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Essay on Media and Body Image: The Negative Side of Media

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Imagine someone telling another, “You’re ugly just the way you are. That maybe, if you lost 20 pounds and wore a cool tie like me, you could look and be fabulous.” Well, everyone is constantly being told this every day, but in a more subtle way–through media. Media are the means of communication, like television and newspapers, magazines, and advertisements that reach or influence people. Society today is surrounded by media. But these means of communication are attacking teens with false images. Think about all of the advertisements in cosmetics, clothes, dietary supplements or muscle enhancers, how many times would the thought of “I would look that much better if I wore that Maybelline mascara that it’d make me look like Scarlet Johansson? If my muscles would be bigger I’d look like that dude that plays Thor?” The media has powerful influences on society, and the medium has negative effects on the youth and their body image.
Teens are struggling with their body image. These insecurities are brought out when they look at “perfect” women and men in media (Gandhi). It’s hard to hear that teens will do anything to become an image that doesn’t exist. According to American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery “In 2012, there were 130,502 plastic surgery procedures done for teenagers under the age of 18 in the USA” (ASAPS). The reason why most teens do this, is to achieve this perfect image; but, don’t realize that these images are fabricated. And in reality, these models they see in ads are giving up their health to contribute to a false image. In the 1970’s, models weighed 8% less than an average woman, and in the 1990’s, models weighed 23% less than the average woman (The Negative Side of Media). In effect, teens are comparing them...


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...). There’s no wonder why eating disorders exist now more than ever. People must all become self-aware of this problem media welcomes, and do not encourage the traits of an image that degrades that of another human being.


Works Cited
"ASAPS." News Releases. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Apr. 2014
Cruz, Jamie Santa. "Body-Image Pressure Increasingly Affects Boys." The Atlantic. Atlantic Media Company, 10 Mar. 2014. Web. 15 Apr. 2014.
"Eating Disorders." PBS. PBS, n.d. Web. 13 Apr. 2014.
Gandhi, Kiara. "The Photoshop Effect." Ghana HomePage, Resource for News, Sports, Facts,
"The Negative Side of Media." The Negative Side of Media. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Apr. 2014.
"Oprah.com." Oprah.com. N.p., 01 Jan. 2008. Web. 15 Apr. 2014.
"Self Image/Media Influences." Just Say Yes RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Apr. 2014
"Solutions for Eating Disorders." - Body Image. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Apr. 2014.



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