Mass Media's Ideal Body Image

2082 Words 9 Pages
Look around. Every image around you are observed, process, contemplated, and stored in your mind in an instant. Your eyes are your guide to the world around you and thus, your eyes are one of your most powerful tools. And while images are some of the most influential things in today’s society, images can be deceiving in its many forms. The biggest being the media. Mass media has become extremely popular with young adolescences, and since technology allows everything to be easily accessible, media has become even more prevalent with the expansion of the Internet. Thus, the media’s influence on teenagers has grown and spread which allows for the media to spread the Western ideal body image. This body image ideal is a negative influence on people …show more content…
It is well known that “the media [is] the most persuasive and powerful” (NetGirls 63) influence on teens, ages 16-22. Media is in almost everything around the world. Media encompasses anything from the radio to television to magazines to Instagram to Facebook to the ads printed on billboards, and while media is constantly around us, media has the ability to impress upon the mind of others whatever it presents to them. Focusing specifically on visual images, the media has instated upon young adults this idea of an ideal body. For females, this takes the shape of an extremely thin body, and for males, the ideal form is a lean-muscular body (Dakanalis 998). Through different studies, the correlation of negative body image and media consumption correlates positively. Looking at the NetGirls study, the authors found that as more and more girls were increasingly looking at the Internet, then the girls increasingly internalized the thin body ideal, their body maintenance, and their want for being thin (NetGirls 632). Internalization is when young adolescents believe that the media ideal is what is accepted. Extensive studies have shown that internalization of body ideals is a major cause of the push for teens to conform. Dakanalis and fellow authors did research and found that as internalization increases in adolescents so does “feelings of anxiety and shame about [young teens] …show more content…
For women, I would call upon Victoria Secret, and for men, I would call upon Calvin Klein. Both of these two major brands are known for their models. All the Calvin Klein models are ridiculously fit with no fat what so ever on their bodies and muscles everywhere the eye can see, while all the Victoria Secret models are thin and have almost the same body shape with no fat anywhere the eye can see. Sounds familiar, right? Right, because the media ideal for males are thin-muscular bodies and the media ideal for girls are ultrathin bodies. With the fashion industry leading the charge for the ideals, it only makes sense to have the fashion industry lead the charge in combating these ideals, and who better to begin that campaign than the two brands that are known as brands obsessed with body image. Both Victoria Secret and Calvin Kline are mega brands with reach around the world and the ability to fund multimillions of dollars of different projects. If the two brands will redirect some funds through budgeting towards an initiative to create an educational program to support the awareness of ideals in the media, then they will start a wave. Other companies will begin to do the same, and a movement will start that will spread down to young

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