Women Presentation in the Media
The use of the internet has turned out to be one of the greatest revolutions. Its spread has become rampant in the 21st century, with almost two-thirds of the world’s population relying on it one way or another. The internet has created a social media platform, which allows people to keep in touch regardless of their physical location. Numerous social media channels provide people with choices to choose from, depending on their preferences. Some of these channels allow the exchange of videos, pictures, voice notes, and texts.
Social media has become a way of life for many people, and they enjoy it. With the advancement in technology, at least every household owns a television. Families watching TV as they take supper in the evening has turned into a culture to most people. As a result, a lot is learned from mass media through the many programs about various social topics that inform the audience. Despite the many advantages that have been brought forth by the use of the media, it has some downfalls.
Going through the pages of a magazine, listening to the radio, watching the television, or surfing the internet, one cannot miss noticing gender discrimination. Women are sexualized, and they often tend to be slender. They do not talk much and have fewer opinions compared to men. Notably, the media portrays women in a sure way that is different from men. The attention of researchers from different disciplines has been attracted to the impact media has on body image.
Everyone wants to have a physique that is appealing in the eyes of the general public. To be more precise, women put more value on how their body looks, and they want to look trendy. As a result of this, much attention is paid to what the media has to say about body shape, size, and image. However, the famous body size in the press is not always ideal and may be unhealthy. Unfortunately, due to a lack of proper understanding, people try and imitate what they see.
In this age and era, almost every household has access to the internet, making the globe a small village. The rate at which a new trend or style spreads is very high compared to a few decades ago. Media dramatically promotes unrealistic ideals of body shape, size, and image, especially among the youths who are the most users of media platforms. Therefore the media dictates how a modern lady should look, and although not every female might favor this, they are often forced to comply.
Currently, the media technology entails websites, the internet, and some social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Pinterest, and Tumblr. They all make fast creation and dissemination of user-coded messages and instantaneous communication possible. An individual can also use these platforms to reach out to a specific audience, informing them of a particular trend.
For instance, Youtube, a site where one can add a video, and anyone who has access to the net can view it regardless of their physical location. Modeling agencies or celebrities might use such a website to influence the body shape and size of the general public (Fardouly et al. 41). In the videos, women are used as puppets to lure the audience into acquiring a particular lifestyle. For instance, a company advertising body oil might make a video of a beautiful lady using it within less than four weeks and note how the oil has helped reduce their belly size.
Unfortunately, there is no possible way that stomach oil can be reduced just by applying lotion. When other women see this, they are tempted into trying this only to be disappointed in the end. In most instances, the women we see in the media are being used to pass inaccurate information or an illusion created by some business-minded people trying to take advantage of others.
Over the years, there has been a trend of women being portrayed as merely sexual beings by the media. In most music videos, there are scenes of nude women. It has become something so familiar that people no longer regard it as immoral. Musicians believe that to sell their records, they must exhibit some nudity in their work. And people indeed tend to be attracted to a video that exposes the nakedness of women. It is because of such impressions being created by the media that society’s morals have been decaying. Our girls want to emulate what they see on TV in pursuit of impressing men and having their attention.
For a lady to be attractive, their ideal image is presented with some specific emphasis on slimness. The images of female beauty portrayed by media are narrowly defined and stressed over, but they are embellished (Shroff and Thompson 549). Females at their young age are more at risk since, at this age, they care a lot about how the opposite takes them.
They might be willing to have a body shape they see in the media just because guys seem to be into that. The pressure teen girls are exposed to by the press regarding their image is intense to the extent that some of them may depress and exclude themselves. In extreme cases, such teenagers, if not spoken to and counseled they might think of terminating their lives as they do not see the essence of living in a world where no one wants anything to do with them.
The female bodies of public figures in films and on TV are not an accurate reflection of the general population. The overweight persons are considerably underrepresented, and underweight individuals are overrepresented. This is true, especially for the ladies who have a higher chance of being skinny. The negative impact of this is that it makes those who are not thin to have to adopt a diet that will help them lose weight within the shortest time possible.
Since they are expecting results so soon, they cut on their eating too much, which makes them suffer (Tiggemann 130). Even in some cases, a person might be skipping breakfast, lunch, or supper, yet they are medically recommended. Although dieting at times is right, it should be done appropriately and should not be observed if a person falls sick. Moreover, it would be better if women would learn to accept and be comfortable with their natural physique. But this is almost impossible considering the pressure the media imposes on them.
It is worth mentioning that the media if adequately used, can positively influence society. Programs showing a healthy lifestyle are on the front line in this. The press provides its audience with access to relevant health information, starting from skincare and acne to exercising. From the media channels, people get to better understand the importance of following a physical exercise routine.
When such a culture is adopted, it goes a long way in reducing incidences of obesity at a young age. In most instances, when the media use a decent woman (mother figure) to advertise a healthy lifestyle, most people are likely to listen.
In conclusion, there was a time when women were not well represented across the media, but this has gradually changed. Women are being featured in movies and other media programs where they play significant roles. The advantage of such changes is that that it shows were are transforming from gender biases. Long gone are the days when the male gender was the only one believed to be the one capable of doing a particular occupation. As the number of ladies in the media increases, so does how they are portrayed improve.
The gender roles that are reinforced continuously in the media have a pretty significant influence on children and young youths. Mass media and social media have a high impact on the growth and development of teenagers as they always tend to emulate almost everything they see. It is, therefore, essential to portray women positively to prevent the young generation from growing up only to stereotype women. The media should be at the forefront in helping ambitious ladies break the barrier that discriminates their gender.
Fardouly, Jasmine, et al. “Social comparisons on social media: The impact of Facebook on young women’s body image concerns and mood.” Body Image, vol. 13, 2015, pp. 38-45. Accessed 17 Mar. 2018.
Shroff, Hemal, and J. K. Thompson. “Peer Influences, Body-image Dissatisfaction, Eating Dysfunction and Self-esteem in Adolescent Girls.” Journal of Health Psychology, vol. 11, no. 4, 2006, pp. 533-551. Accessed 17 Mar. 2018.
Tiggemann, Marika. “The Status of Media Effects on Body Image Research: Commentary on Articles in the Themed Issue on Body Image and Media.” Media Psychology, vol. 17, no. 2, 2014, pp. 127-133. Accessed 17 Mar. 2018.
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