Should Media Change Women’s Ideal Body Image?

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In today’s society mass media creates unrealistic body images of women not ever being thin or flawless enough. Advertisements of this “ideal” body image affects how many women view themselves and how they think they should look. Advertising companies overly edit and photoshop images of women to create the so-called perfection that is the norm for the advertising world. These images of the “perfect” body send negative messages and create insecurities amongst many women. As the mass media uses unrealistic models to advertise its products and services, this sets the idea that the “ideal” woman must been unhealthily thin and blemish free. Advertisements of these “perfect” women negatively affect the way women feel about their physical appearance and therefore affect women mentally as well. Advertising companies should strive to portray the “ideal” women as that of real women today and create the message that all women are beautiful. Should mass media chose to change the way they advertise and portray the “ideal” women? What if they used healthy, more realistic women to advertise products and services?
The mass media portrays the images of thin, flawless women all over magazines, television, billboards, and etc. For some women, the desire to look like that “perfect” model on the television or on that magazine article begins to consume their thoughts and diminish their self-confidence. As stated in the article Media Effects on Body Image: Examining Media Exposure in the Broader Context of the Internal and Other Social Factors by Vonderen and Kinnally, “This mediated thin-ideal is present in mainstream media, and mainstream media are a source women turn to for information about how to look” (41). As women continuously see these advertis...

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...en of “natural beauty”. Doing so would help encourage young girls and women that they are beautiful the way they are and thus reduce negative effects associated with being exposed to super thin, airbrushed photos of models.

Works Cited
Bessenoff, Gayle R. “Can the Media Affect Us? Social Comparison, Self-discrepancy, and the Thin Ideal.” USA: Psychology of Women Quarterly 30 (2006): 239–251.
Web. 6 April 2014.
Kinnally, William, and Kristen E. Van Vonderen. “Media Effects on Body Image: Examining
Media Exposure in the Broader Context of the Internal and Other Social Factors.”
American Communication Journal 14.2 (2012): 42-53. Web. 6 April 2014.
Spencer, Steven J., Erin J. Strahan, and Mark P. Zanna. “Don’t Take another Bite: How
Socioculture Norms for Appearance Affect Women’s Eating Behavior.” ScienceDirect.
Elsevier, 15 June 2007. Web. 6 April 2014.
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