How the Media Effects Womans Body Image

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Robyn Orton
Sociology of Change 370
Professor Robinson
March 1st 2013
Now a day’s the media is our main source of communication from the outside world in but I don’t think people really grasp how much of an impact it has on our daily lives and how it reflects our development process. In the article, Use of Objectification Theory to Examine the Effects of a Media Literacy Intervention on Women, Becky L Choma, Mindi D. Foster, and Eileen Radford explain,

“Media are an effective avenue for relaying information to a vast number of people, and, like other social agents, they serve to shape social norms, values, and individuals’ perceptions of themselves. Unfortunately the messages sent and received through media about prescriptions for women’s appearance are not often positive or constructive. The ideal image of women shown in movies, television, and magazines has become increasingly thinner …” (Choma, Foster, Radford). Since the media portrays the perfect woman as flawless creatures that everyone adores, they feel forced to duplicate the projected body type in order to receive the same attention. The several styles of media such as printing advertisements, television and music tell the society things that may seem diverse but in actuality they are all projecting the same issues. Personally being a woman who struggles with weight issues the media has made it difficult for me to make life decisions independently due to its badgering approach for the pressure of the perfect body. I have chosen to focus on how much of an influence the media has on a women/ girls’ body image because I can relate to it and I know how many women out there struggle with body image issues. The knowledge I will gain in this topic will help me further understand how corrupt the media is which will lead to a better understanding to my patients I will have in the future as a high school counselor.

We have socially created imagery as a way to identify one another. Just as race, society looks at beauty in the same terms in the way we judge others. We make assumptions on people by what we first see which is where the pressure of our appearance stems from. When we are first born we are free spirited, happy, and worriless beings. But as we get older we start to stress over the materialistic things that the media has placed in our heads such as beauty, the make-up we wear, the clothes we buy, the friends we have, and how skinny we are. Although not everyone feels the way as I do, I strongly believe that a large amount of our society are victims of the media. The constant advertisements and persuasive ideas individuals consume each day by the media has brainwashed many women into thinking that these representations are authentic illustrations of pure beauty. In Dan Segrist’s article An Intervention for the Negative Influence of Media on Body Esteem, he proves that many chase a dream that doesn’t exist and that they are setting themselves up for failure.

“The Artificial Beauty video argued that media images are inappropriate comparisons because techniques are used to create the flawless looks shown in the media. While the Genetic Realities intervention video presented the idea that media images are inappropriate targets of comparison because most women are genetically incapable of being as thin as the fashion model images (Segrist 406). Although being perfect seems to be the ideal lifestyle, many of these women don’t think realistically based on their goals they set for themselves. I am not saying that the models we see are not beautiful, because they absolutely are but what I am saying is that the image we see on magazines and on the television are not 100 percent natural. This is the cause of many eating disorders and depression because it takes a toll on your body when doing whatever it takes to reach a certain goal yet never being able to match up to it. According to Marina Krcmar, Steve Giles and Donald Helme’s article Understanding The...
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