The media's effect one women's body image

Essay by rel541College, UndergraduateA+, March 2007

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Body image is an essential part of our self-concept and identity. It influences our thoughts, feelings, behaviors and future goals. Negative body image results from a discrepancy between a person's current and ideal body (Bedform 2006). The media bombards the public with images of thin women. Everywhere you look you can see advertisements that clearly define our cultural ideal for the female body. Thin, young women are featured on the television shows we watch, the billboards we drive by on our way to work, and the covers of the glossy magazines we read. Super models and celebrities are held on a pedestal as the ideal woman. Society has internalized the media's obsession with appearance. If women do not live up to society's unrealistic beauty standards, they are left feeling critical of their own bodies and inadequate as women. Society has bought into the media's advertisements. Women spend their time and money trying to become the flawless images they see on the television screens.

The media is responsible for women's unhealthy relationship with their bodies because advertisements emphasize the importance of external beauty over all else.

Society's obsession with thin is a direct product of the media. It was not until the past 50 years that thin became the ideal form of a woman's body. Society's definition of beauty has changed throughout history. Today, women are obsessing over the appearance of their bodies at an earlier age than ever. Advertisements for Barbie Dolls, pop singers, and clothing brands aimed towards children and preteens all send a negative message to young girls. Little girls look up to the stars of kid's television shows such as Hillary Duff and Lindsey Lohan. Girls are indoctrinated at a very young age that Barbie is how a woman is supposed to look. These celebrities do...