As a college female growing up in a media-crazed age, I am deeply troubled and affected by the media's support of the thin ideology. I am a classic example of the media's impact on females and the downward spiral of self-satisfaction. Being present in the center of college life, I am in the midst of the hormonal sea of students. Whether it's at class or watching the sorority and fraternity kids run around during rush week, there is always chasing for approval between the sexes. A day doesn't go by where I don't catch a glimpse at the self-conscious and hear the ever-so-common bellows of those who want to rid the "freshman 15". Girls yearn for a slim, tan, "ready for spring break" body because they think by possessing that appearance, they will achieve the "college dream: boys, beer, and bliss". Granted, not all college girls think this way or want to
achieve this goal. But there is a method to my madness; seeking a better body is a goal that many of us college kids are looking for. It has been set in our minds that the thinner the better. Whether it's by flipping through a magazine, watching M.T.V., or gazing at the Cancun hotel guide, the thinness ideal is seeping into our subconscious. The constant message that the media personifies is that being thin is the ultimate feat females can obtain.
You can't go into a girl's dorm room without sighting a Cosmopolitan or Glamour Magazine scattered amongst the boxes of empty Ramen and dirty laundry. No matter how often some deny it, we have all had our fair share of beauty tips and love quizzes from a variety of our favorite girly magazines; so no wonder magazines are the most influential media on females. Liz Dittrich, PhD, an expert on the media's infl...
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...utiful. We need to educate our girls and reinforce the idea that being thin does not lead to happiness and beauty. By encouraging acceptance and support for girls within the family and among peers, girls will be able to step away from the media's desire for them to be thin. If magazines can stray away from the stick figure models and decrease diet articles and advertisements, maybe in our life time we can see females embracing self-acceptance and body satisfaction. We need to rally as women and fight to see the statistics drop dramatically of girls who wish to be thin and who are dying to be thin.
Dittrich, Ph.D, Liz. About Face. 1996-2003. 29 Mar. 2004 <http://about-face.org>.
Timson, Judith. “What’s a Girl to do?” Maclean’s. (3 September 2001): 44. 8 March 2004. http://search.epnet.com/direct.asp?an=5065583&db=aph. Academic Search Premier.
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