Out of all the reading we read, the one that stood out to me was “Male body image in America” by Lynne Luciano. This reading stood out to me the most because in the society we live in this is the type of things people expect from men. Men would get surgeries, stay in the gym and buy many grooming things to keep up with society spectations of them. In the third paragraph (page 30), Lynne mentions about the four imperatives for men today. The four imperative were that “men must be men”, “second, men must be completive and constantly demonstrating their success”, “third, they must be detached and impassive”, lastly “they must be willing to take risk and confront danger”.
“Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are”, once said Marilyn Monroe who took us to the time where you had likely loved your body and valued the numerous things it could do. In any case, on your way to adulthood, suspicious and insecurities may have slinked in. Rather than appreciating your own body qualifications and capabilities, you launch into lashing its looks. In a society where the perfect woman must have the most attractive, sexier and exemplary body and appearance, you may feel unqualified. Taking a head from this, the article “Is Photoshop Destroying America’s Body Image?”
Magazines, TV, music, books, and movies help one make decisions and take action whether consciously or subconsciously. This large sphere of influence, however, is not always beneficial for those who suffer victim to these forms of public entertainment. The medias version of beauty, shames those who are considered overweight and scares almost everyone into thinking that being thin is the only way to be pretty. Jolene Hart emphasis how important beauty is in the American culture in her book Eat Pretty: Nutrition for Beauty, Inside and Out: “There’s a multi-billion-dollar industry built on helping us achieve greater physical beauty” (Hart 33). By creating this manipulated and untrue image of beauty, the American culture encourages eating disorders like anorexia (undereating) and sustains obesity (overeating).
In the article Body Image & the Media: An Overview, the author describes the ways in which people’s opinion of themselves are being altered due to the unrealistic standards being viewed in the media. Since the growth of media and internet, people have been greatly exposed to what a “perfect” body should look like. These unrealistic standards have taken a toll on people’s physical and mental health. One envisions a perfect body image and is concerned about how others will perceive them and how they perceive themselves.
Media is comprised of the many ways society communicates. Some examples of different types of mediums are television, radio, newspapers, and the Internet. The increase of media access has had many positive impacts on the world today. However, in addition to the positive impacts caused by the media and the increase of media access, there have also been many negative impacts. For example, as media access has increased through the years, the public’s opinions of their bodies have become increasingly negative.
It’s all about how an individual looks at their own body, and it also includes their imagination, emotions, and physical feelings. “The effect of media on women’s body dissatisfaction, thin ideal internalization, and disordered eating appears to be stronger among young adults than children and adolescents. This may suggest that long-term exposure during childhood and adolescence lays the foundation for the negative effects of media during early adulthood.” (“Media, Body Image, and Eating Disorders”) The media has been able to shape culture and also influence the public's opinion.
The media has developed significantly over the years, especially in the field of advertising. Television, magazines, and music videos are some of the strongest elements influencing societies attitudes and behaviors in the United States. Eating disorders and unhealthy eating habits are on the rise, due to the distorted vision of the world and social expectations the media presents to us. With the constant exposure and availability to media outlets, the media creates an unrealistic appeal to excessive thinness. Women internalize these ubiquitous messages that being thin is the only way to be beautiful, however, women internalize these detrimental messages, and as a result, fall into unhealthy eating habits and severe eating disorders.
Thus, the ideal look for females was a natural, simple, and soft, thin, but curved body. Joan Crawford, a successful and well-known American actress, exemplified this new look desired by society. She had the perfect characteristics that society wanted in a woman during that period: hard-working, beautiful, with soft curves, and very feminine. Therefore, her pictures were widely spread in weekly magazines and on the screen.
The media creates a negative impact on women. The media portray women as thin, attractive, and sexy. Females struggle with their bodies, because of the mass media and how it depicts women. Due to the media, many women and young teenagers go to the extremes to meet this body image, many leading to health concerns. With that, many women encounter eating disorders, because they want to look like the women shown in the media.
By displaying the “perfect” picture of how one should look, this causes oneself to develop feelings of insecurity and a lack of confidence. The image which is portrayed by various advertisements is not actually possible, yet many still hope to change who they are in order to fit into society’s expectations. Many will push themselves far past the breaking point without even realizing it. By striving for the perfect body image, many people will experience an eating disorder due to all of the pressure around them and the pressure they put upon themselves. This amount of pressure many feel can come from the immense amount of advertisements they see everyday, which, unfortunately, promotes an unachievable image.
In Hesse-Biber’s article she shows, “They are barraged with messages from beauty magazines and TV, and from classmates and parents and doctors, about the value of thinness and the liability of obesity. Many of them, by virtue of being female, white, and middle class, are already primed to join the cult of thinness” (Hesse-Biber 769). Doctors, classmates, media, and family members have an everyday impact on the people around them. These people influence a person’s body image and weight. The media especially negatively influences white middle class females.
From an early age, we are exposed to the western culture of the “thin-ideal” and that looks matter (Shapiro 9). Images on modern television spend countless hours telling us to lose weight, be thin and beautiful. Often, television portrays the thin women as successful and powerful whereas the overweight characters are portrayed as “lazy” and the one with no friends (“The Media”). Furthermore, most images we see on the media are heavily edited and airbrushed
Body! Me, You, Them. Does media have an influence on body image? Millions of people, men and women all around the world have a secret obsession. The general population suffers from trying to impress other people and themselves with body image.