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


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Gender Stereotypes and Body Image

The 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 ***** slender to the point of unhealthy, the body image presented as ***** male ideal is similarly unreal*****tic. Men are consistently presented an overly muscular, perfectly lean physique as the stereotypical ideal to which *****y must aspire. In considering the effects ***** such unrealistic stereotypical ideals, it is important to consider just what ***** ***** ***** are, before one d*****cusses the effects they have. Finally, it is an interesting extension of the issue ***** look at ***** effects of the fe***** stereotype on men ***** vice versa.

***** primary factor ***** typifies female ********** in ***** media is thinness. The female ideal presented through advert*****ing (and other media, such as the celebr*****y ideal) is consistently thin. This stereotype has been evolving over the decades. ***** ideal presented by the ***** to wo***** forty or fifty years ago was not such an extreme one. Women in advertising, and ********** celebrities were m*****e voluptuous. Just what is the female ideal presented by advertisers to women *****day?

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

The ***** of thinness for women ***** evolved over the decades. Instead ***** evolving in line with demographi***** (woman are getting heavier), the ideal stereotype presented is actually becoming more slender. Over ***** last 30 *****, the weight of models (********** entire job rests upon ***** stereotype of the ideal female) has decreased by 23%. The average woman in th***** time, has seen her weight *****crease by 15%. (http://web4health.info/en/answers/ed-treat-weight-goal.htm).Models themselves ***** weights that are greatly below ***** ***** corresponds ***** a healthy ideal. "The majority of models have a weight *****nd a BMI from 15 to 23% below the average of women ***** the same age." (http://web4health.info/en/answers/ed-treat-weight-goal.htm).

An analysis of advertising over the course of ***** twentieth century reveals the trend toward a thinner *****.

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

***** (2004)

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