Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Media's Tie with Body Image Problems

A certain unrealistic image of beauty is portrayed throughout media. This image of extremely skinny, unhealthy looking models is what teenagers believe they need to look like in order to be attractive.

 Body image is a complicated part of all females. A majority of all girls at one time in their lives, experience issues with their body. According to many specialists, the dissatisfaction of body image contributes to the false beliefs a person experiences. For instance, the stick skinny models shown throughout media becomes overwhelming for girls and begins to distort their idea of “beautiful.” This is what leads to the issues such as eating disorders.

The way beauty is defined in media has such a powerful influence on women. The standards of thinness, body shape, and weight all pertain to the way females negatively see themselves. Teenagers fall prey to this standard of beautiful because it is only natural to believe what media advertises.

In the article titled “Female Body Image and the Mass Media: Perspectives on How Women Internalize the Ideal Beauty Standard” Kasey L. Serdar states “Ultra-thin models are so prominent that exposure to them becomes unavoidable and 'chronic', constantly reinforcing a discrepancy for most women and girls between their actual size and the ideal body”(Dittmar and Howard 2004 pg. 478). The models who are typically advertised are usually more than 20% under normal body weight and are very unhealthy. Nevertheless, in response to these advertisements, females begin to feel the need to meet this criteria of “super skinny” so they fall into things such as eating disorders. The females who experienced a significant amount of exposure to mass media during their adolescence  years were shown to struggle with body image issues more than the teenagers who did not. This idea of beauty is so unrealistic and has affected so many women. 

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