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women image & Media

March 18, 2016 | Author: | Posted in advertising, communications and media

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Women and the Media

There ‘s no doubt that the media affects our culture and reflects our ideals , but is its influence strong enough to affect our behavior ? When it comes to portrayal of women , particularly of the physical ideal of women , the media can indeed contribute to – if not cause – negative and self-destructive behaviors

The Ideal ‘ Woman

The ideal woman ‘ as presented in advertising and other media is desperately thin and bears little resemblance to the average American woman . The average woman today is [banner_entry_middle]

about 5 feet , 4 inches tall and weighs 140 pounds . The average model , by contrast , is 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighs 117 pounds .1 Despite the fact that these models represent only about 2 percent of the female population , women and girls still believe that they should be as thin as the women they see in advertisements and on television

In fact , not only are the women shown in ads and on television thin many are actually underweight . This means that this ideal ‘ that so many women believe they should live up to is not only unrealistic but also unhealthy . Even the media itself has recognized this through references to the lollipop ‘ phenomenon – where a woman is so thin that her head seems to be out of proportion and too large for her body Sadly , this image of the attractive woman is so ingrained that if we see an average-sized woman on television she appears fat ‘ in comparison

Affect on Young Women

Younger women in particular are at risk for unhealthy behaviors that might be , at least in part , caused by the body ideal they see in the media . In a survey conducted on a college campus , 80 of women claimed to be dissatisfied with their figures . 91 of the women surveyed had dieted to try to alter their figure and 25 admitted to suffering at some time from anorexia or bulimia . 2 Supporting the theory that the media is at least partially responsible for negative body image is a study done by Harvard Medical School in May of 1999 . The study documents the rise in eating diss among Fijian women , most of them 14 to 22 years old , from 1995 to 1998 . In 1995 , only 3 of the women reported having vomited to control their weight . By 1998 , the percentage of women reporting having vomited to lost weight had risen to 15 .2 What contributed to this increase in unhealthy behavior ? American television became available in Fiji in 1995 , bringing with it images of thin beautiful women and introducing the Fijian women to that unattainable ideal

Self-destructive behaviors such as bulimia or anorexia are not the only way young women are trying to change their bodies . Thanks to television shows like The Swan ‘ Dr . 90210 ‘ and other before and after type programs , plastic surgery has become more popular than ever . Between 2000 and 2004 the American Society of Plastic Surgeons reported a 20 increase in teen cosmetic surgery .3… [banner_entry_footer]

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