Media Exposure and the Effects on Body Image
In her essay, “Your Mirror Image?” in Viewpoints, Francine Russo explains how our children are developing eating disorders, low self –esteem and poor body images as a result of modeling after their mothers. She states, “ Sure, you can blame the media for imposing a parade of surgically enhanced pop icons on your impressionable child, but the real danger to her self-image comes from closer to home: you!” (234). Russo believes that women are unknowingly teaching their children at a young age that being beautiful is to be skinny. I disagree. It’s the media influential exposure and their “skinny is beautiful” body image that has internalized in young girls and women causing a drive for thinness. Consequently the media is igniting feelings of body dissatisfaction among women and children. Women and young girls are obsessively trying to alter their appearance just to look like the perfect body images we see in magazines and movies. They have internalized the harsh media exposure of being “ultra-skinny” is to be beautiful. Body image is in the media everywhere you look. Every time you turn on the television we are bombarded with beautiful women with perfect figures and porcelain faces. The overwhelming urge for women to find a way to have a body just like the perfect actresses in the movies or the size zero models we see plastered in the magazines, has rubbed off on our children. What these women and young girls don’t understand is that these models have airbrushed bodies, elongated limbs, waists shrunk, and breasts enlarged all with the help of technology or costly plastic surgery. Women and young girls are spending endless time and money trying to achieve the look that the media has created of the perfect woman. To what price will one pay physically to achieve that unattainable look the media has driven into our minds? The extent that these young girls and women have put their bodies...
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