Womens' Imagery And The Media

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Feminine attractiveness has long been based on what is supposedly accepted by society through the media and advertising. Women in increasing amounts are motivated with a degree of panic, and more often than not, to their own disadvantage, to match the ultimate template of beauty (Rodin 1992). The ideal image of what feminine attractiveness is meant to be as presented through the media, is one of rigid thinness (Posavac, 1998). It has been suggested that these images may be largely responsible for the normative discontent regarding body image among young women today (Posavac, 1998). Several studies, such as a study done by Kaufman (1980), have been conducted around the issue of body image and have documented the stereotyped thinness and attractiveness of women presented through the media with the use of television and advertising. In Kaufman's study, it was shown that few prime time television characters were overweight, (12%), and was an under-representation of many in the general population.

In a study done by Silverstein, Perdue, Peterson, and Kelly (1986), they found that only 5% of female characters were considered to be heavy and 69% were seen as being thin. (Fouts, 2000).

Media, the entertainment and advertising industries, are the largest portals in which the majority of the human race receives their information. People learn from each of these avenues what is past, current, and yet to be. In an article written by Rodin (1992) she stated that through movies, television, and magazines beautiful people have been viewed by the general population just as often as we see our own families. The overall effect is one that seems to make exceptional beauty appear real and attainable. Rodin also stated that throughout the past twenty years, the profound effect on we feel about our bodies has been stimulated by the...