The Media's Pressure on Women to Maintain a Slender Figure Essay

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Today’s media places an extreme amount of pressure on women to maintain a slender
figure. Through childhood to adulthood, women are bombarded with images of stick skinny
women, and this is the way almost every woman wants to look. Although there are other factors,
the media is the primary source of the obsession with being thin. Why has this become such a
popular trend? This is what society says is acceptable. It has been proven that these images of
perfect women do affect the normal women who wish to look like that. Shaw and Stein found
that, “Women exposed to pictures of thin models experienced more depression, stress, guilt,
shame, insecurity, and body dissatisfaction than women exposed to photos of average sized
women or control photos” (“Media’s” n. pag.). Now, thanks to the unrealistic expectations put
on women to maintain the perfect shape, eating disorders are on the rise. Then, once they enter
college, the body images of women get even worse. They are on their own now and can eat
whenever and whatever they desire; therefore, college girls gain weight and diet. When they gain
the weight they are willing to do anything to lose it. A person’s body image can also vary
depending on that person’s race. On the surface it may seem that the media is trying to work
through this weight issue, but society already has a prejudice against being too heavy. Every
media influence is shoving in all American girls’, womens’, and sometimes mens’ faces, that thin is
in and fat is out.
The burden of attempting to have the flawless build has been climbing to unrealistic
heights in the past years. In the forty’s, the sexy look for women was to be curvaceous and have
some meat on her bones, however; from the ...

... middle of paper ...

... are considered fat. This makes for a poor self image and women are thinking they are
fat when really they are that their normal weight. If the normal weight in the 40’s and 50’s was to
be curvaceous and have some meat on your bones, how will it be in the years to come? It seems
that the normal weight keeps getting smaller and smaller. When will we be little enough? With
the extreme amount of pressure on women to be thin, who knows what the ideal woman will look
like in twenty years. If this continues, eating disorders will be vast epidemics that will spread all
through the country, worse than it is today. It is totally unrealistic to allege that the women on
TV are perfect. They may have a flawless body, but are they really happy? Women must realize
that there is no perfect figure and being “perfect” involves more than merely what you look like.

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