Effects Of Media On Self Essay

1007 words - 5 pages

The Effects of Media on our Self- Perception of Body Image

It was fashionable to be fat throughout most of history. Obesity was attractive because it was considered to be a sign of wealth. Those who could obtain enough food to keep themselves and their family well fed were people with money. However, in the past century thinness has become fashionable which has caused eating disorders to increase significantly over the past thirty years.
The two most common eating disorders include anorexia and bulimia nervosa. Anorexia nervosa is a disease in which one becomes very self-conscious about their weight and has an intense fear of becoming fat. They go to such extremes as ...view middle of the document...

What makes a young woman associate thinness with beauty? Many are now beginning to believe that the media has much to do with how women view themselves. Young women see thin models and actresses in magazines, advertisements, and television shows. The media portrays the successful and beautiful as thin. Thinness has thus become associated with self control and success. The average American woman's body weight has increased over the past thirty years, yet the models that represent American women have become increasingly thinner. The media's portrayal of happy, successful women being extremely thin makes a huge impact on women's perception of beauty. When girls begin to compare themselves to the famous and thin women they see on television, or in magazines, they equate thinness with beauty, and many strive to become “beautiful.”
An increase in the number of diet and health articles and advertisements had also risen along with the number of eating disorders. Articles on weight loss can be found in almost every issue of women's magazines, and new "miracle" diet books are constantly being published. Many of these diets are unhealthy, and some are even dangerous. Weight loss advertisements are found in almost every type of media, and women are constantly obsessed with the topic of weight. As the media puts more and more emphasis on thinness, more women become dissatisfied with their own bodies.
However, the media does not only target women, but the men as well. We constantly see men being portrayed as thin and physically fit with large mussels and washboard abs. This media portrays men who tall, muscular, and “large” are the only ones who are attractive. Men who feel inadequate about their “size” will often turn to male enhancement drugs which can often lead to infertility and in the end have no effect on making the size of their penis larger. Men cannot escape the pressures of being able to please their women. Often times in film or TV if a man has a small penis or cannot please his women he is...

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