Media's Influence on Body Image

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Linda Davies
Mrs. Felix
English 10H A4
28 January 2013
The Media’s Influence on Body Image
My name is Linda Davies and I like to eat; a lot – it’s in my nature. I would much rather sit home on a soft cushioned couch watching Vampire Diaries then go to a foul, sweat filled environment, and exercise – it’s in my nature. But according to Vogue, I’m living life the wrong way. Instead of eating Pop tarts, orange juice and cereal for breakfast, I should have a banana. Instead of eating chips and a sandwich for lunch, I should skip lunch completely. For dinner? No lasagna with garlic bread, and desert. No, instead, I am told to eat half a piece of lettuce and call it a salad. To be beautiful means being, 5’11 and weighing in at 117 pounds. The average American woman is 5’4 and weighs 140 pounds. How can any woman, according to vogue, become beautiful then? In a survey, researchers found that at the age of thirteen 63% of American girls are “unhappy with their bodies.” That percentage increases to 88% by the age of sixteen. Fun fact for you, puberty isn’t over until you’re about 19; if you don’t get what I mean by that, it means your body is still growing and changing – trying to modify and alter normal bodily functions is dangerous.

Six pack, tan skin, calf muscle, pecks, white teeth, tall figure, toned biceps, triceps, forearms, sculpted shoulders, big hands, no hair, good posture, nice style, no blemish, built frame – sounds like a fantasy man right? Don’t think the media is only affecting women’s feelings on body image; men are influenced just as much as women. Walking through an average shopping mall researchers discovered 47% of all men confessed to being dissatisfied with their body image now or sometime in life. 47%. That’s about half of the boys here in this room.

Don’t get the idea that I’m castigating being healthy and exercising. I’m privileged to even be here to speak in front of you here today – Not that either of us had a choice – I am simply...
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