November 10, 2011
The Impact of Media Images and their Effects on Body Image in Women
Proposal: In our society, media has a big influence on how people act, live, and feel about them selves. The ideal image of what is considered “beautiful” is decided upon what the media provides us with. It is an ongoing struggle to follow our own beliefs and be our own person when there is so much influence in magazines, TV shows, and movies that are “examples” to teenagers and even adults. The unrealistic beauty that the media portrays today is blinding our generation. The media is brainwashing people to look a certain way and that not a single flaw is allowed. With the way the media and the entertainment world runs, society’s view of beauty is limited to perfectness. If society weren’t seen as so picture perfect and “fake”, then maybe there would be fewer problems with self-esteem within women and there would be a more positive outcome. Three specific areas in which media is the most influential are modeling, sports, and the celebrity scene In modeling, models are pressured to have a certain thinness that makes the viewer observe beauty in an unhealthy way. Sports are very athletic, and seen as one healthy way to become skinny and fit, but in reality there are lots of problems with steroids, and eating disorders. In the Celebrity world, most who are seen on the red carpet are never as much as they seem; there is always some kind of unreal appearance to them. Along with the image of looking skinny, more and more stores are holding smaller sizes, limiting larger girls to what they can wear. Girls are also more caught up with what they look like and care less about things such as education and career. I knew someone who went into Hollister to buy a shirt, and they didn’t carry an extra large. I remember when she finally fit into a large, she was finally so happy because of how much she loved that store. Steroids and drugs are unfair and unhealthy and are mostly seen in the professional sports area. The media has made professional athletes to been seen as gods, they can run fast, jump higher, swing harder, etc. then the average person. No matter what sport it is athletes are put up on a pedestal for being extremely mind blowing and doing the unthinkable that nobody else can, being a “Legend”. It makes them seem untouchable, so the media puts them in ads to pursue the consumers to want to be more like the pros. Also, within sports, working too much while trying to live up to their name can cause serious physical problems. For example Olympic swimming legend Michael Phelps had been suspended from competitions for three months after he was picture apparently using illegal drugs. The pressure of performing your best can be a lot to handle on athletes; the fame can go to their heads, leading athletes to believe they can do whatever they want without any consequences. Which leads consumers that look up to them, to think so as well. In the celebrity world, it’s considered normal to be a size zero and to have the body that would only be seen in magazines. It’s wrong to want to distort your body to make it look perfect. To celebrities, however, it is their appearance that makes them famous; to the public, looking like a celebrity could make them feel wanted and famous too, but in reality you should appreciate your body for what it is and not worry about what others may specifically look like. For example, Miley Cyrus is a big time American Disney Channel Star and her peers are teenagers and young women who look up to her. Now that she is all grown up and into the whole celebrity scene, she is dressing more scandalous and has even been caught drinking. The influence that society has on us, the viewers, is similar to that of parents to their children. It’s like the saying, “monkey see, monkey do”. Children grow up and learn from their parents. They see the way their parents act and so they think...