Explanatory Synthesis: Media Effects on views of Women

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Have people every considered how they would perceive beauty if images of what men and women should look like were not constantly thrown at them? Advertisers often emphasize sexuality and the importance of physical attractiveness in an attempt to sell products, which results in both men and women striving to imitate the “perfect image”. In “The Empire of Images in Our World of Bodies” by Susan Bordo, “ A Woman's Beauty: Put Down or Power Source?” by Susan Sontag, and “A&P” by John Updike there is a common argument that the media has changed the way our world perceives beauty. As it turns out, most people, especially women, feel that the media pressures them to have a perfect body and have a strong fear of being unattractive or old. Advertising media adversely impacts women's body image, which can lead to unhealthy behavior as women and girls strive for the ultra-thin body idealized by the media. Advertising images have also set unrealistic ideals for males, and men and boys are beginning to risk their health to achieve the well-built media standard. “The Empire of Images in Our World of Bodies,” Susan Bordo seeks to disrupt the unrelenting invasion of unhealthy and unrealistic beauty standards that hold sway in a media driven society. By using real life examples like how Susan Sarandon looks younger today than she did twenty years ago and how little girls are “vamping up”, Bordo emphasizes how the media saturates our environment with Hollywood standards of female beauty that dictate personal identity. Bordo demonstrates that women of all ages are strongly affected by the media; as such, women may feel pressure to attain and maintain a thin youthful figure and may endure surgical and cosmetic procedures or starvation to obtain it. This synthesis of her experiences with women of all ages from her four year old daughter, tweens, and college students and her

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