Due to media, bodies and images in America are no longer unique to each person as they once were before. Body image years ago were very different than it is now. Back then, there was no cultural expectation as to how you are supposed to look. In opposition to now, it used to be desirable for women to have curves and large hips.
The media today is making our young teenagers pressured into looking like the models on television and in fashion magazines. Advertising creates illusions and emphasize the importance about what an individual should look like through television, magazines, billboards and internet in attempt to sell products. “Commercials want you to worry about zits and clean pores, about your hair being shiny enough, about how muscular you are, and how much you weigh. They push at me, bring it up more in my mind (2)”.
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Media outlets such as commercials and television put such an impression on people that they all want to go out and buy this product or look this way. Today, the media is an inseparable part of a teenager’s life. An obsession with the way an individual’s body looks can lead to severe and ungenerous behaviors mentally, such as developing an eating disorder. When someone starts to Judge their body and point out the imperfections, they might go as far as eating disorders because they aren’t happy with the way their body looks. The ideal of slimness permeates almost every layer of our society’ (3). Society and the media show that if you want to be worth anything as a woman you have to be thin. This is teaching teenagers to rely on superficial appearances instead of their mind. Exposure to mass media such as TV, magazines and Internet are correlated with obesity and negative body image, which may lead to disordered eating. Women absorb the ideal body images that the media repeatedly bombs them with.
They become miserable with their own bodies and resort to eating disorders in an effort to “copycat” and reach this “perfection. ” The media is reaching out towards young individuals such as teenagers. The first role model that a child has is “Barbie” Barbie is a perfect height weight and has no flaws. She wears makeup and short little skirts to flaunt her body. As children we look to Barbie and believe we should mimic her appearance. This keeps going until they become teenagers.
Teenagers are the most vulnerable people when it comes to body image and media. They are trying to fit in at school and trying to find a medium with their body and how it should look. These boys and girls look straight to what they see every day-the media. They watch television which has models and actors who are beautiful. The role models that teenagers are looking to are beautiful, “perfect” famous people. Their perception of what is beautiful has been corrupted, due to influence from the mass media.