Societal Pressure to be Thin

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“To be happy and successful, you must be thin,” is a message women are given at a very young age (Society and Eating Disorders). In fact, eating disorders are still continuously growing because of the value society places on being thin. Why do women feel the pressure from society to strive for the “ideal” figure? According to Sheldon’s research on, “Pressure to be Perfect: Influences on College Students’ Body Esteem,” the ideal figure of an average female portrayed in the media is 5’11” and 120 pounds. In reality, the average American woman weighs 140 pounds at 5’4”. The societal pressures come from television shows, diet commercials, social media, family, peers, magazines and models. However, most females do not take into account retouching photos with the beauty of photo-shop and airbrushing. This ongoing issue to be thin will always be a concern because of the increase in eating disorders and body dissatisfaction throughout the world. Should a female not feel insecure with her body when she is comfortable in her own skin whether she weighs 130 pounds or 150 pounds at 5’5”? The thin-ideal image of women is normally represented in the media typically fifteen percent below the average weight of a woman (Hawkins, et al. 36). Researchers have also found that fashion models are about ninety-eight percent thinner than the average American woman (Strahan, et al. 288). According to Rehab’s study of the evolution of the female figure over one hundred years, “The body shapes of the most admired models have remained consistently slimmer than that of the average American woman.” Due to the significant increase in mass media throughout the twentieth century of the United States, there has been a noteworthy impact on the popular image of wo... ... middle of paper ... ... Women." Taylor & Francis Online. Eating Disorders: The Journal of Treatment & Prevention, 17 Aug. 2010. Web. 6 Apr. 2014. Lawrie, Z., et al. "Media Influence On The Body Image Of Children And Adolescents." Eating Disorders 14.5 (2006): 355-364. SPORTDiscus with Full Text. Web. 6 Apr. 2014. Sheldon, Pavica. "Pressure To Be Perfect: Influences on College Students' Body Esteem." Taylor and Francis Online. Southern Publication Journal, 28 June 2010. Web. 6 Apr. 2014. "Society and Eating Disorders." Society and Eating Disorders. Mirror-Mirror, n.d. Web. 10 Apr. 2014. Strahan, E., et al. "Victoria's Dirty Secret: How Sociocultural Norms Influence Adolescent Girls and Women." Victoria's Dirty Secret: How Sociocultural Norms Influence Adolescent Girls and Women. Sage, Oct. 2005. Web. 06 Apr. 2014. "Women's Body Image and BMI." N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Apr. 2014.

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