There is a very subtle, yet powerful force at work on our world today. It is trying to control what woman and young girls do say and believe, especially about their own appearances. The media portrays unrealistic images that affect the way people, particularly woman, feel about themselves. And there is no way to avoid it. The media acts as a transmitter of potentially dangerous, socially desirable values and norms. Anyone can become a victim without even realizing it. Woman are told to believe distortions, inaccuracies, and bias on a daily basis. Somehow in that all the madness thinness has become synonymous with attractiveness. It is the media's job to surround us with slogans and pictures that are able to etch themselves into brains. (Stevens 44) Television, movies, magazine ads, commercials and billboards all attribute to the growing influence the media has on women. (www.rethinkingschools.org). Young girls are the most influenced by the media and its manipulation.(www.ed.gov.ERIC...). However, society as well as the media, has put forth dangerous and concentrated images, that have a strong impact on the lives of woman of all ages.
Society has always placed a great emphasis upon the importance of a woman's appearance, and through that emphasis woman have been taught to measure their self worth in terms of the image they present, even more so than their own intelligence. They have been given rigid and challenging standards to live up to, standards that are usually unrealistic, unattainable, and disheartening. Many woman spend the majority of their lives suffering just trying to reach these standards. The ideal body image in this country today seems to be the long haired 5' 7", 110 lb. female found in every fashion magazine and television show. However, many woman at
5' 7" could starve themselves their entire life and never reach the so called "ideal".( Rushkoff 27).
The persuasive and intrusive ...
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... dangerous role model, that may even defy their biology, and when this societal and media pressure leads to severe eating disorders among women who believe that they cannot otherwise attain this perceived "ideal" state. The media plays a major role in setting the standard as to what "beauty" is, as the About.com site notes, in finding that, "the average person sees between 400 and 600 ads per day -that is 40 million to 50 million by the time she is 60 years old. One of every 11 commercials has a direct message about beauty."
There is abundant evidence that by communicating unhealthy or infeasible goals for appearance, the media can directly cause an increase in eating disorders among women. A Hofstra University research group reported that: "A study examined over 4,000 TV ads. On the average, 1 out of every 3.8 ads had an "attractive-based" message. (www.cdc.gov.nccaphp/teen.html). These results were used to estimate that women are exposed to over 5,000 of these ads a year, (www.cdc.gov.nccaphp/teen.html) and each one adds to women's body dissatisfaction and the desire to be thin and "beautiful."
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