Women in the Media

July 28, 2008
By Alleea Hill, Maplewood, NJ

Alleea Hill

In America, women have rights. They have the right to obtain a job as a pilot or even as a judge. Women can indeed set astronomical limits for themselves, but what happens when they cannot measure up to what they see around them?

What happens when they sadly but surely begin to see women like themselves on billboards and television screens with overly large breasts, perfect features and such slim bodies?

They begin to feel like this is how they should also look and begin going through extreme measures.

Unreal depictions of women are instilled in minds very young. Barbie is in the play chest of many girls all around the world. As girls look up to Barbie as an idol, they begin to realize being a girl means being beautiful.

Society and the media both begin to teach young girls that they are judged by their appearance and not that uniqueness that sets them aside from everyone else. Girls believe that they need to look just like a Barbie and boys believe they are supposed to be with a girl that looks like Barbie. The issue with this is that Barbie is an incorrect model of all women, so people are trying to attain something that is impossible.

Due to the harsh realities of the media, consequences follow. Young girls and women fall for cosmetic surgery, and begin relying on “the knife” on hopes of achieving perfection.”

For example, Kacey Long, whose story was, featured on the MTV series "I Want a Famous Face,” stated “I thought that my body was too "bottom"-heavy. I was a "barely B" and I told my plastic surgeon to make me ‘perfect’.”

Why would Long think that she needed a surgeon to make her look perfect? Some may say she was just insecure or that she was stupid, but what would make her feel that way?

The media made her feel that way. The media made her feel like a B-cup was the worst thing. They continuously force women to believe that big busts, tiny waists, and polished faces are perfect.

Kacey Long went through the surgery believing things would be better since she was going to be transformed to perfection. Sadly, she was mistaken.

She says “Immediately after surgery, I began experiencing weird, shooting arm pains. Then slowly, every joint/bone/muscle in my body was in excruciating pain. I was exhausted all of the time, had no energy, experienced hair loss, and had pains in my chest, heart and ribs. I had trouble remembering things and thinking clearly. The list goes on and on---before implants, I just had allergies.”

This is only one incident of cosmetic surgery gone wrong. Women look at themselves in the mirror and frown because they don’t look like what the media glamorizes. They see that the only thing they are good for doing is looking good, and when they feel like they cannot even do that, they look to surgeons and indulge in cosmetic surgery.

They are true victims of the negative portrayal of women in the media. The only way this could be changed is if society takes a stand to begin treating women with more respect and start broadcasting them realistically.

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