Womens Studies

Womens Studies - Our society today is completely and...

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Our society today is completely and utterly under the thumb of the media. Men and women are both controlled by the stereotypes, expectations and limitations that are perpetuated by our magazines, television programs, movies, advertisements – everything. In this society, it’s so hard to grow up with a good sense of self, a good sense of worth, when all around us all we see are images of models – what the “ideal woman” is, how she looks and acts – especially when the messages sent by the media essentially tell us that these perfect women are how we SHOULD be – and if we don’t adhere to the standard, we will be left alone, unwanted, and unhappy. One of the most notable perpetuators of this ideal is teen magazines. As Anastasia Higginbotham states in her article, “Teen Mags: How to Get a Guy, Drop 20 Pounds, and Lose Your Self-Esteem,” these magazines show us what the “ideal girl is… white, usually blonde, and invariably skinny,” (Kesselman, p. 94). These magazines are not only damaging in the ideal images that they send – images that for most normal people are impossible to achieve – however they also very seriously and very dangerously further the sexual double-standard for girls. Young girls who read these magazines – and so many do, as it seems to be the “normal” and acceptable thing for young girls to do – are bombarded with so many mixed messages. While the covers of magazines are splayed with contradicting headlines such as, “Body Love! Figure Fixers: the Best Styles for Your Shape, the Perfect Make-up for Your Skin Tone,” (Seventeen Magazine, Sept. 2004), the inside contents are riddled with messages that essentially say, “love your body – with our help to make it look better.” How are young girls supposed to gain a sense of self-worth with magazines like this constantly telling them they’re good – but they can do a lot better? As Higginbotham reports one former teen-mag reader says, “They have articles talking about, ‘You should love yourself for who you are,’ and then they have the seven-day diet,” (Kesselman, p. 96). These magazines,
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Womens Studies - Our society today is completely and...

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