Media & Television: Body Image
You would think that with all the media featuring women from around the world , young women would look at it as a good thing and celebrate the beauty of women. Little do people notice is that this actually leaves young women with a low self-esteem and unhappy with the way their body looks. Nowadays the media uses many different tactics to expose their “perfect” women some include television, social media, and advertisement. With the many different ways media shows women in “perfect bodies”, it’s hard to believe how much body image has increased over the years.
Throughout the world television media has been shown with various responses mainly negative from young women. A few examples of television media that’s widely known and can cause low self-esteem for young women are the Victoria Secret commercials, Dior perfume, and diet plans such as Nutrisystem. Amanda Leigh Mascarelli states “Television, advertisement, and more can send young girls the wrong message about what is a healthy -and normal- body weight.” (“The media’s dangerous influence on body image” , September 19, 2014). Through this article I learned that the country of Fiji had gained access to television not to long ago, precisely 1995. Young women mostly viewed American television but started to realize how different their bodies looked compared to the people you see on television. This is where the concerns on body image escalated. Many girls begin to dramatically lose weight and in some cases have an eating disorder. Before television was exposed to these women there were no cases of women having low self-esteem or even a case of eating disorders. This makes me wonder what does the future hold if more television media is being shown and with content that females would find appreciative and try to follow the same thing to look the same.
In this generation social media has been a huge factor to promoting negative body image. This time we are known as the “selfie generation” where Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, etc take up most of our time and our attention. I use to think that social media was made for communication only, no selfies, status updates, or daily reminders. Caroline Know states “As if adolescence weren’t painful enough, the pressure to be “camera-ready” may be adding to teens’ body dissatisfaction – and leading to self-destructive behavior.” (Parenting Editor/ Mom of one. 4/28/2014) Through this article I learned that social media sites have secretly promoted body-image. For one thing on social media you can look up at your peers and compare yourself with their images. There’s also filter on these sites that not only enhance your pictures but can also make you look like something your not which is what a lot of girls do because they’re not satisfied with the way they look and want to look even better. With social media being such a hit, it’s hard to picture what the future holds. Are filtered images going to become even worse, are girls going to find a way to embrace their bodies and say they’re happy with the way they look?
Advertisement is probably the biggest piece of media that promotes and enhances negative body imaging. Most advertisement can be found outside your home such as on billboards, bus stops and on public busses. If you go to the city you’ll find it everywhere. According to Amy Roeder, “Women and girls compare themselves to these images every day,” and “And failure to live up to them is inevitable because they are based on a flawlessness that doesn’t exist.” I learned through this article that advertisements are all around and it’s gotten to the minds of 6-year-olds that they have to be a certain weight too. I noticed that the perfect body is considered a tall model, skinny and sometimes light skin with digitally altered proportions. This has me wonder if there should be a stop to the advertisement in areas where children can see ads or if the government can regulate anything. My main question is what’s in store for the future of kids who are already looking or watching their weight?
To conclude, the media has shown images of women from around the world and gives normal women the idea that what they look like isn’t exactly satisfying. The media has various ways of promoting, some examples include television, social media, and overall advertisement all of which contribute to women lowering their self-esteem.