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Affects of media on body image

Affects of media on body image - "Beauty is not what you...

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"Beauty is not what you see on the outside, it's what lies within." This is what we are taught throughout our childhood. However, by the time a person is in their teens, they have seen thousands of advertisements in the media, which stress the "perfect image." These advertisements send a message that this is how women are "supposed" to look. When women see these advertisements, many times they feel ashamed they do not look the way that the models do. But, should women feel like this? Most advertisements are not even directed toward beauty products. For instance, there are many commercials on television that focus on skinny, big-breasted, gorgeous women. However, the product being sold has nothing to do with the women themselves. If the product the advertisement is trying to sell is not a beauty product then why is the main focus on the attractive women? The answer to this question is: body image sells. American society has an obsession with the "perfect image" and advertisers flaunt this in persuading people to buy their products, knowing the negative affect on their viewer. Sauntering through the mall, viewing a magazine, surfing the net, or watching television, people are inundated with thousands of images—images that influence their thought. What inspires a woman to buy lingerie, a man to buy cologne, or a teenage girl to buy a school wardrobe? Is it the actual product that is advertised or are people subjective to the subconscious thought that maybe they would look like the model? As seen on television and movies, the newest fad is to look “skinny.” Attaining the correct weight is now associated with success and “hitting the gym” has now become a part of daily vocabulary. Who is to blame for this increase in body image awareness? Why are people suddenly so obsessed with obtaining the correct weight? According to studies into diet, weight loss, and body shape, many individuals feel dissatisfied with their body shape.
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Who is to blame: none other than the media. Today we will look at the physical and psychological ways in which the media affects body image, particularly among women and some reasons why the media chooses to set this standard for “beautiful”.
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