Teen Girls + Media = Low Self Esteem
Society’s scrutiny of beauty is causing many to take a hit of depleted self-esteem, and low self-esteem sets these beautiful people up for present and future damage. “Even the models we see in magazines wish they could look like their own images,” says Cheri K. Erdman (Erdman). For some people, it is impossible to actualize the end product these photographs and advertisements display. Advertisements disregard any hope women have to feel adequate enough to measure up to these standards. These people cannot possibly guess that the goal of these pictures is to make you want to be something else. Through everyday occurrences and the media, pressure crashes down on women of all ages and ethnicities. Women are striving to achieve a perfect physical image that is often unattainable. Many resort to unhealthy eating habits that eventually lead to an eating disorder. Society has caused this utter destruction of confidence through advertisements, magazines and television commercials throughout which they show airbrushed, thin, sexual images of how people are “supposed” to appeal to the public. Media exposures splayed across our eyes are causing eating disorders which are affecting society’s standard of beauty, physical and mental health of young women, and confidence levels.
Body image is a woman or man’s opinion of their appearance. In the case of beauty, not many women find themselves to be attractive (“Body Image.”). Pressure is pounding down on them from outside sources, such as the media, Internet, and society, to appear beautiful and have endless sex appeal. Dove Campaign for Real beauty and Nike ad’s aim towards images of women that are prevalent in our society (Elliot). Yet, the models we see in magazines are Photo-shopped and dressed in the latest designer fashions. While a few ads are beginning to circulate with everyday women, the photo-enhanced images of stick thin, porcelain girls are the most common to come across. The average American woman is 5 feet 4 inches tall and weighs 140 pounds, while the average American model is 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighs 117 pounds (“Body Image.”). This statistic alone is a staggering difference between what percentages of women overpower the other. Normal, healthy weighted woman are taking in the images of a small percentage of the population that we barely see around us. Everyone wants to look like a supermodel but in all reality, only a few women do. “Because of these harsh critiques, rarely are women completely satisfied with their image. As a result, they often feel great anxiety and pressure to achieve and/or maintain an imaginary appearance” (“Body Image.”). A disease caused by careless concerns of pop culture would be anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa, commonly labeled as eating disorders. At first glimpse, someone tormented with an eating disorder may not stand out amid the crowd. The afflicted could be the idyllic girl, enviously eyeing the plate of sweets across the room, or she could be the hushed one silently running her daily calorie intake through her mind. Eating disorders affect approximately 8 million Americans; with an astounding half of Americans knowing someone who suffers from an eating disorder of some manner (“ANAD.”). Sizes, shapes, ethnicities, ages, and gender; these labels do not determine whether or not a person is vulnerable to an eating disorder. While this disorder is primarily found in women, there are men who go through the same incessant cycle of pain. Approximately ten to fifteen percent of patients with anorexia or bulimia are male, while the majority lean towards women (“ANAD.”). An eating disorder is a mania with food that can potentially start off as a diet gone awry. Most people do not realize how hazardous these problems are. Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate out of any mental illness categorized by psychologists (“ANAD”). “I...
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