Women and the Media
How advertising and the media affects girls body image.
Miss North Carolina International
The average person in the United States sees approximately 3,000 ads in magazines, billboards, and television every day. With that said, advertising in teen magazines and on television typically glamorizes under weight models. This representation of women is false when comparing women portrayed in the media and the average sized woman. In fact, today's models generally weight 23% less then the average woman.
The average height and weight for a model is 5'10" and 110 lbs, and the height and weight for the average woman is 5'4" and 145 lbs, it's easy to see why this creates a tremendous health risk for young girls. Girls are seeing what the media says is the “perfect” woman or the “perfect” weight and girls are striving to fit into what our culture tells us is beautiful. Many of these girls strive to look like the women they see in the media but become discouraged when even after starving themselves, obsessive workouts and obsessing over our cultures “ideal” they find themselves still falling short of physical perfection. For many girls this ideal of beauty is unattainable and no matter how hard they try you can’t change your genes.
I am a firm believer in staying healthy through exercise and healthy eating. I believe that taking care of ones physical body is part of the loving yourself process and I advocate a healthy weight that is right for the individual girl. A problem that many girls face is wanting to fit into the standards that are impressed upon them through our media. I tell girls the key to physical perfection is to love the so-called imperfections, even those things about your body that you may not see as perfect. There is no such thing as the perfect woman. Even the most beautiful women in the world are being air brushed in pictures. If you look closely the women in the magazine have amazingly smooth skin, toned tanned bodies and blinding white teeth. You’ll find that these women also don’t have pores, what we are seeing is a computer image that was put together using some magic on a computer. The result is that girls are trying to look like something that isn’t even real. I would like to see models shown just as they are, show casing and accepting every freckle and beauty mark. What I find to be beautiful is not this fake image of the perfect woman instead a woman who is confident and loves herself for all the so-called imperfections she may have. Real women have pores, blemishes and fine lines they also contain real beauty that has nothing to do with physical appearance or the number on the scale. Why are we letting the advertising world and our media tell us how we should look. Their motive is to tell us our freckles aren’t pretty you should cover them up with this foundation, or your lips need to be fuller so buy this gloss to make them bigger. The list goes on and on and the motive behind the message is consumerism. Through their advertising they are attacking girls self esteem so they will feel as if they need to get something or do something to make them better. I am going against the grain and speaking against the pressures of perfection. I hope to change how women see themselves. Real women have real beauty, real curves and real so-called imperfection. Those “imperfections” are what makes every woman unique and beautiful in her own way. We need to stop seeing ourselves as something to always be perfected. My dream is for every girl to see herself as beautiful from the inside out.
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