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Essay about Media's Destructive Influence on Young Girls

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The image of Disney’s ravishing princess marrying her perfect Prince Charming has infatuated young girl for decades. These delightful movies present role models for young girls influencing them to dress up as their favorite princesses in the image of their Disney princess models. Many parents regard this imaginative act of child's play as charming or innocent. However, there has been much speculation about the media’s message directed towards young girls. The most prevalent source of this worry is abundant in animated films (Travail). Although animated movies are exciting for young children, recent studies have shown that these films are causing a spike in body dissatisfaction in girls. Throughout the past century negative body image among young girls has been driven by Disney’s animated movies, Barbie dolls, and Barbie’s new animated films.
Over the past century, women aesthetic appearance has dramatically changed in western civilization. In the beginning of the 19th century the ideal woman was 5’4 tall and weighed approximately 140 pounds. The Roaring Twenties brought along a more boyish looking woman referred to as a flapper. During the 1930’s, women having larger breasts and fuller waists was the image to achieve. The 1940’s and 50’s presented contraptions such as corsets and push- up bra’s for woman to accentuate thier bust lines. A transformation was brought about in the 1960’s that has swept across the nations of the world with thinner models and a brand new doll modeled after these women: Barbie. Twiggy, a British teen model, took the media by storm. She was the skinniest model ever weighting 89 pounds, standing (“The Perfect Woman”). In the 21st century this craze of being excessively thin has dominated the media and ...


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...ic to think the mind set of past sixty years can alter in the blink of an eye. Our patriarchal society will always push unrealistic body image on women, and it is highly doubtful that it will change anytime in the near future. Disney has made some developments in a new direction by taking the initiative to adjust the role of their heroine characters. Although they are still unrealistically thin, leads like Pochoantas, or Mulan step way from the redundant model of the “Disney Princess”. Majority of the responsibility now falls on parents to teach children how to become independent females relying on their hard work instead of looks. The hope is that children can learn and realize that the character in their favorite movies, or even their beloved dolls are not real women and with the correct mindset and encouragement these young girls will become confident young girls.


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