Media Affecting Young Women

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Young Women Deceived by the Media In today’s society, some form of media constantly surrounds us. Whether it is a television commercial telling the viewers to buy shampoo that will make their hair look like they just stepped out of a salon or a tabloid asking grocery shoppers to guess the celebrity’s body, the emphasis on appearance in our society can not be ignored. Teenagers are looking at models that wear perfectly draped sweaters that hang loosely over skyscraper legs, and they desire to look the same way. However, when those thoughts run through their mind, they create questions of what normal truly is. The media has a very powerful effect on virtually all areas of society, particularly young girls. Our society places high value on beauty and body image. Attractive people are “viewed as being happier, more successful, smarter, more interesting, warmer, more poised, and more sociable” (Hesse-Biber, 59). Magazines, movies, and commercials, among other outlets, have spoon-fed girls with the idea that they can only be beautiful if they have long legs, great hair, and curves in all the right places. According to modern day society, girls should walk and talk pretty, have perfect skin, and cake on makeup; they should watch their weight and keep up with the newest trends in fashion. The mass media depicts unrealistic images of beauty, which have led many adolescent girls to attempt to become these unattainable figures. Girls go to extreme measures to imitate society’s impractical beliefs of beauty. The pressure that society puts on women to be thin is unhealthy, which links to the increasing rate of eating disorders and psychological problems among young women. There have been plenty of studies linked to the negative impacts of body image caused by the media. In 1999, Anne Becker and Rebecca Burwell of the Harvard Eating Disorders Center found that media

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