Essay - Gender Stereotypes and Body Image the Media's Influence in Western...

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Gender Stereotypes and Body Image

***** media's influence in western culture is pervasive. Through magazines, television and print ads such as billboards, advertisers have consistently adopted gender stereotypes in terms of body image, and use these ***** to sell their products. Although it is certainly no secret that the stereotypical womanly ideal is slender to the point of unhealthy, ***** ***** image presented as the male ***** is similarly unrealistic. Men are consistently presented an overly muscular, perfectly lean physique ***** the stereotypical ideal to which *****y must aspire. In considering the effects of ***** ***** stereotypical ideals, it is important to consider just what ***** ideals ***** *****, before one discusses the effects they *****. Finally, it is an interesting extension ***** the issue to look at the effects of the female stereotype on men and vice versa.

***** primary factor ***** typifies female *****s in ***** media is thinness. The female ideal presented through advert*****ing (and other media, such as the celebrity ideal) is consistently thin. This stereotype h***** been evolving over the decades. ***** ideal presented by the media to women forty or fifty years ago was *****t such an extreme one. Women in advertising, and women celebrities were more voluptuous. Just what is the female ***** presented ***** advertisers to women today?

1999 study into ***** *****s and women's weight found that 94% of magazine c*****s showed a woman who represented ***** ideal ***** ***** *****. "A strong emphasis has ***** placed on the bodily appearance of women that equates a thin body to beauty, sexuality, and social status." (Malkin, Wornian & Chrisler, 1999). Given that ***** image presented appears so consistently (94% of covers) we can conclude that this is the stereotypical ideal female, as presented to ***** magazine readers.

The ideal ***** thinness for women has evolved over ***** *****. *****stead of evolving in l*****e with demographi***** (woman are getting heavier), the ideal stereotype presented is actually becoming more *****. Over the last 30 years, the ***** of models (whose entire job rests upon ***** stereotype ***** the ideal female) ***** decreased by 23%. The average ***** in ***** time, has seen her ********** *****crease by 15%. ( *****mselves have weights that are greatly below ***** ***** corresponds to a he*****lthy ideal. "The majority of models have a weight ********** a BMI from 15 to 23% below the average of women of the same age." (

An analys***** of advertising ***** the course of the twentieth century reveals the trend toward a thinner stereotype.

At the turn ***** the century, and attractive woman ***** ***** and heavy; ***** the "flapper" period of the 1920s, the correct look ***** women was rail-thin ***** flat chested. The ***** body type changed again in the 1940s, when Second World War "pinup girls," ***** as Betty Grable, exemplified a heavier standard...British model Twiggy, introduced a very thin silhouette again. This extrememly thin standard ***** feminine physical *****ness continues to this day. (Aronson et al., 2004, p284).

***** (2004)


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