Body Image In Mass Media

878 Words4 Pages
With the rise of mass media throughout the 20th century, the popular image of women in America has undergone a substantial change. From Marilyn Monroe to Kate Moss, the body shapes of the most admired models have remained consistently slimmer than that of the average American woman, representing a nearly impossible ideal. This has resulted in a severe rise in weight anxieties and negative body image among women and girls. Dissatisfaction with weight is nearly universal among women, while dieting is ubiquitous. This trend has likewise been reflected around the world wherever this media culture has become dominant. The result has been the massive spread of previously rare eating disorders and lifelong unhappiness toward one 's own body. The media is responsible for many of these unhealthy decisions that can and do manifest themselves in women in the US and abroad in forms such as insecurities of body image, obesity and eating disorders. First, the media’s constant barrage of slender, scantily clad women and buff, muscular, tan and half-naked men reinforced the notion of the “ideal” male and female bodies, which is exactly the type of imagery that has a negative effect on adolescents. Adolescents, especially teenagers give lots of power and credibility to many of the popular magazines. They read them daily, and in many ways use them as signifiers of what is “cool” and what is “hot” at any given time. The persuasion that magazines and print media have over the youth worldwide is
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