Media’s Influence on Adolescent Body Image

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Today’s society is a consumers’ society in which trying to obtain perfection is one of the fastest selling businesses (DeLaMater Pg. 12). Mass media, advertising, and fashion industries are being accused of feeding off females dissatisfaction with their bodies by portraying unhealthy thin role models in order to sell their products. This unachievable physique and lifestyle has led today’s adolescence down a dark path of such extreme eating disorders as anorexia and bulimia. Although it may sound nice to be societies perception of thin, there are consequences to these eating disorders such as cardiac failure that lead to horrifying defects or even death. In the 1950s, models such as Marilyn Monroe or Zhazha Gabor didn’t suffer from a lack of beauty due to a voluptuous figure. Then starting in 1960’s the ideal body has become more slim and slender. Twiggy had become a singer, actress, and a fashion icon during the 1960’s when she became the face of the fashion industry. Twiggy began to starve herself in order to become more “beautiful”. In addition to having such an influence on fashion, “Twiggy [had] also changed the way that women thought about their [own] bodies,” (Rosenzweig et al. Pg.62). Women of the 1960s and today have struggled to attain this slender body such as Twiggy's, sometimes going to extreme lengths to do so. Although some of these role models might actually obtain these thin bodies through strenuous workouts and healthy diets, there are a huge number of them, such as Twiggy, that obtained them through extreme dieting. Frightened and inspired by these role models, overweight and even teenagers that are healthy according to their BMI (Body Mass Index) continue with strict dieting and exercise regimens. An Article... ... middle of paper ... ...en death associated with eating disorders." Internet Journal of Cardiovascular Research 7.1 (2010): 1. Web. 22 Mar. 2011. Mehler, Philip S., and Mori Krantz. "Anorexia Nervosa Medical Issues." Journal of Women's Health (15409996) 12.4 (2003): 331. Web. 22 Mar. 2011. (331-340) Morris, Anne, Katzman Debra. “The Impact of the Media on Eating Disorders in Children and Adolescents.” Paediatrics & Child Health (2003) 287-289. Pulsis Group Inc. Web. 18 March 2011. Rosenzweig, Marianne, and Jean Spruill. "Twenty Years After Twiggy: A Retrospective Investigation of Bulimic-Like Behaviors." International Journal of Eating Disorders 6.1 (1987): 59-65. Web. 22 Mar. 2011. Winston, A. P., and P. J. Stafford. "Cardiovascular effects of anorexia nervosa." European Eating Disorders Review 8.2 (2000): 117-125. Web. 2 Mar. 2011. http://www.wisegeek.com/who-is-twiggy.htm
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