The Thin ideal

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The impact of media images on men and women in America is a formation of an unrealistic illustration of the thin ideal. The media has painted a picture of “the perfect body”, people who choose to accept these ideals develop a fantasy and fictitious image of what the ideal body is. In our society, where the mass media is the single strongest transmitter of unrealistic beauty ideals, it is often held responsible for the high proportion of women and men who are dissatisfied with their bodies. The Thin Ideal There is an obsession to be thin in America. It is an obsession that affects our lifestyle like never before. This lifestyle has affected our relationships, activities, and our way of life. Seid (1989) points out “We pursue thinness and fitness in response to a now-invisible aesthetic and moral structure. We believe them to be healthier, more beautiful, and good. The unusual alliance between our beauty and health standards gives the imperative to be fat-free a special potency and has bred an ancillary conviction that thinner is also happier and more virtuous” (p.52). There is a fine line between healthy and thin. Sometimes we try to associate these media driven beautiful bodies as being healthy, when in essence they are just a fabrication of what is actual health. The thin ideal is body type’s men or women portray through the media which encompass a thin build, a model look, and an acceptable standard of beauty. This ideal increased rapidly through publications such as Playboy centerfolds and Miss America Pageants. Kalodner (2003) explains, “Alarmingly, they found that approximately 60 to 70 percent of these models weighed 15 percent below their expected body weight” (p.25). This brings huge health concerns, and what the media portrays to be perfect and ideal is really sick and unhealthy. Kalodner continues, “The majority of models have 10 to 15 percent body

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