The Media Lies: Effects of the Media on Body Image

analytical Essay
1841 words
1841 words

The Media Lies: Effects of the Media on Body Image Recent studies have shown that approximately 75 percent of adolescent females wish to be thinner and over 35 percent of them resort to drastic extremes to achieve the new “thin ideal.” (Body Dissatisfaction in Early Adolescent Girls) Today in our culture, this ideal of body image is portrayed in every aspect of our lives. We see a representation of attractive, extremely thin women in magazines, television shows, movies, commercials, etc. The new body image, which today is described as being perfect, is a new, unrealistic standard of skinny. This type of representation presented by the media compels female adolescents to view themselves in negative ways which results in eating disorders, body dissatisfaction, or even depression. The new standard of the “thin ideal,” according to society, is simply unattainable and irrational. So the question still remains: How has the media altered female adolescence’s perspectives on the “perfect” body image, and how has this changed our female society? While women have made significant advances over the past decades, the culture at large never fails to place a strong emphasis on the way women look. The new standards for beauty are ultimately causing dramatic influences on adolescent females and their body image. Anyone who is familiar with American culture knows that these new standards for beauty is proliferated through the media. No matter the source, we are constantly surrounded by all kinds of media, and we continue to construct ourselves based on the images we see through the media. The more young girls are surrounded by the “thin ideal” kind of media, the more they will continue to be dissatisfied with their bodies and themselves. Thi... ... middle of paper ... ...fect on Women's Body Image - Hamilton College." Hamilton College. Hamilton College, 1 Sept. 2010. Web. 14 Mar. 2014. McLean, S.A., S.J. Paxton, and E.H. Wertheim. "Mediators Of The Relationship Between Media Literacy And Body Dissatisfaction In Early Adolescent Girls: Implications For Prevention." Body Image 10.3 (2013): 282-289. Scopus®. Web. 15 Mar. 2014. Clay, Daniel, Vivian L. Vignoles, and Helga Dittmar. "Body Image And Self-Esteem Among Adolescent Girls: Testing The Influence Of Sociocultural Factors." Journal Of Research On Adolescence (Wiley-Blackwell) 15.4 (2005): 451-477. Academic Search Premier. Web. 15 Mar. 2014. Sofia, Fernandez, and Pritchard Mary. "Relationships Between Self-Esteem, Media Influence And Drive For Thinness." Eating Behaviors 13.(n.d.): 321-325. ScienceDirect. Web. 15 Mar. 2014. Anonymous. Personal interview. 16 March 2014.

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how the media has altered female adolescence's perspectives on the "perfect" body image, and how this has changed our female society.
  • Argues that the media's portrayal of the "thin ideal" is causing dramatic influences on adolescent females and their body image.
  • Argues that the media broadcasts the "thin ideal" in every possible way, which can shape and distort adolescent female's perceptions of beauty.
  • Argues that the female norm of body image has changed drastically over the last several decades, showing that what is universally accepted as beautiful is constantly changing and will never be the permanent ideal.
  • Explains how the media is detrimental to adolescent females through the use of photoshop and plastic surgery.
  • Explains how the media's representation of photoshopped images of unreal ideals hurt so many adolescent girls.
  • Argues that bulimia and anorexia in females are related to media depictions of idealized bodies, which is all but unavoidable. young girls need to realize their true, natural beauty.
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