Being Thin In America

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorCollege, Undergraduate February 2008

download word file, 3 pages 5.0

Being thin, beautiful, and female in America is a popular belief of the stereotype that thinness means intelligence and beauty, which is portrayed in around us everyday through advertisements and TV. In America, thinness is a socially recognized sign, for class status, sexuality, grace, discipline, and "being good. " (Caputi, 1992, p 295) This image of the ideal woman, functions as an icon for the beliefs and values of the popular culture. Today's popular culture worships itself in its myth of physical perfection as dramatized by celebrities, fashion models, and movie stars. These types are the modern equivalent of action heroes, in which young women look up to as ideals to set their own self-images. The ideal stereotypical woman of today is defined as a thin, fit, radiantly healthy, young woman. These stereotypes of women are painted in magazines stuffed with models and advertisements, billboards on the highway, and actresses on TV, the message of what women should look like is everywhere.

The inescapable presence of these images in effect shapes the image of women today.

The stereotypes of this ideal woman are found everywhere. Advertising is a powerful educational force in our culture due to the simple fact of exposure. They are shown in magazines, television shows and commercials, and in fashion shows, etc. Magazines may contain articles that write about the fact that you don't have to be runway thin to be healthy, but they stop short of picturing anyone with a little extra flab.

All it takes is a quick look at television or a magazine cover and you realize how important physical appearance is in our society. It is a message that often resonates with teenagers and in their efforts to look like the models and superstars, they can develop some very unhealthy...