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Eating Disorders 7 Essay

1615 words - 7 pages

Eating Disorders
In the 1950’s the ideal image was Marilyn Monroe’s curvaceous body (Halliwell 44). Today stick skinny women are the prominent look for role models. These role models set a bad example and can tear down young women’s self esteem and make an unrealistic body ideal image. However this trend of skinny models always being on the cover of magazines and in every advertisement is questioned whether it really does or does not affect women’s views. Many young women idolize these models and eventually form unhealthy eating disorders to acquire the skinny ideal body image. Unrealistic media images are affecting woman’s body image and is causing woman to take on harmful and unhealthy ...view middle of the document...

In contrast, print and electronic media messages blur the boundaries between a fictionalized ideal and reality, and often the subtextual, if not the overt message is that one need only comply with provided guidelines to achieve the ideal. Photographic techniques such as airbrushing, soft-focus cameras composite figures, editing and filters may blur the realistic nature of media images even further, leading consumers to believe that the models the viewers see through the illusions these techniques create are realistic representations of actual people rather than carefully manipulated, artificially developed images.(340)
This is a great point that most women might understand but still believe that the ideal is achievable and that it is unacceptable not to be perfect in our society.
Television is a big part of our society. Almost every household has a television and on average it is on 7 hours a day (Pruzinsky 91). On most channels this thin-ideal is presented. Most of this comes from advertising in which skinny models dominate advertisements. This tendency of skinny models being the choice for advertisements is misrepresenting, with the average female model being 5’11” and 117 pounds and the average American women is 5’4” and weighs 140 pounds. Another source comes from the norm of skinny women and girls on TV shows. Thin actresses dominate the Hollywood scene. Producers and directors don’t think twice about putting normal weight girls in a main act by always choosing thin actresses. These actresses are forced to be skinny and if some are a normal weight, they are praised when weight is lost. Some TV shows even have segments of actresses living their life. If one looks fat, these shows bring down these actresses and tease them for their current weight even if it’s for gaining few pounds. Recently Tyra bank’s, a former supermodel, was photographed on the beach in a bathing suit. In no time, she was posted all over celebrity websites claiming to gain weight and was considered to be fat. Tyra was no more than the average weight and was dishonored for this. This shows the extent people go towards the weight of actresses.
With all these thin models appearing in the media, women have no choice but to notice these unrealistic women. Women see that these women are praised for being so skinny and “beautiful.” They have no choice but to believe this is the standard of beauty when it is repetitive. Thompson and Heinberg point out some statistics on influence of the media in a Psychology Today survey. It indicates the high impact that the mass media has on promoting the cultural idea of thinness and beauty (Thompson and Heinberg 340). 3,452 women responded to the survey and 23% indicated that movie or television celebrities influenced their self esteem when they were young. Also, 22% endorsed the influence of fashion magazine models (Thompson and Heinberg 341). Also the writers of The Impact of Exposure to the Thin-Ideal Media Image on Women held a...

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