The media has ontributed to a false sense of body image due to sociocultural factors, such as unrealistic media images of flawless beauty. Young females are more prone to believe that they must achieve society’s standards for the “perfect body. ” They believe this because, the media tells them that achieving this certain appearance will make them more acceptable in todays society. Self- esteem for women is proven to be lower than men’s starting at the age of eleven. From the age of eleven to sixteen, many young girls are exposed to the media’s ideal image of female beauty; changing the way they view hemselves.
From toys like Barbie to cartoons, girls are constantly shown how they should look in comparison to models. This cycle of image perfection for young girls is changing the way females see themselves and this is affecting the self-esteem and self-worth of all women. ‘The media-magazines, TV, films, advertising, music videos- not only emphasized that female self-worth should be based on appearance, but present a powerful cultural ideal of beauty that is becoming increasingly unattainable” (Richins, 1991; Silverstein, Perdue, Peterson, & Kelly, 1986).
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Pressure from the media and society tend to push many women towards extreme body transformations. Plastic surgery has given many women the “ideal” body they have wanted. Millions of women put themselves through self-mutilation to be their dream size or image. The media glorifies plastic surgery procedures as a way of enhancing or fixing your flaws. The encouragement of procedures from the media convinces young girls to think their own image is not good enough, which is creating distortion for beauty. For years the clich?? of a good looking man is tall, dark, and handsome.
Even though numerous men do not fit that description, the media allows men to try and achieve this ridiculous standard. The media classifies men who are muscular, tattooed, and have flawless features, are the type of ideal man every male should be. “Images that are represented by the media tend to transmit and reinforce dominant cultural ideologies as well as reject representations that question these stereotypes” (Calado, 201 1; page 50). The media endorses men to obtain this image by promoting unhealthy diets, intense workouts, steroids, etc.
With so many advertisements eared specifically toward male enhancement, they have no choice but to try and fix themselves to fit this image. Young men undergo the media’s pressure differently than women. The media has illustrated what things each gender should accomplish in order to achieve masculinity or femininity. “Boys are inclined to focus their self-worth through self-control, personal power, competitiveness and physical functioning, (dynamic picture of the body), and girls tend to associate their self-worth with weight concerns, sexual attraction and body objectification” (A.
Sep??lveda, M. Calado, 2001 , page 52). Standards the media wants society to uphold are shallow and unrealistic. The belief of self-worth coming from false body images given by the media creates self-esteem issues to those who do not fit the depiction of the “new society. ” The mass media has made people believe that the only way to achieve success in life, is by fitting into the perfect image that they demonstrate to you. Only the beautiful, thin, or muscular, and attractive, are able to prosper in todays society according to the media.
The role models iven to this generation are, celebrities and pin up models. These people fit the criteria we are supposed to be. The media teaches people every day to idolize the people who are the ideal image and strive to be like them. Society needs to move away from our appearance-obsessed culture and not rely on the media to tell what every person should look like. The media has contributed to the false sense of body image by encouraging pretentious methods to accomplish an impossible image given to society that no person is able to be.