Media’s Impact on Beauty and Body Image of Young Girls Essay

Media’s Impact on Beauty and Body Image of Young Girls Essay

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It’s difficult to envision a world where idealized representations of females do not exist. However, before the creation of the mass media, our ideas of beauty were restricted to our own communities in which we live. When photography was introduced in 1839, real-life images of faces and bodies were not exposed to society. The likelihood of someone owning a mirror during that time was very rare. Today, however, one is considered odd if they do not own a mirror. Today we look for any excuse to look in the mirror as we have become more obsessed with our appearance than ever before. Given society’s standards, it is only natural to have some concern about appearance, but many people take the concern to far. According to Jane Kilborne, “Every period of history has had its own standards of what is and is not beautiful, and every contemporary society has its own distinctive concept of the ideal physical attributes.’” In the 19th century being beautiful meant wearing a corset – causing breathing and digestive problems.” (Kilborne 2002) Although we resemble our ancestors and other cultures in our concern about appearance, our amount of concern is much greater. Because technology is advancing rapidly, the exposure to the standards set by the media is easily available. What was once a normal concern has escalated into an obsession. Women are continually bombarded with images of the 'ideal' face and figure. Researchers suggest that “constant exposure to idealized images of female beauty on TV, magazines and billboards makes exceptional good looks seem normal and anything short of perfection seem abnormal and ugly.”(Beauty 2009) “It has been estimated that young women now see more images of outstandingly beautiful women in one day than our mot...


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...d Dismemberment of Women in Media” Capital University: Undergraduate Research Journal for Social Science Volume 1. Retrieved March 29, 2011 from http://www.kon.org/urc/v5/greening.html
Heubeck, Elizabeth. (2006). “Helping Young Girls with Body Image.” Retrieved April 9, 2011 from www.webmd.com/parenting/features/helping-girls-with-body-image?print=true
Kilbourne, J. (2002). “Beauty and the Beast of Advertising”. Retrieved March 29, 2011 from http://www.medialit.org/reading_room/article40.html.
Mintz, Laurie. (2007). “Media Has Powerful Effect On Body Image Satisfaction”. Retrieved April 11, 2011 from http://www.aphroditewomenshealth.com/news/20070228020255_health_news.shtml
Roberts, S., & Fredrickson, B. (1998). “Objectification Theory: Toward Understanding Women’s Lived Experiences and Mental Health Risks.” Psychology of Women Quarterly, 21, 173-206.




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