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Body Image Presented Through The Media
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Body Image Presented Through The Media In the world we live in today, we are constantly hearing or seeing advertisements through the media about why you need to lose weight, grow more hair, or have whiter teeth, etc. It is scary to just sit down and watch these advertisements on TV, because they make you feel that if you do not have the perfect body image, which I do not believe there is one, then you will not get the job you want or the boyfriend or girlfriend you have been going after, almost basically just saying that you will be a loser the rest of your life and no one will like you if you do not look a certain way. I do not want to sound like I am contradicting myself here, but do not get me wrong it is very important for a person to present themself, look attractive, eat healthy and exercise. I just think our society has reached a point where we have become to obsessed with every little part of our appearance. Plastic surgery has got to the point where people are getting their face adjusted more than a Mr. Potato Head doll. Every week I see a new "miracle drug" infomercial on TV that claims to "improve your life drastically" just because it will make your hair thicker, your penis larger, or your skin tanner.
I thought this group really got their point across when they talked about all of the reality shows focused on changing a persons image or making them look like a celebrity or someone they are not. The clips they showed of some of these shows proved just how ridiculous our society is becoming with people thinking they need to have a barbie doll or underwear model image. I really think the media is taking it too far and they are the reason most people are too self-conscious and are not comfortable with how they look. More and more people are developing very unhealthy eating disorders due to the fact they think there should be a perfect height and weight. This group did a great job showing all of these disorders, some that I was not even aware of, and explained how bad they are for your body
In my opinion, if you want to reach your best potential appearance it is easy and can be achieved by a few simple tasks. Eating healthy, exercising regularly, and practicing good hygiene is all you need to do in order to maintain an attractive image, all without having to spend fortunes on plastic surgery, doctor appointments, or bizarre miracle drugs. Lastly there is one other very vital important aspect that you should have in order to be attractive and happy with your image. It is something so simple that you can not buy it at a pharmacy or get put in through surgery. This aspect I am talking about is the simple quality of being confident. To me nothing is more attractive about a personthan the fact they are confident in the way they look. Hopefully in the future this "perfect image" phase will die out and there will be more people who are just happy and accept themselves for who they are.
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16 June 2014. Author: Criticism
Suppose a thin and beautiful woman in her mid-twenties is selling a product to you. It is an anti-aging cream that does not only make you look young. but also suppresses your appetite. It is tempting. and ideally. a great marketing strategy. However. it is only a positive thing when we play the role of the sellers. the big market players trying to profit from lack of beauty and confidence that is being experience by one out of four women in their early twenties (Fox. 1997 However. if we were the ones on
the other side of the fence. thinking twice about whether to buy this product. then we are on the losing end We should only create the idea of a beautiful woman because only then can we really achieve true satisfaction. However. the mass media have become the center for the unlikely development of unattainable beauty The standards set are by far achievable by only 1 of the female population. according to the Media Awareness Network. Beauty products are being endorsed by women who have already been through the salon and the gym and whose photos have been edited before making it on print only make those who do not do these routines feel less of themselves. The media isn 't even aware that it has caused women their lives already claiming that if they are thin and beautiful. they will be happy and will live perfect lives (Christie. 2008. The idea that the media has given us.
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I am going to tell you a story, you probably all know it. There is a beautiful young woman, who lives with her evil-stepmother and three ugly step-sisters in a little cottage. One day news arrives that the Prince must marry so he throws a ball and everyone in the girl’s family is invited. But the beautiful young woman can’t go because her ugly stepsisters are cruel and lock her inside, luckily her fairy godmother finds her and magically sends her to the ball in a beautiful gown and glass slippers and she meets the Prince, they fall in love and after a few mishaps and sad turns the ugly step sisters get what they deserve and the beautiful woman and her Prince live happily ever after.
This fairytale, like all other fairytales, is a harmless story, isn’t it? I used to think so. The harm isn’t in telling our children that the princess was beautiful; the harm comes when we tell them that she had a good personality. In fairytales the good guy, the nice guy, the innocent princess, the hero, the one we all barrack for, almost always beautiful, like our Cinderella. In fairytales, the bad guy, the one we’re afraid of, the one who is dangerous, cruel, mean and often stupid, is always ugly.
The underlying message here is that unattractive people like the three ugly step-sisters are mean, scary and unintelligent-we don’t like them. Attractive people are nicer and we like them more, that’s why Cinderella got the Prince right?
A Finish study showed that 25% of seven year olds had dieted. An American study showed that over eighty percent of girls aged ten have dieted. Global studies showed that half of all girls aged 13 don’t like their appearance. By seventeen, my age, 80% of girls are unhappy with their appearance. And this statistic stays consistent with women over 18. And poor body image isn’t just a problem with girls; the pressure is on young boys and men to be masculine and attractive, like any good Prince Charming should. Right now, men and.
The influence of the media on the proliferation of eating disorders cannot be refuted. From an early age we are bombarded with images and messages that reinforce the idea that to be happy and successful we must be thin. Today, you cannot read a magazine or newspaper, turn on the television, listen to the radio, or shop at the mall without being assaulted with the message that fat is bad. The most frightening part is that this destructive message is reaching kids. Adolescents often feel fatally flawed if their weight, hips, and breasts don?t match up to those of models and actors. Today even elementary school aged children are obsessed with their weight. The media?s obsession with thinness and perfection has increased adolescent dissatisfaction with their bodies. The statistics and facts that document how obsessed we are as a society with the pursuit of thinness are sad reminders of the power the media has in how our society evaluates self-worth.
Eating disorders are complex conditions that arise from a variety of factors, including psychological, interpersonal, and social issues. Media images that help to create cultural definitions of beauty and attractiveness are often acknowledged as being among those factors contributing to the risk of eating disorders. Media messages screaming ?thin is in? may not directly cause eating disorders, but they help to create the context within which people learn to place a value on the size and shape of their body. To the extent that media messages like advertising and celebrity spotlights help our culture define what is beautiful and what is ?good. the media?s power over our development of self-esteem and body image can be incredibly strong.
Media such as television, movies, and magazines are considered to be among the most influential promoters of the thin standard, given their popularity and increase to the American people. Importantly, this effect has the potential to increase given continuing advances in technology and the increasing popularity and accessibility of computers and the Internet. American culture is not only affecting its own youth. For example, following the introduction of Western television in Fiji there was a dramatic increase in the rate of eating disorders. This is a tragic occurrence that is only destined to continue if the media does not relent in perpetuating harmful messages about attractiveness.
Furthermore, the images that society receives through the media are merely images. The viewer does not see the imperfections of the models before they are airbrushed to achieve the ideal look that is so impossibly appealing to many young girls. I recall watching a television interview where an actress unveiled the hoax behind the scene of fashion shoots. She talked in detail about how every inch of a magazine picture is touched up to the point of virtual indistinction between the actual model herself and the finished photo. The finished photo, however is what a young adolescent will see and compare their own body to. While only one out of ten high school girls are overweight, one out of ten high school juniors and seniors diet. They are dieting to achieve some ethereal shape created by a computer, actually defying reality.
Ironically in our ?thinness? obsessed society, overweight is undeniably a problem. As many Americans struggle to maintain a healthy weight, we are losing realistic perception of what a healthy weight is supposed to be while the discrepancy between the average model and the average adult continues to increase, which further deepens our obsessive preoccupation with weight and body image issues. The media tells people that being overweight is undesirable and that they should conform to certain ideal body images. Today?s lean but muscular version of perfection is a very demanding standard for both women and men to meet. People may become dissatisfied and concerned about their inability to achieve these ideals. For some, especially the adolescent population, their self-concept changes and their self-esteem declines. Growing older lessens, but does not eliminate, this dissatisfaction.
The media cannot be entirely blamed for society?s issues with body image as there are many individuals with eating disorders and weight problems or other such self- dissatisfaction stemming from causes unrelated to the media such as medical, psychological, emotional or genetic reasons. The media is part of our popular culture that defines a part of who we are. Critical consumers of the media will be able to recognize and dismiss harmful advertising and remain unaffected. Photography, planning and organizing ideas through story boards, writing scripts and performing in front of a camera, designing web pages, or reporting news stories are effective means of communication that can be used to promote positive messages. The power of the media can also be used as a means for creative expression, critical inquiry, and self-reflection.
The solution may be to educate adolescents about the media?s negative influence and manipulative techniques used to persuade consumers. Education would therefore influence teens to make informed decisions based on facts rather than the ideas promoted by the media. Parents can also play an important influencing role in how young people respond to the media by controlling children?s access to popular culture by not allowing it in their home.
Students do not want to be thought of as helpless victims of media influence who need to be rescued from the evil excesses of their interest in popular culture. If we focus on the problematic aspects of the media, we neglect young people?s emotional involvement with the media. Educating that the media is the cause of all immorality will take away from the pleasure teens receive from popular culture. We cannot therefore ignore the media and its influence or its ability to cause distress among adolescents.
The fact remains that in our society it is virtually impossible to entirely remove oneself from the influence of the media. Unless of course we were to isolate ourselves from the rest of the world with no telephone, computer, outside contact with society whatsoever, etc. The media is undeniably all around us whether we like it or not. If someone should chose to ignore it and maintain a weight or style that is unacceptable then they also face the possibility of ridicule by those who value conformity. Everyone wants to feel accepted and the media has the power to influence what is normal. Unless the media changes its messages, society will not change and neither will the increasing presence of eating disorders as a result of body image dissatisfaction.
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