Fashion Advertisment Effect on Women

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About two years ago one of my good friends struggled with self-confidence to an immense degree. It affected her daily life, friendships, and relationships. Being her best friend, I was always the one she vented to about her dissatisfaction, and it was constant. It got to a point where it was not very pleasant to be around her. She was always putting on pounds of makeup, switching out her outfits (because she thought she looked fat), and complaining that no guys ever noticed her. Dealing with the same things but on a much smaller level, I started to notice why all this dissatisfaction came upon us. We had just reached the stage where we were noticing all the media and it was taking a toll on us. With constant ads of flawless models in our faces we began to try to imitate this beauty but failed miserably. I came to the conclusion that the modeling industry bares a huge responsibility in providing realistic and healthy role models for young women because if only unrealistic, underweight models are constantly in the media, woman will come to believe these misconceptions of what beauty is, which then can affect their self-confidence in a negative manner. You may not fully be aware of what the modeling industry exactly does to these flawless pictures you constantly see. The artificial process a modeling industry uses to create an ad is hidden from the public. Jean Kilbourne’s film Killing Us Softly 4, she explains the process of making a fashion advertisement picture. The company begins by taking a model that has a body type “that fewer than 5% of American woman have,” and they Photoshop the picture. This is often done by taking several different pictures of models and taking, for example, the lips of one model and the legs of another model and morphing them together to make one person. In Kilbourne’s words, “four or five women get put together to look like one perfect women.” Ken Harris, a photo retouch-er, explained that a photo is worked on for multiple rounds, going from the retouch-ers to the client and the agency to continue the process of perfection. There is rarely ever a photograph of what is considered a beautiful woman that has not been Photoshoped. Cindy Crawford, a famous super model, has quoted “I wish I looked like Cindy Crawford” meaning that even the models do not look like themselves in photos. As if these models are not thin enough, the bodies of thin models are Photoshopped as well. This is interesting because “the body size of glamorous models is often more than 20% underweight.” (Amy Brown 1088). Kilbourne brings the example of the model Filippa Hamilton who was digitally altered to have her head larger than her pelvic bone which is physically impossible. With these perfected inhuman like photos constantly haunting us everywhere, it makes it hard for women to have confidence in their beauty and body because the media distorts it. No matter how hard we try, it is nearly impossible to achieve this beauty simply because it’s fake. Only computers can generate this kind of beauty. No wonder teenage girls are so emotional. Standards of beauty are shoved in their faces and it is impossible for girls to achieve them. Being exposed to these photos can do an abundance of damage to young girls. One example of a negative effect is the way young woman perceive their body image. Marika Tiggemann and Janet Polivy, explain a study they wrote, how one hundred and fourteen women were exposed to fashion magazines with thin, attractive women, leading the majority of candidates in the study feeling dissatisfied with themselves and a decreasing elevation of mood. Their results concluded how exactly the idealized media images translate into disapproval of one’s self. The same thing was proved in a study written by Gayle R. Bessenoff. “Exposure to thin-ideal advertisements increased body dissatisfaction, negative mood, and levels of depression and lowered self-esteem.”(Bessenoff 239) In Body Image, Media Effect on, Kristen...
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