Woman Images in the Media

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Images of female bodies are everywhere. Women and their body parts are used to sell everything from food to cars. Popular film and television actresses are becoming younger, taller and thinner. It’s common for these girls to faint on the set from not eating. Women’s magazines are full of pieces trying to pressure that if they can just lose those that last twenty pounds, they’ll have it all. They will have what they think is the perfect marriage, they will have loving children, and a successful career. That’s what everyone wants right? Advertisers use the media to exploit women so they can make their products more appealing.

Why are standards of beauty being pressed on women? Most of the women effected by these standards are naturally larger and more mature than any of the models. Some say the foundations are economic. And it’s no accident that youth is increasingly promoted, along with thinness, as an essential criterion of beauty. If not all women need to lose weight, for sure they’re all aging, and, according to the industry, age is a disaster that needs to be dealt with.

Women who are insecure about their bodies are more likely to buy beauty products, new clothes, and diet aids. It’s estimated the diet industry alone is worth anywhere from 40 to 100 billion dollars a year. They accomplish this by selling temporary weight loss. Research shows that young women being exposed to images of thin, young, “perfect” female bodies is linked to depression, loss of self-esteem and the development of unhealthy eating habits in women and girls. The American research group Anorexia Nervosa & Related Eating Disorders, Inc. says that one of every four college aged women uses unhealthy methods of weight control. For example, fasting, skipping meals, excessive exercise, laxative abuse, and self-induced vomiting.

The pressure to be thin is also affecting much younger girls. The Canadian Women's Health Network says that weight control measures are now being taken by...
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