The Media’s Role in a Woman’s Beauty Essay

For such a long time, for as long as anybody could remember women have consistently been perceived as the inferior and weaker sex. Many may argue and say that this isn’t the case anymore but unfortunately it is considering the fact that although women now have equal rights as men and aren’t necessarily controlled by them anymore, men still are considered the dominant, stronger and more powerful sex. Due to this, women’s physical appearance plays a very important role in society.

Because of women being perceived in such a way, the only thing that gives women absolute power over men is their physical appearance, a man goes weak for a beautiful female. The sad thing is that we have let society define the beauty of a women and a major part of this society is the media. Women have always been perceived and portrayed as sex symbols, as if that is what they are only good for. Men and others in society don’t care about a woman’s intelligence if they look good. Our society has let a woman’s looks overshadow everything else that she is.

Our society, has constructed itself into a society so image obsessed when it comes to women, in which color, body figure, and every aspect of a woman’s face is the source to why people approve or disapprove of that woman. Media affects the way young girls and adult women all around the world view themselves. This is why our generation of women is so self-conscious about their physical appearance, and this is affecting their health. There are many methods in which the media encourages women to disfigure and damage their bodies.

Even celebrities and models, which are the people that represent what women should look like, suffer because of the way the media makes people perceive them. Society and the media are absolutely obsessed with physical female perfection, which prevents many women from being content and satisfied with the way they look. We live in a society in which most of the women seen in the media are young skinny, white with perfect breasts, perfect hair, perfect eyes, skin, nose, cheekbones.

The media views these women as the most beautiful women on the earth, and let’s face it every woman wants to be one of the most beautiful females ever, because we have let society define us by our physical appearance. We let the way the women in the media are perceived affect us, we let them alter and shape our self-esteem. The problem with us females is social comparison, we compare ourselves too much with other women. The media of course doesn’t help. The standards of beauty in the media are almost completely impossible and unattainable for most women.

The mass media uses unrealistic models with unrealistic faces and bodies, which sends out a message to every girl that tells them “in order for you to be beautiful, you have to be unhealthy,” because these model’s weight are below what is considered healthy body weight. Due to the fact that we were viewed as the weaker sex for such a long time, we are vulnerable to the way people view us, and therefore we are vulnerable to the damaging effects of the media and what they consider beauty.

Body image has become such an important aspect of our lives that we allow the media control our emotions and perceptions of our physical appearance. Men hardly go through this, studies show that females experience body dissatisfaction at a much higher rate than males. The media objectifies women as sex symbols, if we were to count how many naked or semi-naked bodies we see in the media and separate them by sex, females would have a much more amount. The media wants to show off a woman’s body to the world, this is a woman with a flat stomach perfect round breasts, slim hips, and smooth skin.

When it comes to face, in media standards a women should have plump rosy lips, exotic eyes, thin nose, eyebrows that look drawn on, perfect white teeth, and beautiful long silky hair. All of these things damage a woman, it causes medical conditions such as anorexia and bulimia, it causes the need for plastic surgery which can be extremely dangerous and it causes depression. It is astonishing that a woman is willing to sacrifice themselves, their comfort and endure pain to achieve the physical appearances of women in the media. The truth is that the media lies.

These women we see in the media, which we admire on a physical level, which we are longing to look like, will most likely not even look the same in person. Reality is that magazines in which these women are present, airbrush photos, and use expensive computer technology to fix, correct and hide their blemishes and figure flaws. These women aren’t real. Many of them aren’t even what they seem to be, all they are is plastic surgery, they never actually had such a “beautiful” face and “gorgeous” body, so you can’t necessarily call it beauty because it is false.

An actress named Jamie Lee Curtis posed for a magazine in 2002 in her sports bra and shorts, she looked flawless in the pictures but she was true to herself and said she actually had “… very big breasts and a soft, fatty little tummy… and… back fat. ” Media portrays women in such an unrealistic way making girls all round the world harm themselves over images that aren’t even real. Even celebrities seen walking on the red carpet for award shows, may seem so perfect but we never know what they have under that dress.

Their stylists actually select their clothes to make them appear perfect even though they may not have the best body. Many of these celebrities actually wear tight-fitting undergarments to flatten their stomachs, to look good in that dress, when they take everything off, they would probably even be unrecognizable. Media plays an important role on how we physically view ourselves from a very young age, due to the toys we play with and television. Concerns over weight appearances surface really early in women, and it continues throughout our whole life, until we are old and wrinkled.

We may not have been born that way, but physical appearance becomes a very important part in our development and in our lives since childhood. Studies have demonstrated that almost half of girls ages 6-8 want to be thinner. One reason why young girls feel this way, is toys, more specifically Barbie dolls. Many young girls look at a Barbie doll and say “This is what I want to look like. I want to be her. ” Being the cultural icon of female beauty, Barbie provides a role model for young girls aging 3-10. Actually, 99% of 3-10 year old girls in the U. S own at least one of these dolls.

However, Barbie is extremely thin; her weight and body proportions are very unhealthy. A Barbie doll provides a body image for young girls whom they begin to admire, and this becomes part of their developing self-concept and body image. Young girls start having an anti-fat attitude, we even see little girls every day making fun of heavier girls. Boys don’t go through this, because they don’t necessarily have a male doll with a perfect body which they look at as a role model due to his beauty, they play with action figures and superhero dolls so all they really want to be is strong and brave.

Young girls are exposed to such dolls, and build up emotions and mind sets from those dolls when they these dolls aren’t even realistic. Researchers produced a computer model of a woman with Barbie-doll proportions, they found out that her back would be too weak to support the upper weight of her upper body, and her body would be too narrow to contain more than half a liver. If a real woman was built in a Barbie doll like figure she would suffer from chronic diarrhea and die from malnutrition through time.

These are what young girls look up to though, and they want this body, not realizing that this body is unrealistic, and as the young girl owning a Barbie doll grows up she’ll feel the same way towards other women who represent beauty according to beauty standards. Some girls, at very young ages are introduced to beauty pageants by their parents, these pageants are supposed to build them self-confidence, great experiences, and comfort in any situation. Although it does provide young girls this, it also sexualizes these little girls, which is what women have always been perceived as, sex symbols.

Beauty pageants give these little girls and other little girls watching them, the idea that it is okay to judge women on their physical appearance. Beauty pageants deny the full humanity of women, and makes them an object. Other little girls end up wanting to be these little girls in the pageants and put make up on and try to lose weight, when they are still babies to the world. The little girls in the contest, when they grow up, they are going to be used to being beautiful all the time and go to extremes to keep the beauty that the media has introduced us to.

This can again lead to disorders such as anorexia. The way media perceives beauty also has a major effect on female’s dreams. Many women don’t look nothing like the women in the media, they aren’t as skinny, as light skinned, they don’t have the right amount of breasts, they don’t have long hair, but they still are beautiful and may be even more determined, intelligent and dedicated then those who are already in the media. However, they are disapproved because they don’t meet to media standards of beauty, which is very unfortunate.

Many girls dream to be models, or singers, even actresses, they work hard and do anything they can to get their name heard but they never get anywhere because of they just can’t seem to meet media standards of physical appearance, which is absolutely unjust. These girls, turn the other way practice unhealthy ways of losing weight, or do plastic surgery and then come back with their dream or just give up on it, end up with a career they hate and live a miserable life. It is truly unjust.

Women have actually died or been close to death because of the way media defines a woman’s beauty, they’ve either become anorexic and developed other illnesses from this, or went under very dangerous plastic surgeries. Celebrities such as Mary-Kate Olsen, Lindsay Lohan, Nicole Richie, and Demi Lovato have all been susceptible to eating disorders. These women are already in the media, and the media portrays a certain type of beauty they felt they didn’t have, so they took drastic measures to make sure they belonged and stayed in the media. What Demi Lovato went through exemplifies completely what the way media perceives beauty can do to women.

Demi Lovato, was a chubby child, and then became this beautiful young girl with a healthy weight. She then started losing lots of weight, and she admitted she was anorexic and bulimic, she would also injure herself, and she also became somewhat of an alcoholic, because of the pressures of the media. She said she “was performing concerts on an empty stomach… I was losing my voice from purging. I was self-medicating. I was not taking medication for depression, and I literally was so emotionally whacked out that I took it out on someone that meant a lot to me. ” The media and everything that came with it made her have a nervous breakdown.

This can happen to any girl, and the media’s standards of beauty have a lot to do with it, how can a real girl feel beautiful and good about herself when the media portrays unrealistic female beauty? Many people may disagree that the media has anything to do with a girl wanting to change the way she looks, because now we have much more curvier and heavier females in the media. A female such as Adele, who is only 24 years old and is more successful than many older women in the media who have been in the entertainment industry for a very long time, isn’t the thinnest person alive. Adele is a real woman, and many young girls look up to her.

She has made much more money than many other skinnier females in the media. Another person who is much curvier and heavier than a Barbie doll is female rapper Nicki Minaj. Men love her, they fantasize over her, and she isnt the skinniest person either, so it would be understandable why people would think that the media doesn’t cause young girls disorders such as anorexia or cause females to be insecure about themselves. However, it does, and Nicki Minaj’s body is all plastic surgery, the new thing these days is a huge butt, and a small waist which is what Nicki Minaj’s body is.

Every emale wants he curves, and now this is leading to dangerous plastic surgeries. For example Mexican singer, Alejandra Guzman she was hospitalized and almost died with an infection from buttocks injections which she did to make herself “more beautiful. ” As for Adele, she is always criticized by others in the media, saying she should lose weight, so although she has all that money and has been extremely successful, she isn’t fully accepted yet. It doesn’t matter, whatever the media wants a woman to be, whichever way they portray a woman, other girls are going to want that too, and they’ll do whatever they can to get it.

The media plays a very important part in how a woman views herself. Media’s beauty also affects colored people, the entertainment industry is dominated by white people. The media must create a fantasy world in which we all want to live in, which is why they feel women must be perfect. Due to this, magazines, television, movies and advertisement hardly feature colored women as their stars or on their covers, this is because Hollywood executives know that a white woman wouldn’t fantasize about looking Latina, black or Asian.

One black woman even said, “As a teenager, I was obsessed with achieving the ‘white girl’ look: slim hips, perky breasts, flat stomach. I hated that I didn’t look like white models in my magazines. ” Many celebrity black women are even suspected of bleaching their skin. They are influenced to do it because women with lighter complexion receive much better treatment in Hollywood, television, magazines, they’ll get better endorsements. It isn’t only about the body figure, the media makes women insecure about every little aspect of their body, from head to toe.

Maybe if the media weren’t so cruel, so demanding, many young girls won’t go through the depression caused by low self-esteem that they go through now. If the media will view all types of women as beautiful, if they wouldn’t objectify women so much and perceive them as sex symbols, every woman will be much more satisfied and comfortable with themselves. Much more women would be more successful, and only then could we be actually equal to men.