1. Beauty. It poses the age old question, is beauty in the eye of the beholder or is beauty only skin deep? a. Where does the obsession to be beautiful come from?
b. We are all taught at such an early age that looks do not matter, yet we live in a society that seems to contradict this very idea. c. Magazines, reality shows, billboards… they all promote a certain body image as being beautiful, and it is a far cry from the average woman’s size 12. i. (FIRST SLIDE)
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d. Body image is a pressing issue that plagues all men and women alike.
2. The obsession of many young girls and guys over their body image has led to an increasing number of people who have developed an eating disorder to try to deal with their lack of self-esteem or other related problems. a. According to an article in Psychology Today, the most common of these eating disorders include Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, Binge Eating, and Muscle Dysmorphia.
3. In a recent survey of 185 students on a college campus through the Nutrition Journal, 58% felt pressure to be a certain weight, and of the 83% that hardcore dieted for weight loss, over half of them were already at a normal weight pre dieting. a. It was also recorded through the ANAD Foundation that eating disorders are recorded to be the 3rd most chronic illness of young adults.
1. The media’s use of airbrushing is one of the major causes of these impossible standards of beauty. a. Leah Hardy, a former editor of Cosmopolitan, admitted that this is true… many of stick-thin models in Cosmo were actually struggling with eating disorders, but were airbrushed to look less unwell. b. In an interview with the Daily Mail, Hardy stated that the models had 22-inch waits, but they also had breasts and great skin. They had teeny tiny ankles and thin thighs, but they still had luscious hair and full cheeks. Thanks to retouching, our readers never saw the horrible, hungry downside of skinny. The models’ skeletal bodies, dull, thinning hair, spots and dark circles under their eyes were magically erased away by technology… a vision of perfection that simply did not exist. c. By airbrushing these models, the media gives young girls the idea that this body image is attainable—and by trying to look like these models, these girls become just as unhealthy. 2. Although media plays a huge role in holding such high standards for beauty, it is recorded that pressure from friends and family tend to out rank the media and start at a very early age. i. (THIRD SLIDE)
b. Eating disorders can be triggered by lack of support following traumatic events such as bereavement, relationship problems, and abuse, according to the Journal of Clinical Nursing. c. Family relationships are complex and central to the development of a child’s sense of self. d. According to a study from the University of Florida titled, “Too Fat to Be a Princess?” nearly 50% of all children aged from three to six were already concerned about their weight. e. Criticism and teasing from parents, siblings, and peers shape how young children perceive their bodies. f. Experts say the children who develop eating disorders are mostly girls who are often following examples set by their most favorable role models; their mothers. 3. Along with pressure from one’s family and friends, there are several psychological factors that contribute to eating disorders. a. Among some of these psychological factors include
i. Depression, anxiety, feelings of inadequacy, and low self-esteem. b. Many studies have been done on the relationship between these psychological behaviors and eating disorders; all have concluded through various measures that there is a strong relation between the two. c. Too often, the result of an inadequate self results in the distortion of eating.
1. In conclusion, the unrealistic standard of beauty that men and women are bombarded with everyday gives them a goal that is nearly impossible to reach, and the effects are devastating. 2. Theses impossible standards need to be stopped, and society instead needs to promote a healthy body image along with the idea that men and women of all shapes and sizes are beautiful—not just those who are size 2.
The Media and Body Image - Women's Studies Essay (100 Level Course)
The media has impact on everyone, everywhere and all the time. Whether the population hears it on television, movies, or the radio perhaps. Maybe they read about how to be beautiful on advertisements, or in magazines.
There are so many ways to read about and see pictures of what “beautiful” women look like. Many people try very hard to mimic the set appearance.
Although, its not always women, many men try Anorexia Nervosa just like the women do. Anorexia is a serious eating disorder that many Americans suffer from. Most of the time, the spectators don’t realize that in reality they are being told to look and dress a certain way and it becomes second nature to them. In a way, Media is like evolution. When Marilyn Monroe was popular, she was an amazingly gorgeous woman and most thought of her that way. Now she would actually be considered a large, overweight person.
Anorexia Nervosa is becoming a larger problem as time grows. Models are normally about 5’11 and weigh 115lbs. And that is not realistic for an average woman who is around 5’7 and 140lbs to look that way. It’s unhealthy. Anorexia can have severe or fatal consequences that can very easily result in death if not treated right away.
Therapy would be needed to help get through this disorder because most of it is mind and body and trying to improve self-esteem. When people get upset, sometimes they tend to not eat and this can be sparked by being very depressed, or going away to college, family problems, reaching puberty or even relationships. This is a serious matter and when media portrays this kind of information to our youth it gets to the point where no one can ignore it “in order to be beautiful, you have to be thin” (Smith 22) That is the beginning of dangerous dieting or anorexia “the more you lose, the more you want to lose” (Smith 38) Young teens and some adults don’t understand how harmful it is to your body to not eat. When it gets to the point where you cant eat food anymore, the doctors actually give the patients a choice of this special type of nutrition that almost looks like a cup cake with out any flavor what so ever or eating through a tube that runs down through the nose to the stomach. Either way it is just plain awful. Many people will develop osteoporosis and have extremely brittle and fragile bones and have to rely on the assistance of others or a cane or wheel chair to get around.
Media has a huge influence on society today, especially on teens. Everyone has seen or heard of some type of advertisement promoting some type of beauty product, jewelry, or a new brand of clothing to say the least. Almost all of it is based on beauty “when media television, movies, magazines and advertising widely promotes this ideal, it becomes difficult to ignore.” (Smith 24) That pretty much sums it all up. The quote basically says that people cannot get away from it all. It’s almost impossible to ignore it unless being cut off from the world, which is not realistic. Just like an article in Teen peoples magazine on page 47 on February’s addition where they are telling the reader about a new band. It states “Who you’ll love” and “Why you’ll love them” (Bank 47) then it gives reasons. That obviously is implying to the reader that they have to like them and that other people are going to like them too, so to be cool they need to buy their CD’s and become a fan.
Over the years, men and women have forgotten about inner beauty. They take in what is seen with their eyes and not felt with the heart. Personality is a large part of inner beauty and is part of what makes someone beautiful from the inside out and not from just the shallow aspect that everyone is programmed to see. Why do people try to look the same when everyone is a unique and individual person?
In conclusion, body image is not to be taken lightly. Media has a strong impact on today’s teens and affects everyone’s views and their ways of thinking. It is a very strong tool that they have control over, and only you, as the reader can decide whether or not it’s worth paying attention to.