Media Negatively Affects Women's Body Image

Mar 23, 2016

Media is pushing women to become thinner and lose weight. According to Teen Health and the Media, media’s ideal body size has been shrinking since World War II. “At age thirteen, 53% of American girls are "unhappy with their bodies." This grows to 78% by the time girls reach seventeen” this statistic is one of many and is seen in various age groups. Forty percent of nine and ten-year-olds have tried to lose weight.

This is not only affecting women, though, it is teaching men that it is okay to judge women solely by her looks. A Kaiser Foundation study by Nancy Signorielli found that: “58 percent of female characters in movies had comments made about their looks” versus only “a quarter (24%) of male characters in the movies.”

Media’s focus on appearance is resulting in eating disorders. The National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders found that 8,000,000 or more people in the United States have an eating disorder 90% of which are women. “Eating disorders usually start in the teens but may begin as early as age 8.” According to Teen Health and the Media “an estimated one thousand women die each year of anorexia nervosa.” In 1994, the National Center for Health Statistics reported that “about 9,000 people admitted to hospitals were diagnosed with bulimia.”

According to The National Center For Eating Disorders, “the gap between actual body sizes and the cultural ideal is getting wider, and giving rise to anxiety among almost all women, although it is the most vulnerable who are most affected by this.” In result, people are dieting. Half the people that are dieting do not need to be.

Works Cited
"Teen Health and the Media." Teen Health and the Media. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Mar. 2016.
"National Centre for Eating Disorders - The Media & Eating Disorders."National Centre for Eating Disorders. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Mar. 2016.


I enjoyed the fact that not

eric_yu2001's picture
Submitted by eric_yu2001 on Sat, 2016-03-26 17:52.

I enjoyed the fact that not only you brought in very strong personal opinions, but you also brought in works cited from different pages as well. And from your strong statements that were backed up by logic and research, I can firmly say that you have brought up a very important issue about social media's influence on personal image. What you also brought was a problem of men viewing a woman as a "visual figure" on how they thought it was okay to see judge a lady solely by her looks. Although we have this issue scrolling around already, this article brings a new danger to our lives. Thanks for sharing this!

I really like your article! I

Submitted by swaseya on Mon, 2016-03-28 20:08.

I really like your article! I have seen the effects of all these pressures on girls all throughout my own school and it's hard to see them so unhappy with themselves. The statistics you show are really mind-opening; I didn't realize it had gotten so much worse than it was in years past, especially in such a short period of time. Your article is an important piece for girls to see in America because I think it could really help open their eyes for what is important and what is not.