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Body Dissatisfaction

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First Point: The Impact of Televised Images of Thinness

Many women who have encountered some commercials advertisement with televised images of thinness must have been made to think about their appearance. There are those who choose to perceive the televised images of thinness as normal advertisements or commercials trying to sell a product or service. However, such televised images of thinness stick in the mind of some women, and they start reflecting on their image. This worsens when the viewer attempts to achieve the televised image of thinness. The impact of televised images of thinness thus sets some different perspectives. These images of thinness may be used by society to gauge the idealness of a woman. The impact of this perspective can be disturbing because social pressure is exerted on women by the entire society. Men looking for women to date will ignore women who do not seem to possess the televised images of thinness. The effect of this phenomenon is that many women and girls adapt dangerous methods of losing weight. They engage in unhealthy eating habits to achieve the televised images of thinness.

Hargreaves, Duane, and Marika Tiggemann. "The Effect of "Thin Ideal" Television Commercials on Body Dissatisfaction and Schema Activation during Early Adolescence." Journal of Youth and Adolescence 32.5 (2003): 367-373. Print.
Although there is no extensive or wide range of studies showing televised images of thinness, there is enough evidence to show that viewing these images leads to increased state of body dissatisfaction. This affects not only the adult members of society, but also young adolescent girls. Since its invention, the media has continued to be used as a great communication channel. It passes information to those who are willing to pay attention. Media began with publications of simple words, and it has now soared to new heights in the twenty first century. Media reporting in the form of TV, the Internet and radio has reached places where it never existed. Modern magazines, billboards and television are always showing images of skinny and tall models; they go further and describe these as the perfect. The big question that begs unanswered here is what is perfect beauty? According to the media, perfect implies that a modern woman must possess a trait, feature or quality of the highest degree of existence. This is what many young and old women have today aspired to become. Modern women want to achieve the level of beauty defined and portrayed by the media. What many women and girls fail to realize is that there is nothing like "thin ideal"; it is just a social construct. Viewing televised "thin ideal" has led to rampant dissatisfaction among many women (Hargreaves and Tiggemann 7). While this is true, a critical query that can be made is if there is anything like "thin ideal". However, the truth is there is no such thing. Most of the televised images are edited with Photoshop.

If to take a closer look at the televised "thin ideal", it is clear that there is no such concept. However, someone may oppose this and claim that "thin ideal" truly exists. Such a proponent can attest and say that there are women who are naturally born beautiful. Although this is true, the majority of women on the televised "thin ideal" commercials have their photos edited with Photoshop to lure public or audiences to the media. Commercial media advertisements have been known to use airbrushing to portray some impossible standards of beauty. Several magazine editors have confessed on the use of airbrushing in creating "thin ideal". Many models showed on television actually struggle against some feeding or eating disorders; nevertheless, airbrushing makes them outstandingly beautiful. It would thus be right to say that there is nothing like "thin ideal". Although information about photoshopping is so rampant in any place of the world, media producers and executives continue to use it to portray "thin ideal" which lures many unsuspecting women and girls wanting to acquire this beauty. Photoshopping has thus been used negatively to deceive many. Audiences of the "thin ideal" forget that the televised images have been adjusted to suit only commercial, temporal or even spatial moments.

Turner, Sherry L., Heather Hamilton, Meija Jacobs, Laurie M. Angood, and Deanne Howde Dwyer. "The Influence of Fashion Magazines on the Body Image Satisfaction of College Women: An Exploratory Analysis." Adolescence 32.127 (1997): 603-614. Print.

This is another article that has tried to explore the impact of televised images of thinness. However, in this case, the impact is not through television, but through fashion magazines. The main argument put across by the authors of this article is that exposure to fashion publications on the image fulfillment or satisfaction led to adverse effects. According to the authors, revelation or exposure to fashion magazines was linked to women's increasing obsession with being thin, disappointment with their bodies, and fear about deviating from thin standard" (Turner et al. 4).

The increasing demand put on women to be thin may have a devastating effect on women's self-perception, self-esteem and identity development. From this article, it can be claimed that the media has gained control of the lives of many women, especially those in the college. It is apparent that if print media is abused, many innocent women will end up suffering. Biased media will make women strive after people who in reality do not exist. In the process of becoming someone else, ladies forget about their life goals which are more important than the beauty presented by the media. Many studies have been conducted concerning the impacts of magazines on women, and the outcomes or results are very clear. Magazines must stop promoting unrealistic body images. Failure to do so will only mean that there will be more and more women waking up dissatisfied with their own looks. The media has blurred the boundaries or distinctions that differentiate reality and ideal. Images presented in magazines are very unreal. Although someone can claim and say that there are natural or good products that can make a woman realize the magazine beauty, this is not true. Nonetheless, it has been shown that the most natural or healthy beauty products leave many women in solitude. Some of them have caused adverse skin effects. Some women have been forced to undergo very expensive plastic surgeries to reform deformities caused by the natural beauty products.

Second Point: The Effect of Appearance Commercials on Body Dissatisfaction

Dissatisfaction is the immediate effect that results from unrealistic ideals of beauty or attractiveness conveyed through the media. This continues to be an urgent case that worries many behavioral theorists. Dissatisfaction among many women has led them to living lonely lives. Others who cannot put up with the pressure of dissatisfaction have committed suicide. This is especially hazardous for young adolescent girls being introduced to the world of beauty. In other situations, women and adolescent girls as young as 13 years old adapt dangerous lifestyles such as bulimia. This topic thus has the potential to raise some perspectives that are worth debating. One of them can be whether dissatisfaction among women is by choice or is it something beyond their control. Another perspective that may be raised is whether business executives and commercial producers should stop producing these commercials and run out of business.

Hargreaves, Duane, and Marika Tiggemann. "The Effect of "Thin Ideal" Television Commercials on Body Dissatisfaction and Schema Activation during Early Adolescence." Journal of Youth and Adolescence 32.5 (2003): 367-373. Print.
According to the authors of this article, adolescent girls who watched or viewed the appearance commercials exhibited greater levels of dissatisfaction when compared to those who viewed the nonappearance adverts (Hargreaves and Tiggemann 3).
One perspective of looking at the issue of the outcome of appearance adverts on lack of body satisfaction is that one may choose to see women as solely responsible for their dissatisfaction. However, it must be remembered that society defines and decides what is good or bad. As much as a woman is not bothered about her appearance, at one point, she will because society will try to enquire on her appearance. A female who fails to adapt to the idealized beauty portrayed by the media must thus find ways of ensuring she acquires the ideal beauty. Since this is not an automated process, many women end up feeling dissatisfied about their appearance. It would then be unfair to say that ladies are solely responsible for their experiences of image dissatisfaction. It is society that pressurizes women to attain "thin ideal".

Jones, Meredith. "Media-Bodies and Photoshop." Controversial Images: Media Representations on the Edge. Eds. Feona Attwood, Vincent Campbell, I. Q. Hunter, and Sharon Lockyer. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012. 36-51. Print.
This article also contributes immensely on the topic of the effect of appearance commercials on body dissatisfaction. The argument posed by the authors is that faces and bodies comprise or make up the vast majority of images that are normally circulated in the global media. What is worrying, according to the authors, is that there could no longer be real bodies. Instead, what is now contained in the global media is "media bodies" (Jones 10).

Turner, Sherry L., Heather Hamilton, Meija Jacobs, Laurie M. Angood, and Deanne Howde Dwyer. "The Influence of Fashion Magazines on the Body Image Satisfaction of College Women: An Exploratory Analysis." Adolescence 32.127 (1997): 603-614. Print.
This article has also brought out the effect of appearance commercials on body dissatisfaction. The research by these authors was consistent with previous researches done in this field. It is true that reading fashion publications lead to low levels of body image satisfaction among women (Turner et al. 6)

Having low levels of body image satisfaction is an issue that greatly affects college women. This is true because every girl going through college must experience this awkward moment. It is during college life that many women or girls learn to accept or love their bodies. Others end up becoming very unhappy with their bodies, and this leads to high levels of dissatisfaction. A fundamental question that can be asked at this level is why many girls or women encounter high levels of dissatisfaction. The answer to this question is simple. A lot of American media has defined beauty wrongly or by use of unreal means of photoshopping. Many college women tend to perceive the bodies of many models as real and ideal. However, this is not always the case.

Third Point: Revolution against Unreal Image

Digital alteration, photoshopping or image manipulation is taking a new trend. Concerned stakeholders have come to the realization that unreal image in the media is having adverse effects on many women and girls. Different perspective can possibly emancipate from this topic. It can be contended that the purpose of revolution against unreal image in the media is an attempt to kill advertisement business. Another aspect that can result from this topic is that with a revolution against unreal image beauty will be killed. There will be no standards to gauge what is beautiful. This is especially important because many advertisements are research guided. Before making an "unreal image" business executives and commercial producers are known to conduct some research on what interests the viewers. The argument in this case is that unreal images should not be left in the media to promote business. This is true because in a commercial advert aiming to reach the males, a producer can decide to use a female image. It is just unfortunate that women get to watch these advertisements or commercials. Therefore, revolution against unreal image will potentially affect business. Another perspective is that without the unreal image beauty in society may become vague. It would thus be unfair to revolt against unreal image.

Jones, Meredith. "Media-Bodies and Photoshop." Controversial Images: Media Representations on the Edge. Eds. Feona Attwood, Vincent Campbell, I. Q. Hunter, and Sharon Lockyer. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012. 36-51. Print.
Revolution against unreal image may not be a good factor at this time. However, the focus should be on educating women and society that images portrayed in print and press media are only meant for commercial and advertisement purposes. Therefore, women should become aware that taking the burden of trying to be like the super models on television and magazines would always result in unfruitful efforts. Society should also understand that trying to compare the real women and the unreal media women is wrong. Society should stop pressurizing women to resemble the media ones. Through this, a conductive relationship between body image and media can be realized. Currently, some magazines feature non-photoshopped covers and photoshop free zones (Jones 7).

This has been done to make readers realize that magazines are not responsible for women's poor body image. From this account, it can be said that there exists a close relationship between body image and media. Media can influence the perception that women have regarding their body. However, ladies will have perceptions that they choose themselves. Media will always have images, but it will be the responsibility of women to choose what they want to acquire from the magazines. Therefore, it cannot be correct to wage a war against unreal images. The only thing that is needed is for women to change their mind set. They need to accept their body image the way it is and avoid dissatisfaction.

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