The media is a powerful tool with a huge place in today's society. However, in a society filled with young women crazed to look like super models, movie stars, and Barbie dolls, the "thin ideal" is silently advertised through various television shows, movies, and magazine articles, projecting the idea that women need to look a certain way in order to be accepted. With such a strong effect on the lives of people, today's media has had a prominent influence on eating disorders among young women.
Just being exposed to idealized, unrealistic, rail-thin images of beauty in the media and diet industry advertisements takes a toll on impressionable girls, who feel they can never measure up to these ideals. However, often what they do not realize is that the look they are trying to achieve is usually contrived, and that the image has been altered in some way before publication. Society has thus created a disillusioned atmosphere that leaves young women vulnerable to be influenced by the media, endlessly striving for a nonexistent perfection.
With women especially gaining more recognition in the media during the 20th century, girls have had newly created female role models to compare to. All of these effects from the past and present have lead up to women of normal weight having a distorted perception of their weight and body image, which can ultimately turn into a severe eating disorder. Until the industry can shift from encouraging people to be a shape nature never intended them to be, however, the media will continue to form young people's view of the world, a world that is apparently populated by only thin girls.
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