Should Media Change Women’s Ideal Body Image? Essay

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In today’s society mass media creates unrealistic body images of women not ever being thin or flawless enough. Advertising companies overly edit and photo shop images of women to create the so-called perfection that is the norm in the advertising world. These images of the “perfect” body send negative messages and create insecurities amongst many women. As the mass media use unrealistic models to advertise its products and services, this sets the idea that the “ideal” woman must be unhealthily thin and blemish free. Advertisements of these “perfect” women negatively affect the way women feel about their physical appearance and therefore affect women mentally as well. Should mass media chose to change the way they advertise and portray the “ideal” women? What if they used healthy, more realistic women to advertise products and services? Advertising companies should strive to portray the “ideal” women as that of real women today and create the message that all women are beautiful.
The mass media portrays the images of thin, flawless women all over magazines, television, billboards, and etc. For some women, the desire to look like that “perfect” model on the television or on that magazine article begins to consume their thoughts and diminish their self-confidence. As stated in the article “Media Effects on Body Image: Examining Media Exposure in the Broader Context of the Internal and Other Social Factors” by Vonderen and Kinnally, “This mediated thin-ideal is present in mainstream media, and mainstream media are a source women turn to for information about how to look” (41). As women continuously see these advertisements of “perfect” models, insecurities arise and women feel unsatisfied with their bodies. There is a plethora of evi...

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... and have cut down on the use of digitally retouching photos. Advertising companies have the power to create awareness that all women are beautiful the way they are and thus to encourage women to live a healthy and positive life.

Works Cited
Bessenoff, Gayle R. “Can the Media Affect Us? Social Comparison, Self-discrepancy,
and the Thin Ideal.” USA: Psychology of Women Quarterly 30 (2006): 239–251.
Web. 6 April 2014.
Kinnally, William, and Kristen E. Van Vonderen. “Media Effects on Body Image:
Examining Media Exposure in the Broader Context of the Internal and Other Social Factors.” American Communication Journal 14.2 (2012): 42-53. Web. 6 April 2014.
Spencer, Steven J., Erin J. Strahan, and Mark P. Zanna. “Don’t Take another Bite: How
Sociocultural Norms for Appearance Affect Women’s Eating Behavior.” ScienceDirect. Elsevier, 15 June 2007. Web. 6 April 2014.

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