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Mediaaffectsonbodies - Paternostro1 Professor Ahearn Eng 1b...

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Paternostro1 Professor Ahearn Eng 1b T/Th 12-1:15 March 30, 2009 How the Media affects Our Bodies From Miss America to Playboy centerfolds, the belief of the perfect female has become thinner while the average American woman has become heavier over the last forty years. In the eyes of society today women like Megan Fox, Paris Hilton and Angelina Jolie are the epitome of perfection. The media presents the general public with impractical body types promoting people, especially women, to look like them. Unfortunately countless numbers of teenage girls and even adults, want to be exactly like them hurting themselves attempting to be carbon copies of these sex symbols. In the United Sates the Media has such a dangerous influence on women’s health. Watching TV, reading magazines and newspapers, surfing the Net, we are constantly being bombarded with airbrushed images of “perfect” beauty and thinness. We can’t help it but we absorb the insistent message that such beauty is the standard, and is achievable, if only we would buy the right clothes, use this makeup or reshape that body part. Self-esteem and body image are constantly being measured by a number of scales. The Feel-Ideal Discrepancy, Franzoi’s Body Esteem Scale, The Shape and Weight Based Self-Esteem Inventory, and The Body Shape Questionnaire are all scales used to identify the escalating displeasure among women about their body image and self-esteem. This dissatisfaction comes from a blend of internal and public influences because the public image of “the thin ideal” has been implanted in one’s head. Why has society placed such a value upon physical beauty so much so that women start to see their identity worth as dependent upon the physical? For example, in Fiji, after about three years of media exposure when satellites and
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Paternostro 2 televisions were introduced, females of average age 17 changed their values and body image drastically. They wanted to reflect the western values of which were being showed on TV. This left the girls more body conscious. Lin and Kulik’s Social Comparison Women’s Body Satisfaction, stated, “social comparisons and exposure to thin model media images did have a negative effect upon body satisfaction” Although advertising, the most influential part of the mass media, is all around us, many of us think we are exempt from its effects. This mistaken belief is one of the reasons it is so successful. In Jean Kilbourne’s book; Deadly Persuasion: Why Women and Girls Must Fight the Addictive Power of Advertising she states the average American sees three thousand ads per day. Almost all marketable media aimed at women are supported by advertising income from the fashion, beauty, diet, and food industries, and their continued existence relies on their ability to please the sponsors. Magazine editors, in a vicious competition for readers, know that to make a sale, they need only join in on our doubts or create new ones, making us feel we have "problems" that don’t really exist.
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Mediaaffectsonbodies - Paternostro1 Professor Ahearn Eng 1b...

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