Negative Body Image of Women in the Media

Topics: Mass media, Advertising, Self-esteem Pages: 6 (2313 words) Published: March 12, 2013
Negative Effects on Women Based on Portrayals of Hollywood Women

Today media ranges from television to newspaper articles. Many in society do not realize the negative effects that the media portrays to young women. Young women are more susceptible to these negative side effects resulting in low self-esteem, eating disorders, or depression. Media projects images of women that have been surgically or technologically edited, these projections are causing negative effects. These unrealistic women have a greater effect on young women today, society has enveloped this idea that we have to meet this certain image. We have become so overwhelmed with the stereotypical image causing great disapproval for women who are slightly overweight. Everyone wants to look their best; the question is to what will society to do in order to look their best. Society is becoming more open with the idea that women need to be skinny, sometimes skinnier than what is actually healthy. For example, when comparing one skinny and one curvier woman for an ad about the “ideal body image” individuals would not accept the curvier woman as the “ideal body”. The pictures of skinnier models that are often airbrushed can have a detrimental effect on the psyche of women. This often leads women see changes that need to be made to themselves. Our generation has numerous women so self-conscience of body image it is having negative effect on mental and physical health. Where Portrayal Starts

In today’s society we often spend too much time being exposed to numerous media. This amount is greatly increases as we grow older. When we are exposed to this much media different forms of advertisement has become normal and we are less likely to acknowledge the sexuality of the message being sent. Absorbing certain aspects in media helps society receive information, although too much of this information can cause the negative side effects we see today. Adapting to these advertisements causes us to adapt to what is being portrayed. A study conducted by the National Institute on Media and Family, “children spend more time sitting in front of electronic screens than doing any other activity besides sleeping…lack of physical activity, exposure to adult themes and content, and lack of interaction with family and peers” (“Technology and media”). Eating disorders are starting to become more prominent at a younger age, according to The Center for Mental Health 90% of people who suffer from eating disorders are from the ages of 12-25. Statistics explain that 53% of American girls are “unhappy with their bodies” at 13 years old. This alarming statistic becomes worse by growing to 78% by the age of 17. Young women are over exposed to appearance driven media outlets, causing women to feel the need to look more like the Hollywood women they see on TV. These younger women should not have to be concerned with body image at a young age. Eating disorders are a huge sign to society that media is having detrimental impact on young women ("Body image and Nutrition,"). Society’s standards for body image has changed drastically over the past decades, we can see this through the various different types of media. The importance of beauty and self-image has become so defined in our brains that it has started to effect people’s happiness, love, and success for women. Media has portrayed these ideas at attainable and real. Women need to come to terms with their body image and stop measuring themselves to the “ideal body”.

Negative media attention affects everyone; children are being exposed to the stereotypes without most parents’ knowledge. Children movies, TV shows, and toys are sending out messages for children to learn about body image. Most movies and toys often portray women characters to be thin and beautiful. Disney Princess characters are all thin, beautiful, and young women. These fictional characters let children believe that to have a “happy ever after”...
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