Is Female Perception of the Body Image Affected by the Media?

Here is an overview of the body-image issue. Read how magazines and fashion industry determine the standards of the female body.

Mass Media Effect on How We Perceive Ourselves

America certainly has many problems in its own society – institutionalized racism, poverty, ignorance, teen pregnancy and drug addiction. But another major problem lies within the work of the media, the main means of mass communication (broadcasting, publishing, and the Internet) regarded collectively. The media, whether we realize it or not, dictates what we let into our lives; this certainly affects how we perceive ourselves – because we compare ourselves, and are compared, to celebrities and other people we see in the media.

Most times, these celebrities are quite perfect-looking individuals, and so everyday people can have a low self-esteem because of new low body image – and this definitely applies to many adults and most teens, male and female alike. However, in this case, an argument will be made that illustrates how media influence the female perception of the body image.

Magazine Pics Install a Lack of Confidence

Let’s look at how females are portrayed in publications and on the Internet. Go to a magazine stand – you’ll see attractive, strikingly beautiful women on just about every cover. It’s sickening. This definitely over-sexualizes and objectifies the female beauty. But it’s been that way a long time, though that doesn’t justify why it still exists. Also, on the Internet, in newspaper ads and on billboards in dodgy parts of town, are billions of erotic pictures and videos of women. For young girls and insecure women, this instills a lack of confidence in their own appearance, and a body-image problem emerges. This problem could last a lifetime; maybe it’s the reason they hit the gym, get elective surgery or buy an expensive Italian sports car. Thanks to the media, the American public – heck, the world, too – adores so many of the same people, actors, athletes, and billionaires, that the public feels lost in the midst of things – they feel overlooked, irrelevant and worthless.

You are imperfect, permanently and inevitably flawed. And you are beautiful. ? Amy Bloom

Secondly, non-skinny, non-model-type women do appear on magazine covers, though, but they are usually overweight, maybe handsome and funny or overweight, plain looking and rich – like Queen Latifah, Oprah, Amy Schumer and Melissa McCarthy. This is terrible for a woman’s body image because it illustrates how – if you are an average-looking woman, maybe a little chubby, without a fortune, and not an actor or media mogul – you aren’t important enough to be on the cover of a magazine. Not that this means anything in the grand scheme of things, but it does happen and will continue to happen as long as the media is running the show and influencing people. Here’s the thing: wealthy billionaires run the media companies, mostly financially supported by the advertiser who depends on the consumer’s purchasing power. A woman with a low body image buys the products advertised to them in commercials hosted by beautiful bombshells of women. They purchase many things advertised to them in order to fill the void they have created for themselves, deeply instilled by the media.

People Can’t Take Their Own Mediocrity

Lastly, the two aforementioned points illustrate how media influence the female perception of the body image, and this causes the everyday woman – bombarded by advertisements, commercials, magazine covers, Web articles – to feel inferior to the women they see on TV and in the movies. This is a terrible thing, for it tends to warp the minds of insecure people, men, and women alike, who aren’t confident and comfortable in their own skin, with their own imperfect appearance and body. This is quite tragic. This is perhaps why we still see suicides and homicidal rampages, alcoholic and drug binges – they can’t take their own mediocrity, their lack of celebrity, their ordinariness. We are trained to think, in this culture, that we are nothing if we are not of some renown.


To conclude, let’s try hard to address this problem in the future. It’s easy to see how media influence the female’s perception of how they view their bodies, their looks. Women probably assess their value in comparison to the beauty or style or sexual features of a famous female. And because most everyday women in America do not look like Jennifer Aniston or Angelina Jolie, many women feel inadequate and inferior and undesirable. Until the media actively tries to include the everyday American woman in advertisements, magazine covers, billboards and TV shows, America will have this problem – and it could have many socio-economic implications that could point to a shift in confidence, along with many mental-health and low self-esteem problems.


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