Sunday, September 12, 2010

Media and Body Image

Smooth skin, long legs, acne free, flowing hair, slender shape…perfection. We are under this mind set of that a women’s body needs to be the ultimate physical perfection. The perfection that is flawless from head to toe. The emphasis that the media has on perfection has negative impacts on society.  The media stresses the importance of the aesthetics and sexual appeal of the body, instead of the personality.  Media has control of the way we think and feel about our bodies. This  idea has become the “norm” in society and it has become so normal that we didn’t even know it hit us….
            Hegemony is the use of media to sway our view toward a particular topic. Without the audience knowing, the media creates the idea that audience overtime accepts as “common sense” in society. The media has proved this theory correct through incorporation of physical perfection.
The media (as a whole) has altered our perspective about the way we feel about bodies. It is “common sense” that women’s bodies should represent perfection because that is what we see on ads, magazines, and television. The overwhelming sights of perfect bodies has lead girls to believe that perfection the ideal causing girls to nearly starve themselves to attain this “common sense.”
In the documentary, “Killing Us Softly” women are still as things. It proves that physical perfection is seen so much throughout society that it alters women’s perspectives. Women are used as tools for sexuality for men – “pornography has become mainstream” as stated in the film. The media inflicted idea has caused generations of girls to rethink their bodies resulting in anorexia, mental disorders, and sometimes suicide.
The image below proves hegemony in society. This common belief that women are seen has sexual creatures, only used for male play. The ad is an ad for “Fetish.” The title reads “he can smell the scent even as you shake your head no”. This ad is a little over the top but still represents that idea that women are used for sexual play and overemphasizes the importance on physical beauty. However, this ad made tabloids all over the world and didn’t seem to obstruct a outcry. This proves the hegemony in society that beauty and sexuality in women is the only thing that matters.

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