Idealized Body and Social Media

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“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. The media's emphasis on having a flawless body, or face is starting to influence girls at a very young age. When given a unrealistically thin doll, such as Barbie to play with, girls ages five to seven said that they wished to be thinner (Swinson). Not only are young girls wishing to be thinner, their self-confidence is being demolished by the media. “In one recent study, researchers found that TV programs focused on appearance are swaying the self-esteem of girls as young as 5” (Heubeck). The medi... ... middle of paper ... ...table with their bodies due to media influences. With the continuous growth of the advertising industry, women feel the need to have the ideal body. Photoshop and airbrushing are quite often used, giving women a false image for what they should look like, and it can often be so unrealistic that it becomes damaging to women. The effect that advertisements have on viewers, often leave them feeling worse about themselves. The pressures to reach perfection often cause women to put themselves through self harm.The ways that media portrays body images, leaves vulnerable women and girls damaged in sight of how they view themselves. When it reaches the point where people are left feeling so self-conscious about themselves that they feel the need to suffer through eating disorders and even take their own life, the media should not be able to promote unhealthy body images.
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