The Depiction of Body Image in the Media
Society’s standards for body shape and the importance of beauty is promoted
by various media. The media links beauty to symbols of happiness, love and
success for women. Media depicts these images as achievable and real. Until
women accept their body image, they will continue to measure themselves
against societies “perfect image.” Media representations of body image as well
as parental attitudes contribute to social trends of unhealthy lifestyles.
Female children learn to worry about their appearance from an early age. Huge
quantities of girls between the ages of three and ten have one or more Barbie
dolls. On television children are bombarded with commercials showing tall and
thin women promoting dieting products and leading a “dream” life. Being exposed to numerous “perfect” female images causes girls trying to conform to
an unrealistic image.
Parental messages about appearance also have large impacts on young girls.
According to the article, “You’re Mirror Image? A daughter often reflects a mother's Unhealthy obsession with weight, Francine Russo states that “Study after study
has found that mothers who are fixated on their body image are more likely to
have daughters with eating disorders than less self-conscious moms”
(234). It goes on to say, “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 claims that the way in which a person gets their poor body image and
low self-esteem is from the way that their parents act and feel about
Cited: Russo, Francine. "Your Mirror Image? Viewpoints. Ed. W. Royce Adams, 7th ed.
Boston: Wadsworth, 2010. (233-35).
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