Images and Portrayals of Women in Media Today

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Women of all ages, races, and backgrounds struggle with personal identity. Whether expected in their activities, actions, or attitudes, it is evident that many women have a negative self-perception. They often subject themselves to harmful situations and unhealthy lifestyles to feel accepted, as they crave approval from others. The leading contributor of these issues women face to adapt to society’s type and standards of beauty are the constant images and portrayals of women in media today. Identity refers to sameness, which makes an entity definable and recognizable. Gender identity is the genders or lack thereof that a person self-identifies. Identity formation is the process of the development of the distinct personality of an individual. Sexual orientation identity describes how persons identify their own sexuality. Persona is a social role or a character played by an actor with oneself (Identity). Online persona versus public image is one area where women exhibit perplexities in identity. In a generation that revolves around social networks, everyone has a MySpace, Facebook, or Twitter profile. These sites seem harmless, but reality is, most people do not present themselves truthfully when creating such profiles. This is making it a bigger issue than it seems because the world already criticizes us for what we wear, how we talk, and also the color of your skin. This alluring cyber life seeps into real life causing women to be helpless to hazardous situations and corrupt lifestyles. Desiring acceptance from loved ones, women who project such explicit behavior, often times become victims of domestic abuse or sexual assault. Those feelings of neglect and mistreatment tend to center on women’s self-esteem. In turn, they begin to... ... middle of paper ... ...that women have overwhelming rates of low self-esteem or suffer with poor self-image. They argue that women today, in the 21st century, are smart, driven and focused on higher education. These claims are a mischaracterization of women’s identities as weak and conflicted, and do not have the evidence or studies to support them, says psychologists. Despite the opposing views, it is a fact that countless women have a poor self-image. More than 40 percent of women are unhappy with their bodies, as we learned from the 2009 Glamour magazine poll of 16,000 women. In addition, the Glamour survey also found that 71 percent of the women surveyed felt fat, whereas only 46 percent of women are considered overweight (The Early Show, 2010). These statsistics alone are proof that women do not have a true sense of self, but a false reality built on perception and learned behavior.

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