Body Dissatisfaction Among Women

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Body dissatisfaction has become a major problem among American girls and young women across the continent, and statistics shows that approximately 50% of undergraduate women and girls are dissatisfied with their bodies (Grabe, Hyde, Ward 2008). Mass media is one of several factors creating unrealistic body images in today’s society and women’s magazines, probably more than any other form of mass media, have been heavily criticized as being advocates and promoters of an unrealistic and dangerously thin ideal among young women (Heinberg, Thompson 1999). These ideals have also been linked to critical physical and mental health problems and research has identified body dissatisfaction as one of the most consistent risk factors for eating disorders…show more content…
Results from this growing literature demonstrate that body dissatisfaction has become a major problem among women in Western societies and that girls and young women are more dissatisfied with their bodies than their male counterparts (Grabe, Hyde 2006). Why is it that so many girls and women are dissatisfied with their bodies, regardless of the size? If there was a correct answer to the problem it would have been solved a long time ago. What makes this question as hard as it is, is the fact that a person’s body image is influenced by many, separate factors such as family environment, peer attitudes, parental messages, cultural background, the fashion industry and, more relevant than ever, mainstream media, social media and advertising (Raising Children Network 2015). Among the many forces mentioned above, believed to play the biggest role, aside from peer-related teasing and parental messages, is the increasingly thin ideal dominating the media. Thinness is consistently emphasized and rewarded for women across movies, television programs and magazines, and overweight television characters are underrepresented while thin characters are overrepresented (Grabe, Hyde, Ward…show more content…
This is especially pervasive in appearance fixated professions such as fashion modelling, movie and television actress etcetera, and both Play Boy centrefolds and Miss America Pageant winners have all become increasingly slender over the past two decades (Grabe, Hyde, Ward 2008). Photographic techniques such as editing, airbrushing and filters may blur the already unrealistic nature of media images even further, something that can lead viewers and consumers to believe that the models that they are watching are realistic representations of actual people rather than illusions of these techniques, carefully manipulated and artificially developed (Heinberg, Thompson

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