This sudden obsession with thinness hasn't always been around as said by Sandy Szwarc, "At no time in history have women been so pressured to be thin" (Dying to). This new fad started in the late 90's out of no where. In the past, big full bodied women have been considered beautiful, while in today's day and age the public is influenced by the media to strive to become as thin and fit as possible. Calista Flockhart and Lara Flynn Boyle were the first of many celebrities to take thinness obsession to the new extreme. This new weight fixation has set the bar higher than ever, and in turn, created a dark side of `fitness."
In a study of 548 girls, 69 percent of them said magazine pictures and models influenced their idea of the perfect body, and 47 percent said they wanted to lose weight because of what they saw. The pictures in magazines or the actresses in movies send out the message that unrealistic thinness equals sexiness, which in turn equals beauty, success, and happiness. In a personal interview with Gina Pugliano, a recovering anorexic, she shared her thoughts on media i... ... middle of paper ... .... Women see their bodies as problems because the fashion industry and supermodels say women must be beautiful and thin to feel any self worth. This ideal is unachievable for most women. To be the next Victoria Secret model, you must have the most toned body, tight abs, flawless facial features, and one really good airbrusher.
A blonde beautiful sexy girl whose white dress was flying is one of the most famous images that the American actress, singer, and model Marilyn Monroe made in the 20th century. As a popular icon and sex symbol in the 1950s, Monroe has influenced many artists since then. Her imitators include Madonna, Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, and even Lady Gaga. This can be a way to explain how the marketing of media works. Marilyn Monroe’s image uses her sexy appeal to show a powerful and independent woman in the 21st century.
Lately, most teenagers and young adults dream of having the perfect body that they would stop eating or work out ten hours a day in order to look like the new hottest celebrity. Most Americans usually entertain themselves with television, music, social media, or magazines. In all of these entertainments, the viewer acknowledges celebrities and notices beautiful and amazingly fit bodies. In the article titled “Beauty and the Body image: The Media and its Negative Effect on Body Image” by Eve Florence Chernoff, she states, “Women’s magazines have ten and one-half times more ads and articles promoting weight loss than men’s magazine do, and over three-quarters of the covers of women’s magazines include ay least one message about how to change a woman’s bodily apparel” (Chernoff). Basically, Chernoff is saying that magazines companies encourage women to look thin, which is good, in a way, to become physically fit and healthier.
Although it’s wonderful that Cover Girl has been and still is so successful, it has put a dentation in today’s society in what women’s appearance should and shouldn’t be. Women and young adolescence are confused of what their appearance should be. Cover Girl has many famous models; one inparticular is the famous country singer Faith Hill. Faith is tall, skinny, and flawless. When women see models like her doing the advertising for Cover Girl, they automatically feel that they should look the same.
Girls want to be deemed beautiful by society so badly that they will conform to any idea presented by the media (Piercy). Technology has made it near impossible to avoid images of stick thin models and advertisements on getting thin quick. Media has made women conform to their idea of the perfect body and the perfect weight. Magazines are read by millions of women every day, and they do not portray real images of models. They are air-brushed, photo shopped, and computer generated versions of those women (Eating Disorders and Media Influence).
Certain aspects of fashion in today’s media, particularly with photoshop, create a distorted and unattainable reality except through extensive surgery. These unachievable standards create a negative body image resulting in low mental and physical health of young girls growing up today. Until the late 1800s, the voluptuous woman dominated the ideal body image. Through the early 1900s, for a woman to have extra weight on her body was a sign of good health and wealth (Markula). An obvious example is Marilyn Monroe, the revered sex goddess of the 1950’s, who worked as a model in the 1940’s and after winning multiple beauty contests, went on to become one of the most worshipped female actresses of her time.
On the interactive website, teenage girls were asked to give themselves a makeover using makeup, different hairstyles, and physical attributes. The result was that most girls wanted to look more thin, white, and blond, much like a Barbie doll. This is because media has created an ideal image of what a girl should look like. Teenage girls associate their success and popularity with body weight and beauty. In the public eye tall and skinny models and celebrities are looked highly upon where as overweight actresses and models are ridiculed.
This is causing a widespread epidemic of impressionable young girls who do whatever it takes to look like celebrities such as Calista Flockhart or Lara Flynn Boyle. The majority of girls growing up today learn a false lesson at a very early age that unless they look a certain way, society will deem them ugly and fat. The media plays a major part in this challenge. Most girls can recall being force fed the ways they should look or act. The media attributed to this by weight loss commercials for magic diet pills, reality TV shows such as the Swan or Extreme Makeover, and seeing that the only people that get to be on TV are super thin.
As the mediums available to advertisements continue to expand so do the number of products available claiming and guarantying weight loss or firming effects. Women shell out billions of dollars each year hoping that one of these "miracle" products will finally render them thin, after all thin is beautiful, right? However, a woman can be thin and still have cellulite, so does this mean that she is not beautiful? The media has taught women that cellulite is a lifelong battle that must be waged. If Cindy Crawford, Claudia Schiffer, and Rachel Hunter certainly don't have cellulite, why should the average American woman?