For decades women’s body image being unfairly portrayed. On every platform of social media there is a propaganda of idealized picture of women’s body image and beauty. Many women today are dissatisfied with their body and its obvious result of the culture we live in, the culture that constantly imposing on us the standards of feminine beauty as a required attribute. As a young girls women learn that if they want to be attractive and attention worthy, they would have to go through some modifications of their body. There is a lot of expectation these days on woman’s beauty. The assumed idea of how woman is supposed to look like can cause many problems for them in different spheres of their life whether its health both mental and physical, their social life- friends, family and work and their private life.
Women had met a lot of problems in a workplace just because of how they look like, and such normal processes like aging could make them lose their positions. The author of the book “ The Beauty Myth” Naomi Wolf states that in 1971, a judge has sentenced a woman to lose three pounds a week or go to prison. In 1972 beauty was considered as something that could help a women legally get or lose their job. The infamous Playboy Club fired a woman who was working there as a waitress because she didn’t have her “Bunny image” any longer. The club was ranking their waitresses by special standards of beauty, such as : flawless beauty, exceptional beauty or someone who already has lost the Bunny Image because of aging or an appearance problem that cannot be corrected. On the other hand male counterparts who had the same position were not going through the same appraisal. Women’s beauty became a bona fide quality for employment .(Wolf,32). The same situation women have experienced who were employed at television, older anchorwoman would go through a nightmare, because soon they will not be enough beautiful to held their job at the news channel. Or opposite situation when anchorwoman is “ beautiful” she would receive constant critics as a person who had gotten her position only because she is pretty, her work achievement wouldn’t be considered.( Wolf, 35).
The women’s body image portrayal is so unfair. Our current acceptable norms value thinness as a symbol of health and beauty. Our sociocultural environment promoting thinness through the social media by fashion, beauty and cosmetic industry. This is all contributes to women’s self consciousness and body dissatisfaction which can lead to different mental and physical disorders. In order to fit the image of ideal body many women using an unhealthy and sometimes harmful ways to lose weight. (e.g. diet pills, vomiting, extreme food restriction). When women have a poor body image of themselves most likely that they can get develop eating disorders such as: anorexia nervosa, bulimia and many others. All those disorders can lead to a fatal outcome. (Kowalski). Social media have caused many problems in young females such as self- objectification and social comparison. Self-objectification is the process when young women start looking at their bodies as an object to be looked at.(Perloff,365). Women are being bombarded with unrealistic, unattainable images of perfect since childhood, which lead to a lower self esteem. According to BBC News research girls as young as seven years old face the problem of looking perfect. Researchers were told that poor body image stops girls not only choose certain clothes, but also prevents them from socialising, and speaking up amongst their peers. Also this research have shown that 93 % of women who participated in it agreed that they were judged by their appearance rather than their abilities. A lot of girls and adult women had a hard time to define if the pictures they see on social media are real, which made it hard to understand if they can the same result. 36% of participants said they were made to feel that most important thing about nothing but their physical appearance. Many girls said that were called names and the outcome of it they do not want challenge themselves in the new activities. Dissatisfaction with their body leads many women to get a surgical procedure. Mass media tells women that appearance enhancing surgical modifications are not only accessible but also appropriate for young women. Just because some women are not falling under the perfect standard they being teased about what their look like, they interested in undergoing to surgery. They want to change their own perception of themselves, they want to gain general sense of self-worth, and acceptance by others. (Markey and Markey, 159).
The mass does great impact on women’s body image, dictating how they are supposed to look like. What size is the most acceptable, what shape of the body they should gain. Its raising low self esteem, lack of confidence. It’s pushing the to go through the surgeries. It’s depreciating women as persons as human beings, it’s objectifying them. However we live in changing society and situation slightly changing. There is a solutions to change the way of how women used be overlooked at. Feminism and gender equality movements may help women to change the representation of women’s body image. Researchers have said that identification of yourself as a feminist or at least agreement with feminist values might be a one way through which women will get protection from unrealistic media messages, and consequently body image problems. (Rima, 2). Researchers suggested to incorporate the theory of feminism in body image and disordered eating programs. Those interventions that had components of feminism in them have shown positive outcomes. Health promotion program Every Body is A Somebody for adults included lessons and taught people body acceptance and media’s unreal and unattainable representation of female beauty. Following this intervention researchers have found positive changes in middle school girls body satisfaction, self esteem and eating behaviors.
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