Mass Media Influence On Beauty

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1. Introduction The perception of beauty is ever changing, sometimes for the better and unfortunately, sometimes for the worse. Over the years, the mass media has come to play an increasingly bigger role in influencing the way people view beauty. For instance, floral pantsuits, sequined leotards or short dresses in the flapper style were the popular outfits back in the roaring twenties because the media had aggressively promoted it but, today it is deemed as old fashioned and ugly – the media and the fashion industry no longer sees it as fashionable (1). The way we view ‘beauty’ is distorted by the media. Body Image Research found that 80% of the girls in America claimed that reading magazines for 60 minutes had lowered their self-esteem. (7). The purpose of this paper is to examine the influence mass media has on American’s teenage girls’ perception of beauty. This research paper will provide an overview of the changing face of mass media. It will then examine how mass media has been dictating what teenage girls should look like over the years and followed by what they did to achieve the results they want. 2. Overview 2.1 Definition of mass media Mass media are tools used for the transfer of ideas, purpose and objectives towards a large number of audience or people (6). We are undeniably living in a world ‘saturated by media sounds and images’ (7). The media has the power to have long term effects and short term effects on the audience, to a certain extent. (9). The mass

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