Women's self image affected by the media

Essay by Shel68College, UndergraduateB, February 2007

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In this study the relationship between women in the media and young women's self-esteem was studied. The thesis of this study is that women's self-images are lowered by exposure to women in the media. To study this, 30 young females from John Abbott College were given a questionnaire. The results were compared to Health Canada's statistics of the average female's body proportions. The results anticipated was that the participants would have a higher average for breasts, smaller for waist and hips, taller for height and lighter for weight than Health Canada's statistics.


Exposure to ideal, perfect, Barbie-like women, in advertisements influences a women's self image. Whether it is television or magazine ads, the majority of North American women are exposed to aspects of media on a daily basis. In the media, women are usually portrayed as sex objects and are mainly thin and beautiful. This is where our image of an ideal body is derived.

(Byrd-Bredbenner & Murray, 2003).

Women's self-image is affected of those who are striving to be like the unrealistic portrayals of women in the media (Byrd-Bredbenner & Murray, 2003). The unrealistic portrayal of all these women personages makes it difficult for an average woman to attain the same body as them, which leads to a decrease in their self-image.

It is mainly women who idolize women in the media because they want to become like them, even though they are not an accurate representation of the average person (Harrison, 2003). In my opinion, the only reason why thin and beautiful women are chosen is because it is what attracts our attention. We are brought up to judge a woman's appearance; therefore if a woman in an advertisement is not very attractive or over weight, it's most certain that she would not gain the same...