Mass Media is Harmful to Women

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The media has a huge impact on the way people think, feel and act in society. The media set standards that are and are not socially acceptable to each culture. Magazines show us how to dress, TV shows show us how to act and advertisements show us what to buy. Most importantly, the media influences us to continue to live in a patriarchal society in which males are considered to be the more powerful sex, thus women have disadvantages in all aspects of society. Mass media is especially harmful toward women because it constructs negative perceptions of women and reinforces a set of cultural norms for them to fit in society. This paper will address its focus on women and how the tools used by media shaped images of women, how they are represented and how their identity is perceived in society.
Media influences their audiences in many ways, one of which is done through advertising. People prefer to believe that they are not being affected by advertisements however “advertising’s influence is quick, it’s cumulative, and for the most part, it’s subconscious” (Killing Us Softly). Advertisements are everywhere, found on televisions, buses, on the sides of buildings, on the Internet and in the magazines we read. Mass media affects each member of society even when they don’t realize it. Its reach is vast and its message seeps into the very fibers that are woven together to create a culture of misperceptions, mostly about women.
While the media attempt to target every individual, the level of publicity is dictated by gender, and the majority of harmful messages are focused more on women. Women are often illustrated as inferior and “appear in poses that are more “canted”, more exaggerated and grotesque, more off-balance and tentative than tho...

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..., independent women, it just so happens that a sexually attractive women is socially accepted and any woman not falling in that category is not seen favorably. However, products eventually do break and “beauty” will inevitably fade since the standard constantly change.
Conclusively, the media are a business that rely on people, and like any business, their purpose is to create opportunities for generating profit. The problem lies within the way women are treated by the media- as products rather than human beings worthy of dignity, individuality, and respect. The media use discrimination, objectification, and dehumanization to change women’s bodies. The result of this is a rise in low self-esteem and dangerous body modification procedures. As long as women’s bodies continue to be shunned instead of celebrated by the media, these negative consequences will continue.
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