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Media And Women Image Essay

2184 words - 9 pages

The media and womens body image
Its been argued that the western culture is a culture so consumed by image that those with fame give praise for being thin and disapproval for being fat, birthing a generation of women and girls that are often extremely self conscious about their appearance and body image. Media images of the unattainable thin body can be found almost anywhere. There has been continual interest in women’s body image throughout the years. Is there truth in the fact that women’s self-esteem and eating patterns are affected by what a woman sees in the media? Have this been researched enough to show the link between poor body image and the media’s portrayal of women and could ...view middle of the document...

Some researchers have found that when women of color judge themselves based on white beauty standards they become at risk for developing body image dissatisfaction and eating disorders Birmingham, CL, and Beumont, JV (2012). This is mainly due to the fact that these beauty ideals are even more unattainable for women of color. Feminist theory explains that women learn through society to compare physical appearance with self-esteem. Ross, Caroline(2012) stated that a person’s early socialization about physical appearance and their experience of their body during childhood and adolescence maps how they will view their body as they get older because they learned to condition their self-image to was around them. It also been discovered that body image is always changing; it can change over time or in a few moments. Example watching television could change a person’s body image by influencing them to think about their weight, attractiveness, or appearance Bailey, S.D., & Ricciardelli, L.A (2011)Several studies shows that as a person gets older the influences on body image changes and may become stronger or weaker, thus creating flux in body image over the life-span.
The counter-argument here is that individuals are driven by the concept of fear of negative evaluation and that unwarranted and excessive awareness and sensitivity to the feelings is what make them adopt to or learn others view of them and can make a person vulnerable to feedback and teasing from family and friends related to their body image.
Another perspective focuses on the media and how it has been influencing society in many ways. This perspective argues the fact that the media decides what the public sees and how it is portrayed. It claims that women are predominately portrayed in the media as thin, waif-like women, without imperfections. They shows the thin women as happy and successful. This viewpoint argues that some women are affected negatively by constantly being bombarded with this thin ideal. This thin ideal women are however, not our regular next-door neighbors, they are images of women that most of society cannot attain. This supports the claim that the media portrays women in an unrealistic manner. According to Fox-Kales, Emily (2011), advertising has historically included stereotypical and unrealistic images of women. These thin ideals are believed to encourage women and men to focus on a woman’s appearance and body shape.
The media is said to presents ideologies and makes it socially acceptable to have a negative opinion about heavier people, especially heavier women. So far the popular media does not seem to show heavy women leading normal, very successful, social lives, but rather are seen as objects not fit for love, let alone sexual desire. To be thin is to be loved, and to be heavy is to be unlovable. Fox-Kales, Emily (2011) found that slim women are seen as glamorous people leading glamorous lives and heavy people are seen as lazy, unhappy people not...

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