Essay PreviewMore ↓
Perhaps no time in history have body image standards had such an enormous impact on society. With today’s mass media people can be subjected to thousands of images and messages daily, portraying the “ideal” body image. The people most often portrayed and effected by these messages are young women. Females can feel constant pressure to live up to these ideals which are most often unattainable. This pressure can cause detrimental physical and mental states. To fully understand this problem we must first ask ourselves, “Why?” Why has the female body been pushed to the forefront of society and media? It is undeniable that it is merely a marketing ploy. The beauty sector is a multibillion dollar a year industry.
Companies such as Revlon, Cover Girl, Maybelline, L’Oreal insist that girls must look a certain way if they want to be anything. These corporations are only concerned with the bottom line. They take no responsibility for the negative image that they portray, in fact, that is what they thrive on. The worse self-image a woman has, the more beauty products she will buy to try and “improve” her looks. And there is no better way to make her think she is ugly than to subject her to thousands of unrealistic, airbrushed pictures of models to compare herself to. This way of thinking is further drilled into the female mind through women’s magazines such as Cosmopolitan, Vogue and so on. Never do you find an article entitled “Big is Beautiful”. More often you will find “How to lose 20 lb.. so your man will love you!” sprawled across the cover of the latest issue. Occasionally magazines will run a heart touching article about an ex-models fight with bulimia.
They will often forget to mention, however, that the same model was portrayed as the pinnacle of health and beauty on the cover of last years April issue. The beauty industry and magazines are not the sole cause of the problem though, there is plenty of blame to go around. And so we look to Hollywood. The cardinal rule in movies and television: sex sells. When you tune into to watch Friends on Thursday night you will not see one leading lady (or any ladies for that matter) with a waist over size six.
The only “imperfect” characters in the show are the “fat ugly guy and fat ugly lady” who live across the street and are the objects of constant ridicule.
How to Cite this Page
"Female Body Image and the Mass Media." 123HelpMe.com. 22 Jul 2018
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Emily Smith is buying groceries at Farm Fresh. She is walking to the register and the new cover of Self magazine catches her eye. She sees that Miranda Kerr, the Victoria’s Secret supermodel is on the cover in a crop top and bikini bottom. She compares her body to the image depicted on Self magazine. She starts nitpicking every part of her body. She looks down at her denim clad- thigh and thinks, “did my thighs and stomach get bigger than they were this morning. “ Influenced by the depiction of the image of Miranda Kerr, she now views her body as inadequate or ugly.... [tags: Media, Body Image, Eating Disorders]
2264 words (6.5 pages)
- As Samantha Murray sat in the audience, she thought to herself: I suddenly became acutely aware of my own fat bulges and folds. I imagined every eye in the room on me, shaking their heads in pity, revulsion and even morbid curiosity. I pulled my shirt surreptitiously away from the bulges of my belly and my hips, trying to separate the appearance from the reality. I shifted in my chair, and felt my cheeks burn hot and my stomach churn... And yet I was ashamed. I was aware of the disgust my body inspired, its complete unacceptability and invisibility in the sexual domain, apart from as a figure of ridicule.... [tags: eating disorders, perception]
1547 words (4.4 pages)
- When you see advertisements, many people begin to question themselves and how they look. Our goal is to let people know that these images of men and women are not real and everyone is beautiful no matter what size or shape they are. Did you know you are exposed to over 400-600 images every day and only one in eleven are advertisements for beauty products. These advertisements are usually men and women with perfect hair, perfect bodies and who look perfectly happy. What we sometimes forget is that advertising companies use airbrush and Photoshop to make these images look the way they do.... [tags: Media Influences Eating Disordors]
1451 words (4.1 pages)
- Perhaps no time in history have body image standards had such an enormous impact on society. With today’s mass media people can be subjected to thousands of images and messages daily, portraying the “ideal” body image. The people most often portrayed and effected by these messages are young women. Females can feel constant pressure to live up to these ideals which are most often unattainable. This pressure can cause detrimental physical and mental states. To fully understand this problem we must first ask ourselves, “Why?” Why has the female body been pushed to the forefront of society and media.... [tags: Women's Body Image]
757 words (2.2 pages)
- From the time they are born, girls are influenced by society as to who they should be, how they should look, and how they should act. Americans believe that women should be to a certain standard; pretty, feminine, and especially, thin. The pressures derive from family, media, and friends. Marge Piercy’s poem, “Barbie Doll” depicts a girl who was never recognized for her character and spent her life trying to be accepted for who she was, rather than how she looked. We live in a society with rigid gender roles and expectations as to how people are supposed to be, based completely on their sex.... [tags: Marge Piercy, Barbie Doll]
1579 words (4.5 pages)
- I visited the website of Body Shop founder Anita Roddick. She refers repeatedly to the Body Shop's "anti-Barbie" doll, named Ruby, a heavyweight plastic doll featured on a poster/advertisement reading, "There are three billion women in the world who don't look like supermodels and only eight who do." The implication is, of course, that this fat-Barbie archetype is somehow a healthier ideal than the bone-thin adolescents paraded on the pages of Cosmo. Is it though. Fat is not the global norm. You know those three billion women who don't look like supermodels.... [tags: Female Body Image, Mass Media]
511 words (1.5 pages)
- Mass media is designed to reach large audiences through the use of technology. Its purpose is meant to give information we need to function as a society. Mass media is everywhere; there is no escaping from it. From the moment you wake until you fall asleep you are confronted with media. Almost every home in America has at least one TV, the internet, and cell phones. You cannot drive down the highway without seeing billboard signs. Checking out at the grocery store can be tricky if trying to avoid magazines.... [tags: Body Image]
935 words (2.7 pages)
- Throughout the years, the connotative definition of beauty has gone through constant change. In today’s world, young women are constantly under the impression that they have to fit the current definition in order to fit in with society and be recognized by men. Many girls feel they need to fit the mold instead of being their true unique selves. Every single individual is different in their own way, however the media has drilled it into every young girl’s mind, that they have just like a Barbie doll in order to be happy.... [tags: Social Issues, Media, Body Image]
2983 words (8.5 pages)
- In a culture that relentlessly promotes avarice and excess as the good life, consumerism is essentially expected. Numerous billboards, posters, flyers and spam mail commercializing products on a daily basis could prove it. Cutting edge technology also allows advertisements be experienced through the use of mass medium and it is nearly impossible to escape the invasion of advertising. Continuous exposure to advertisements has indeed impacted numerous consumers, in which most of them are unaware to the situation and companies are taking advantage of this by allocating big budget to improve and develop advertisements solely to persuade consumer’s preferences toward their brand or product.... [tags: mass media, advertisements, advertising]
962 words (2.7 pages)
- In contemporary times, the influence of the media on all aspects of culture and society has spread everywhere. This is especially the case in United States. One of the social cultural aspects particularly influenced by the media is body image. A surprisingly large number of individuals, the majority of which are young women, develop their body image in accordance with the ideas advanced by the media, which judge women’s attractiveness based on how thin they are. Body-image plays a very important role in our individualistic society, in which a woman’s identity is closely related to her body.... [tags: Body Image, weight, media, ]
655 words (1.9 pages)
The evidence is in the fact that every year cases of anorexia and bulimia are occurring among in younger and younger girls. The number of women effected by these disorders may never be known. Most will never come forward and seek treatment, and many will die as a result. What society must do is tell the beauty industry, tell the magazines, and tell Hollywood that what they are doing is not acceptable. The image they portray is unrealistic, unhealthy, and irresponsible. There seems to be little hope though.
It is unlikely that the beauty industry will loosen its grip on the minds of women and not try so hard to make them think they’re ugly. That would of course hurt sales and cause them to make only hundreds of millions instead of billions. It is also improbable that Hollywood will break perhaps its only rule, because that too would disrupt the bottom line. So, for the time being anyway, we are a society being told how to look, and trying to live up to an impossible standard.