Media: The Big Bad Wolf.

Essay by meeraberiUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, January 2006

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In American society women are taught starting from a young age that in order to be successful, happy and beautiful, they must be thin. Eating disorders are on the rise, which is not surprising given the value society places on this false belief. Everywhere you look, television and magazine advertising show images of glamorous thin models and actresses; you cannot escape these pictures even if you tried. Approximately seven million teenage girls in America starve themselves daily in an effort to attain what the fashion industry dictates is the "ideal" figure (Durai). Why do these girls believe so deeply that thin is beautiful? These women are longing for self-approval through acceptance according to a stereotype set by fashion corporations. Why do girls literally kill themselves to attain a small, fragile body type? Simple, these girls are influenced by schools, parents, siblings, peers and most of all the media; the most powerful means of communication.

I myself am a young woman that has a classic hourglass figure, and if I was living 50 years ago, I would fit right in, along side Marilyn Monroe and Diana Dors. However, I live in the year 2003, where the womanly curves has given way to the more angular silhouette look, like that of Kate Moss and Liya Kibede. I have been waiting and hoping that Hollywood would wave goodbye to the emaciated waif look and welcome back the womanly curves, but I shouldn't hold my breath. Recently, actresses like Brittany Murphy and Jennifer Connelly have arrived on a red carpet looking like they left half of themselves in their limos. According to celebrity trainer Michael George, who has worked with countless "A-listers", including Meg Ryan and Julianne Moore, "Tinseltown's obsession with thinness has escalated" (Goober 208). The average actress is "about 5 to...