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What Is True Beauty Essay

1255 words - 6 pages

Sydney Johnson
April 9, 2013

Defining true beauty
"Better Buns in 10 Days!", "Flatten Your Stomach!", and "Lose 10 Pounds in 10 Days!" These are all headlines that are thrown at women each and every day. The media today presents an unrealistic image of women, which pressures women to make unhealthy decisions. Perfection is “important” and the media has no problem letting women around the world know they are slacking. In today's society, women are plagued with images of the so-called "perfect woman”; this causes a catalyst of effects in the women of today's society. Over the years the average woman’s weight has increased while the average fashion model’s weight has ...view middle of the document...

“In recent survey by Teen People magazine, 27% of the girls felt that the media pressures them to have a perfect body, and a poll conducted in 1996 by the international ad agency Saatchi and Saatchi found that ads made women fear being unattractive or old” (“The Effects”). The pressure to look thin is starting to consume the minds of women. If magazines continue to show images of super thin models it will continue to hurt the women. Trying to be like the models in the magazines will physically, mentally, and emotionally hurt the women trying to copy the images shown. From the perspective of the mass media, thinness is idealized and expected for women to be considered "attractive." Images in advertisements, television, and music usually portray the "ideal woman" as tall, white, and thin, with a "tubular" body, and blonde hair. The media is littered with images of females who fulfill these unrealistic standards, making it seem as if it is normal for women to live up to this ideal.
Social conspiracy theory is a theory seeking to explain a disputed case or matter as a plot by a secret group or alliance rather than an individual or isolated act (Dictionary). “The social comparison theory offers some level of explanation for how media images actually come to impact the way women feel about their bodies” (Serdar). The main point of the theory is that people compare themselves on different dimensions with people that are similar to them. There are many different places that an individual can look for social comparison, but the most popular is the media and its influence on women. “Most companies that target women in the media actually attempt to replace social comparison with idealized images, in order to motivate women to buy products that will bring them closer to the ideal” (e.g. diet products, makeup, hair products).
While women are trying to lose weight and become a size two, they are not taking their health into consideration. The only thing they see is a thin more attractive self. Anorexia nervosa takes an enormous toll on the body. Anorexia nervosa is a psychiatric diagnosis that describes an eating disorder characterized by low body weight and body image distortion. According to Gina Shaw with, “between 5% and 20% of people who develop this disease eventually dies from it”. This disease usually “starts in adolescents when young people are supposed to be putting down the critical bone mass that will sustain them through adulthood” (Shaw). Bulimia nervosa, more commonly known as bulimia, is an eating disorder. It is a psychological condition in which the subject engages in recurrent binge eating followed by an intentional purging (Dictionary). Purging is done in order to get rid of the excessive intake of...

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