The Mass Media and Body Image
There are many factors that contribute to the construction of gender. One factor is the influence of the mass media. The mass media displays very distinct ideas about what the roles of men and women are, especially when it comes to body image. Images of men with bulging biceps and perfectly sculpted six packs, and women with abnormally large breasts that defy gravity and stomachs that have virtually zero fat on them bombard us at lightening speed. These images are one of the main reasons that a young girl named Heidi Montag chose to go under the knife.
The article, “Heidi Montag Obsessed With Being “Perfect”,” is about a young woman who has undergone multiple plastic surgeries and her reasons for doing this. Heidi grew up in a small town in Colorado and upon moving to Los Angeles, she saw women walking around with bodies straight out of magazines. She saw women with the “biggest boobs,” and this made Heidi “flat and insecure.” She became even more insecure after landing a role on the MTV show, The Hills. She dove into the shallow end of the plastic surgery pool with a nose job and a breast augmentation, but that wasn’t enough. Heidi became obsessed with her looks and went all the way into the deep end going under then knife for ten hours. She had ten different procedures performed on her body. In an interview with Heidi, she expressed that she wants to be a pop star and that “looks matter; it's a superficial industry.” She talked about how she has never felt sexier and more confident. It is clear that the media had influenced the way that Heidi felt about her body, and even influenced her to make drastic changes to it.
In today’s day and age, it would be almost impossible to avoid the billboards flashing by as we drive our cars down the highway, or the scantily clad women on the covers of magazines while we wait in the doctor’s office. We are surrounded by images of what the mass media...