Confirmatio: Body Image and the Media
There is an evident overexposure to media which emphasizes the importance of being attractive. The National Eating Disorders Association reports “sexually objectified images of girls and women in advertisements are most likely to appear men’s magazines; second most prevalent directed at adolescent girls. The message communicated is clear: the sexually portrayed women we see in the media stand as the standard of beauty. Dove outlined the Photoshop process of a typical advertisement model in a popular YouTube, revealing the allusion technology can play in media’s portrayal of women. In a sped up reel, a natural, average looking woman transforms into a makeup model, assisted by the dramatic alterations so easily applied with modern software. She appears almost an entirely different woman- she has a longer neck, larger, rounder eyes, a narrower nose and lips twice as full by the end of the clip. How are women expected to be accepting of their own bodies when the media practically recreates our perception? In his book on the effects of models on college-age womens’ self-esteem, Chojnacki writes “Annually, magazine companies spend billions of dollars on diet and exercise advertisements to put in their magazines”. It appears corporate America almost profits from the pressures to reach a literally unattainable body, for many. Contrary to common understanding, the influence of the media on body image is not limited to the US. Worldwide, women experience body insecurities. A study conducted on 26 women of Southeast Asian decent revealed some of the factors contributing to their body dissatisfaction. The use of social comparisons by these women, particularly to the increasing slim figures of actresses featured in Bollywood productions, was common. Most of the participants also voiced their agreement that the Indian media has impacted perceptions of the Ideal body (Kapadia). For decades, Western culture internationally influences the...
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