Ah, the media. From Reality TV to the pages of Glamour Magazine, we repeatedly see
thin and mostly white women's bodies as normal, standard, accepted. And most of the
time, we can't get enough of it. We pour billions of dollars into an industry that keeps us
enthralled with skinny girls and their celebrity successes. Because without the media,
where would we learn about how to get a guy, how to drop 10 pounds, how to apply blue
eye shadow and all those other tricks that make one an officially successful woman?
It's common knowledge that the
images that bombard us don't reflect reality.
be digitally doctored; camera angles can distort and alter—all of it leads to a media
culture that inundates us with the perfect body. I know that. You know that. We all get it.
Why, then, do these images have such power over us? I mean,
why are over half of
thirteen year old girls unhappy with their bodies, and why are over three-quarters of
seventeen year old women expressing similar sentiments?
And while the majority of
Americans seem to be getting chubbier and are increasingly struggling with obesity,
actresses and models seem to be getting younger, thinner and taller
. So why are women
hating the fact that we(for the most part) don't resemble these lanky women that gaze out
from the glossy pages and strut across the silver screen? Why do women care about these
unobtainable beauty standards?
Well, lets start with the obvious answer: money. The media sells more than just products,
right? It sells the idea of normalcy—who we are and who we should be. We learn
thin is success, fat is failure
. So, the media keeps us running scared of
continually consuming thinness
in any way, shape or form. Are we surprised,
then, that t he diet, fashion, cosmetic and beauty industries all thrive, making billions
($160 billion-a-year to be exact)
by exploiting women's body insecurities?