Conscious acknowledgement of harmful stereotypes such as judgments based on appearance, beauty, and size is the key to shifts in attitudes and actions. There is no denying that influential beauty stereotypes exist; whether they originate from a Western specification or a more deeply rooted cultural expectation, they fill the pages of magazines, television programs, and retail stores. More importantly, sociocultural standards of feminine beauty fill the hearts and minds of women, both young and old, all across our country. The media bombard women with images of what is considered to be the “ideal body.” These standards of beauty are virtually unachievable for most women. B... ... middle of paper ... ...o either squeeze ourselves into molds that don't fit, hating ourselves all the while, or we just give up entirely.
I will explain many perspectives that demonstrate why woman internalize the thin ideal promoted by advertisements such as social comparison theory, cultivation, resonance and self-schema theory. These perspectives help explain why women translate media images into their perceptions as well as why some women are more vulnerable than others. I will explain how advertisements including television, magazines, and other sources have affected the attitudes and self-esteems of adolescent girls and women today. If the media continues to create unrealistic images of women to the general public, body dissatisfaction will only continue to become a problem. Two writers for the Academic Psychiatry Journal, Derenne and Bersin claim that society has always placed pressures on women to have the ideal body type, but with television, magazines, and movies today the pressure is far more than ever before.
Many scholars find it problematic when the assumption is made that body image has worsened (and continues to worsen) for both genders over time. To have a clear understanding of the correlation between body image and psychosocial functioning, it is significant to investigate whether the trend in body image has changed over recent decades. It should also be noted that problems involving body image are associated with severe disturbances, such as eating disorders, depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem. The exposure to mass media’s depiction of the thin-ideal body may be linked to body image disturbance in women. Researchers Grabe, Hyde, and Ward (2008) conducted a meta-analysis which examined experimental and correlational studies focusing on media exposure’s relationship with women’s body dissatisfaction, eating behavior, and internalization of the thin ideal.
However, in 2004 Dove launched a campaign that promised to redefine such stereotypes. Researchers agree that a medium that depicts cultural norms and beliefs of “ideal beauty” have a direct negative impact on the perceptions of young women’s self-image. According to Bissell and Rask (2010), women who are exposed to mediated images, which portray extremely thin models result in negative body image, low self-esteem, eating disorders, and overall dissatisfaction. The overwhelming pressures to be young, thin, and beautiful are the twisted expectations of the American culture. Kilbourne (1999) argues that, “…advertising is one of the most potent messengers in a culture that can be toxic for girls’ self-esteem…” she further argues that advertisements contain “…glossy images of flawlessly beautiful and extremely thin women…” (as cited in Bissell & Rask, 2010).
The extremes that women and young girls place on themselves and their bodies to attain perfection can cause massive s... ... middle of paper ... ...y women and adolescents as they go to tremendous lengths to achieve what the media has defined as beautiful. Though neurobiology, genetics, personality traits, and personal environment may play a role on bodily dissatisfaction and eating disorders, the influence of the media's depiction of perfection has only intensified this growing epidemic. The media, and the distorted images they parade, is causing women and adolescents to become dissatisfied with their bodies, but by educating ourselves and others, we can eliminate bodily dissatisfaction caused by the media. As well as educating ourselves, we should demand the ideals of perfection in mass media to be attainable and naturally beautiful; not digitally altered. We should be able to communicate, effectively, the false conceptions of beauty that the media portrays, thereby igniting feelings of bodily satisfaction.
Women are constantly bombarded with unrealistic images and hold themselves to the impossible beauty standards. First, we will explore the role of media in the lives of women and then the biggest body image issue from a diversity stand point, media whitewashing. Media is a wide term that covers many information sources including, television, movies, advertisement, books, magazines, and the internet. It is from this wide variety of information that women receive cues about how they should look. The accepted body shape and has been an issue affecting the population probably since the invention of mirrors but the invention of mass media spread it even further.
Body image is defined as a complex aspect of the self-concept that concerns an individual’s perceptions and feelings about their physical image and body. (Cash & Pruzinsky 3-11) It is believed that mass media contribute to the negative perceptions of body image by females It is suggested that media provide a social context for eating disorders (Spettigue et al.). Forms of media such as television shows and magazines ... ... middle of paper ... ...he individual is in (“Body Image”). Conclusion It is plain to see that mass media has an impact upon the body image of females today. We are living in a world where the mass media play a predominant role in our daily lives and regardless of what we do, we are subconsciously being influenced by what they show us.
Mass media is especially harmful toward women because it constructs negative perceptions of women and reinforces a set of cultural norms for them to fit in society. This paper will address its focus on women and how the tools used by media shaped images of women, how they are represented and how their identity is perceived in society. Media influences their audiences in many ways, one of which is done through advertising. People prefer to believe that they are not being affected by advertisements however “advertising’s influence is quick, it’s cumulative, and for the most part, it’s subconscious” (Killing Us Softly). Advertisements are everywhere, found on televisions, buses, on the sides of buildings, on the Internet and in the magazines we read.
Women today follow the stereotypical images of beauty that the media portrays. These images of beauty deal with women’s physical appearance on the outside. The unbearable pressure from the media causes women to look a certain way so they are accepted into society. Over the past two centuries, women in this world have strived to reach the stereotypical beauty that the media presents. There are many arguments for the certain ways the media illustrates negative body images.
Patently, the main culprit of this phenomenon is the omnipresent weight loss advertisements. The slimming companies use advertising as a tool to inculcate the concept that being thin is equal to beauty into people’ minds. The repetitive weight loss advertisements seem to be successful in conveying the wrong message to every citizen. Some girls who are of tender age may easily be susceptible to the advertisements and participate in the weight loss treatment without a second thought. The weight loss advertising has definitely caused adverse effects on the youngsters and women.