This is a research paper that conveys a clear connection of the media's influence on self image.

Essay by dancersgfUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, March 2006

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Consumers Beware: Media Harmful to Health

"Lose weight quickly!" "Check out the new diet!" "Thin is in!" Ads like these are almost too common in the media today. We all see them. In magazines, on television, everywhere the media is sending the image that girls must improve their looks. Not only does this mentality damage their psychological state, it is also harmful to their physical health. Girls feel that they must become thinner; therefore, extreme dieting and excessive exercise is the result. The average age a girl starts to diet is eight ("Media and Eating Disorders" 1). When a girl becomes obsessed with dieting and looking better, they can easily become anorexic or bulimic. 79% of teenage girls who vomit are dedicated readers of women's magazines ("Media and Eating Disorders" 2). But often a girl still does not feel satisfied with her looks and becomes very depressed ("Media and Eating Disorders" 1).

The media is placing stress and pressure on young girls to become skinner and this is leading to eating disorders, excessive exercise, and depression. The media has a negative effect on the self-image of young girls by presenting unrealistic expectations.

Deanne Jade argues that the media promotes healthy behavior and gives "valuable information on health and well-being," (Jade 8). This is true; girls do gain much knowledge on how to live a healthier life from the media. However, what happens when teens take the media's advice to the extreme? Therein lies the danger. Too many teens are becoming obsessed with being thin because the media portrays beauty as thin.

Many critics state the media uses this tactic because they will gain more money. The media gives an "ideal difficult to achieve" so the cosmetic and diet product industries can profit,

("Beauty and Body Image in the...