Body Image Portrayed by the Media Through the use of imagery, the display of life-styles, and the reinforcement of values, advertisements are communicators of culturally defined concepts such as success, worth, love, sexuality, popularity, and normalcy. Of particular concern over the past two decades has been excessive use of sexual stereotypes, especially of women. Women are directly affected by this advertising, beyond the mere desire to purchase the product or service described. The influence of the media on people is tremendous, and the effect of advertisements that direct images of beauty, and the perfect slim figure have a harmful effect on a great deal of the world's population, especially women. The media has portrayed the "perfect body image" so successfully, that women's self-image, self-esteem and even their health is affected. Looking at the media, it's almost impossible to ignore the many images of thin, beautiful women. In many women's magazines, nearly every other page is covered with an advertisement that displays a person with the "ideal body", a slim figure, a happy face, and trendy or chic clothes. Most of the advertisements in magazines try to present models as realistic representations for consumers, particularly women, to compare themselves. Not only do magazines try to portray the "perfect image," but also television advertisements try to achieve this representation of the perfect body. Television broadcasts events and shows like "Miss America," and "Baywatch" that represent unrealistic body types for ordinary women. To accomplish the goal of looking like the models being displayed all over the media, women think they need to diet. If it was dieting just for the fact of making women feel better, it would be all right, but the purpose of most people is different. When women compare themselves to models and pictures of people in advertisements, they believe the only way they...
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