The Media and Body Image

December 11, 2010
By lovethelifeyoulive BRONZE, Ft. Gibson, Oklahoma
lovethelifeyoulive BRONZE, Ft. Gibson, Oklahoma
4 articles 0 photos 1 comment

Favorite Quote:
"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." -Eleanor Roosevelt.

How media affects the body image of people of all different genders, races, and even ages is a very controversial topic. Some people would argue vehemently that today’s media has a huge effect- that’s not always the best- on people’s body images. However, there are others who would argue that the media can’t affect your body image unless you let it. Well both these sides have valid points; I tend to agree that the media today is affecting a lot of people’s body image—and usually not in a very positive way.

I think that a huge way that media affects body image is through the unrealistic, picture-perfect images of people they display. The super thin, flawless models in various magazines or the extremely muscular and handsome body-builders on commercials are just few of the examples that relate. Even I will admit to have opened a magazine or turned on the T.V., and having seen one of those flawless models, thought “Oh, I wish I could look like that…” Of course, in my case, since I’m lucky enough to have pretty good self esteem, I was able to dismiss it, but there are a lot of people in the world today that have low self-esteem and might not be able to just dismiss it. What’s worse is that a large portion of people who lack self-esteem and have low body image are teenagers, and the picture-perfect images are often targeted at them specifically in order to sell the product. By displaying these images constantly in the media, some people do begin to doubt themselves, and think that they have to look like those images instead of just embracing themselves the way they are.

I also recently conducted a survey to see how many people have had the media affect their body image or have known someone whose body image has been affected by the media and found that around 75 percent of the people I surveyed either had media affect their body image in some way or knew somebody whose body image was affected by the media. This leads to prove my point of view that the media can damage and is damaging people’s body image on a daily basis.

So, now that you know my point of view, which is that the current media has a negative effect on many people’s body image, you might be wondering on what I suggest as a solution. Personally, I think that if the media would focus on trying to be somewhat more realistic, that people’s body image wouldn’t be as affected. I’m not saying that the media can’t hire pretty models or put some make-up on them, I’m simply suggesting that they don’t do things unnatural like airbrush them or computer edit them drastically. When the media does things like airbrushing and editing, it’s no wonder people’s body images are being affected in a negative way. The media should be advertising with natural and realistic people—and not models who look they have been starving themselves or airbrushed images, and maybe, they just might even see better results and audience response from doing so as well.

The author's comments:
I was inspired to write a piece on this topic because of a dear friend I have who has suffered with low-esteem/body image partially because of the media today.

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