The media has developed an ideal image for the female body and female attractiveness. Television, magazines, movies, music, and advertising depict the ideal female image as thin. Above any other characteristic, thin to the point of unrealistic and unattainable is most common.
The ideal image of feminine attractiveness that is presented by today's media places extreme emphasis on thinness. In doing so, television and magazines are reinforcing the cultural preference for thinness. When a woman is continually exposed to depictions of the thin ideal, as portrayed in media, she will often come to adopt the presented ideal as a realistic goal. Concern that her weight is not acceptable is likely to develop, and self-dissatisfaction will grow. Increased weight concern causes lowered self-esteem, and for many, the development of eating disorders (Slatkavitz, 2004).
The unrealistic and unattainable thinness that is found in most advertising and that is depicted in the media has caused an outbreak in low self-esteem among women.
Because most women do not fit into the model body type, constantly being bombarded with such images causes women to feel depressed, have lower self-esteem, and leave them assuming that they are not good enough. Such feelings lead to eating disorders, unhealthy infatuations with exercise, and loss of self-respect. "Pick up a fashion magazine today and you'll find models that are thinner than 98% of all the girls and women in America. Turn on a television and see 'sexy' celebrities such as Shania Twain, Britney Spears and Pamela Anderson baring their flesh. It is these role models who have become the standard of what is in vogue in the twenty-first century" (Nault, 2005).
By women comparing themselves to models, they can experience feelings of unworthiness or self-doubt. Although it is assumed that most women know the images in the...