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Do Young People throughout the World All Strive to Attain the Ideal Body Image that the Media Portrays

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On the show, and there was a constant conversation on the Internet about her weight, how people were afraid that her partner would have a difficult time holding her. When they fell, it created more controversy. The message that this type of image in the media gives to young girls is that they must look a certain way in order to be successful. According to the Media Awareness Network (2010), one of the reasons that this thin image is so prevalent in the world is because it supports the cosmetic and diet markets.

For many women, this means that they will purchase beauty products to look younger, and they will purchase wrinkle creams or other types of beauty products to stop them from looking older. Other women do not care about looking older because they expect to grow older gracefully. For many women who do not have a positive body image already, these ads make them feel as if they are doing something wrong. According to the National Association of Anorexia and Associated Disorders (2011), one in four female college students uses some form of unhealthy way to lose weight.

These can include: fasting, using laxatives, skipping meals or vomiting. These types of behaviors can become serious eating disorders. Engelen-Maddox (2006) interviewed college women regarding how they thought their lives would change if their body image was more like one that the media glamorizes. They interviewed 109 undergraduate women in a small college in Ohio; the women were part of a voluntary participant pool in the psychology department. Women in this study imagined that there would be a variety of different rewards if they were to look like the media’ s ideal woman.

Some of those rewards included: positive (nonromantic) social attention, romantic success, less pressure about their appearance from other people, and positive psychological impact. In each of the cases, these college students felt that their lives would change positively if they looked like the media’ s idea of beauty. An interesting idea from this study was that the women did not talk about the fact that these images presented stereotypes or the fact that the media presented a fantasy image that did not reflect real life.    

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