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

The primary fac*****r th***** typifies female stereotypes in the media is thinness. The female ideal ***** through advertising (and other media, such as the celebr*****y *****) is cons*****tently thin. This stereotype has been evolving over the decades. ***** ideal presented by the media to wo***** forty or fifty years ago was not such an extreme one. Women in advertising, ***** women celebrities were more voluptuous. Just what is the female ***** presented ***** advertisers to ***** today?

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

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

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

At the turn ***** ***** century, ***** attractive woman ***** voluptuous and heavy; ***** the "flapper" period of the 1920s, the correct look for women was rail-thin ***** flat chested. The ***** 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 *****. This *****mly thin standard ***** feminine physical attractiveness continues to this day. (Aronson et al., 2004, p284).

Aronson (2004)

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