An Introduction to the Issue of Societys Negative Influence on Body Image

Society and media have a huge impact of the idea of beauty and body image, often in negative ways. As defined by Jillian Croll, a contributing author of “Guidelines for Adolescent Nutrition Services,” body image “is the dynamic perception of one’s body, how it looks, feels, and moves. It is shaped by perception, emotions, physical sensations, and is not static, but can change in relation to mood, physical experience, and environment” (Croll). Primarily affecting teenage girls, many factors influence society’s ideal image of beauty, and how women view themselves. The effects that come out of this are often negative and harmful, due to the need to meet society’s standards. Although these standards set by society are unrealistic, depicted by ultra-thin models and retouched makeup ads, women feel that they need to look like them. It was not always like this, as the old standards of beauty included curvy women instead of skinny, “perfect” women.

There are a myriad of factors that influence body image, on all different levels. Television, movies, and music videos often include actors and actresses who are thin. In addition, celebrities are often striving to be skinny, which sets bad examples for all who look up to them. Examples of celebrities who are often depicted as too skinny are Nicole Richie and Mary Kate Olsen. Models also send out the message that being very thin is attractive. They give a very unrealistic portrayal of what average women look like, with sizes mostly ranging from size 2 to 6. Another huge factor is the advertisement industry. Commercials, magazines, and billboards all contain images of women that have been edited, doctored, retouched, enhanced, and airbrushed. Good qualities are enhanced, while any flaws are taken out, making the image as perfect as possible.

Other advertisements, such as ones advocating diets and weight-loss products, are unavoidable. The weight-loss industry is huge, and new diet fads are popping up everywhere. Puberty also leads to negative effects, due to major body changes. Girls may feel insecure when their body starts changes, especially if it is before her friends. Peers also can have impacts of how a someone views himself or herself. Girls can be very sensitive, and small comments from friends about how they look can be upsetting. Also, girls tend to compare themselves to other girls. Bullying, of any age, also occurs a lot, which kids make fun of a person’s weight, shape, and appearance. Comments by family members, also regarding weight and appearance, can lead to pressures to lose weight. Athletes experience some competition with weight and appearance, for example, with college volleyball players.

A recent study explores the effects that playing sports has on body image: “The present study explores positive and negative effects of athletic participation as well as the impact of level of competition on body image among female collegiate volleyball players” (Hoag). Other miscellaneous factors include dolls and Disney princesses. Barbie dolls, the most popular toy amongst young girls, can give off misleading messages, regarding their body proportions. With a huge bust, small waist, and thin figure, a Barbie may give girls the wrong image of what they expect to look like when they get older. This false sense of beauty may drive them to desires to look perfect, like a Barbie. Young boys also get influenced by toys such as action figures. Their fit bodies make boys want to be muscular.

Society’s ideal image of beauty has changed drastically over time. In the nineteen forties and fifties, being thin was considered unattractive: “In the 1940s and 1950s, actresses like Jayne Mansfield, Jane Russell, and Marilyn Monroe, who were known for their curves and large breasts, were the ideal” (Smolin). Marilyn Monroe was an icon of the fifties, and the ideal image of beauty. She was curvy and was a size 14, and her body type was considered perfect. Weight gain advertisements were seen everywhere, advocating curvier bodies.

In the sixties, societal changes led to new body types becoming popular. Actresses like Audrey Hepburn and models like Twiggy were examples of thin icons of the century. Being skinny seemed to matter a lot more, and women cared about how they looked, and whether or not they looked attractive. The ideal look, which transformed into today’s ideal look, included a small waist, skinny arms and legs, large breasts, clear skin, and a toned stomach. Models today, following the footsteps of Twiggy, tend to be frighteningly thin, opposing the old views of beauty that Americans used to hold.

The effects of society’s pressure to be perfect have many negative effects on girls of all ages, primarily teenagers. Diet fads and health crazes that girls get caught up in almost never work. They can mess up a person’s body and the way it should naturally work. By cutting out certain foods or food groups, or specifically eating only one type of food or fasting, none of it is worth it. Other effects include constantly weight oneself, which can lead to disappointment and depression, another one of the negative effects. Girls also may obsess over counting calories, and develop serious eating disorders.

These include anorexia nervosa, which is intentionally starving oneself or eating a small amount of calories per day, and bulimia nervosa, which is purging immediately after consuming food. Both disorders are extremely dangerous to a person’s body and mental state. Efforts are made to raise awareness about eating disorders, for example, through organizations and symposiums at colleges: “Approximately 4 to 5 percent of all college age women have some sort of eating disorder, according to statistics presented in the “Myths & Fact About Eating Disorders” session of the symposium” (Brunt). Dissatisfaction with oneself can lead to other effects, like loss of confidence, low self-esteem, self-judging, loss of interest in school, depression, and social isolation.

There are, however, many ways to promote body acceptance. Overall confidence is the key to happiness. A person needs to feel comfortable in their own skin, and accept themselves for who they are, and not what society tells them to be. Nikki Blonsky, in an interview with Seventeen magazine, spoke her mind about body image, and the need to stay about negative influences: “Healthy is your mind too, and making sure you’re comfortable looking in the mirror. If you can look in the mirror every day and feel comfortable, then you’re healthy” (Gandhi). It is necessary to keep a positive attitude and an open mind, because all body types are beautiful. Do not criticize or judge oneself, or others.

Also, people need to stand up to bullying, of any sort, to make it easier for everyone to feel comfortable with being themselves. Teenagers should not have to worry constantly about what everyone thinks of them. They should be able to walk around school hallways and know that they will not be judged. Another way to promote body acceptance is to stay far away from diet fads and health crazes. They are everywhere, whether it is in a commercial, a magazine, or overheard from friend. People who believe in the magic of dieting need to keep in mind that diets usually are not worth it. Starving oneself or maintaining a weird diet is not as effective as eating healthy foods and exercising regularly. In fact, fasting leads to weight gained rather than lost. Exercising is a great way to feel great about yourself, not because it leads to weight-loss, but because it releases endorphins that makes you feel good about yourself. Also it just feels good to know that you’re doing something good for your body.

Overall, society’s impact on body image is huge, and has changed greatly over time. The negative effects of this impact can be startling and serious, but there are ways of overcoming them.

Calculate the price
Make an order in advance and get the best price
Pages (550 words)
$0.00
*Price with a welcome 15% discount applied.
Pro tip: If you want to save more money and pay the lowest price, you need to set a more extended deadline.
We know how difficult it is to be a student these days. That's why our prices are one of the most affordable on the market, and there are no hidden fees.

Instead, we offer bonuses, discounts, and free services to make your experience outstanding.
How it works
Receive a 100% original paper that will pass Turnitin from a top essay writing service
step 1
Upload your instructions
Fill out the order form and provide paper details. You can even attach screenshots or add additional instructions later. If something is not clear or missing, the writer will contact you for clarification.
Pro service tips
How to get the most out of your experience with MyhomeworkGeeks
One writer throughout the entire course
If you like the writer, you can hire them again. Just copy & paste their ID on the order form ("Preferred Writer's ID" field). This way, your vocabulary will be uniform, and the writer will be aware of your needs.
The same paper from different writers
You can order essay or any other work from two different writers to choose the best one or give another version to a friend. This can be done through the add-on "Same paper from another writer."
Copy of sources used by the writer
Our college essay writers work with ScienceDirect and other databases. They can send you articles or materials used in PDF or through screenshots. Just tick the "Copy of sources" field on the order form.
Testimonials
See why 20k+ students have chosen us as their sole writing assistance provider
Check out the latest reviews and opinions submitted by real customers worldwide and make an informed decision.
Philosophy
Thank you
Customer 452811, February 17th, 2024
Business and administrative studies
Excellent job
Customer 452773, March 17th, 2023
business
Great job
Customer 452773, February 13th, 2023
Social Work and Human Services
Great work I would love to continue working with this writer thought out the 11 week course.
Customer 452667, May 30th, 2021
Human Resources Management (HRM)
excellent, great job
Customer 452773, June 19th, 2023
Management
Thank you!!! I received my order in record timing.
Customer 452551, February 9th, 2021
10th grade English
very good
Customer 452773, March 26th, 2023
Human Resources Management (HRM)
excellent job
Customer 452773, July 17th, 2023
Business and administrative studies
excellent job thank you Your Score 166.25/ 175- A 1. Current Culture 15% of total grade 18.37 Criterion "1. Current Culture" has textual feedback Criterion Feedback I see interesting points, though, in general they are not about the culture.
Customer 452773, June 4th, 2023
Humanities
Thank youuuu
Customer 452729, May 30th, 2021
Nursing
thank you so much
Customer 452749, June 10th, 2021
Business and administrative studies
excellent job! got an A, thank you
Customer 452773, May 24th, 2023
11,595
Customer reviews in total
96%
Current satisfaction rate
3 pages
Average paper length
37%
Customers referred by a friend
OUR GIFT TO YOU
15% OFF your first order
Use a coupon FIRST15 and enjoy expert help with any task at the most affordable price.
Claim my 15% OFF Order in Chat
Close

Sometimes it is hard to do all the work on your own

Let us help you get a good grade on your paper. Get professional help and free up your time for more important courses. Let us handle your;

  • Dissertations and Thesis
  • Essays
  • All Assignments

  • Research papers
  • Terms Papers
  • Online Classes
Live ChatWhatsApp