 10 out of 100 young women suffer from an eating disorder” (Hoffmann, 2004). Furthermore, approximately 5% of adolescent girls meet the criteria for bulimia nervosa (Morris & Katzman, 2003). The occurrence of eating disorders among college women is even more startling. “One in five college women struggles with an eating disorder, and one in three displays borderline eating disorder behavior” (Hoffmann, 2004). The prevalence of eating disorders in America poses a serious

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