How effective is the media in creating dissatisfaction in the body image of teenage girls? 1. Introductory Paragraph – Attention Grabber: 75% of teenage girls have a celebrity they look up to for a body image they would like to have according to the National Institute on Media and the Family. – Definition of Body Image: Body image refers to one’s sense of his or her own physical appearance influenced by his/her personal experiences, personality and various social and cultural forces. Thesis Statement: The trouble these days is that the media is constantly and greatly impacting the teenage girls of today’s generation who are aged 13 to 19 years of age to having a negative and distorted body image which leads to psycho-physical problems which cause teenagers to go to extremes in order to achieve what they perceive as the ‘perfect’ body. – Question: Do you feel ashamed, self-conscious and anxious about your body? If you do not, you have a negative body image and this essay is meant for you. 2. Supporting Paragraph 1 Topic Sentence: Teenage girls have an increasing desire to be either ultra-thin or to have more sex appeal under the influence of the media which cause a negative body image. – In the magazine, you can see what is considered as the ‘perfect’ woman and what is not the most ‘in’ thing. Teenagers shape how they see themselves based on what they see on television, magazines, newspapers and websites. – Media images depicting ultra-thin and digitally altered women models are the reason for body dissatisfaction in girls.
What they see mostly in these advertisements are tall, skinny, flawless, and beautiful women selling fashionable products. – Fashion marketers use provocative marketing campaigns featuring young teenage models such as Abercrombie & Fitch and Guess. These ads are selling more than just clothing to teens. They are also selling adult sexuality. Moreover, the media’s trending definition of beauty as portrayed in celebrities and models would be having a curvaceous bodyline, and large breasts which supposedly increase the sexuality of a woman. Thus, they would eventually feel that they have to look like these perfect flawless women in order to be considered beautiful, though this ‘perfect’ appearance is one that few people can ever attain. Teenage girls are influenced and under constant pressure to be thin, beautiful and highly sexualized and this brings me to my next point on the severe impact of stimulating marketing campaigns. 3. Supporting Paragraph 2 – Topic Sentence: Teenage girls are both mentally and physically affected by pursuing such perfect body images as ensued by the media. Pretty pictures we see in magazines are often not what we would see in real life. However, teenagers aspire and go to extremes to get the ‘look’. Therefore, the media is responsible for creating ideals about body image and the influenced teenagers suffer from inferiority complex and resort to unhealthy practices in order to achieve their perception of the ‘perfect’ body. – Firstly, the ultimate effect of the media on teenagers would be depression, and a loss of self-esteem. A study in 1995 found that spending 3 minutes looking at models in a fashion magazine caused 70% of the women to feel depressed, guilty and ashamed.
Also, it has caused the development of unhealthy eating habits as the media often brings about the message that physical perfection is what we should all strive for if we want to be successful. – Being strongly influenced by the media, teenagers who are striving for the ‘perfect’ body and to achieve a strong sense of ‘achievement’ by reducing their weight will eventually start eating disorders. Teenage girls therefore follow blindly to achieve the ‘perfect’ image and suffer from psychological problems such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. refer to page 2 and 3 – preteens) – These psychological problems then lead to physical problems (refer to page 2 – teens) 4. Supporting Paragraph 3 – Topic Sentence: Not only do teenage girls suffer from psycho-physical problems, but they also go to extreme means and take drastic measures such as plastic surgery in order to achieve the perfect body crafted by the media which in turn, creates more health problems for girls. – A study done by BBC stated that three-quarters of girls who have had plastic surgery think it has improved their lives and 71% would do it again.
During 2010, there were over 93000 people who had the plastic surgery in USA (if they cannot achieve the perfect body naturally, they would rather do so artificially. ) – Many girls want to undergo plastic surgery as they are obsessed with creating the ‘perfect’ body. Thus, they are open about having normalized surgery. – A dying young woman, Lisa Connell spent $40,000 on plastic surgery as she strongly desired to die looking like movie star Demi Moore. She was convinced that surgery would make her look as beautiful as Demi Moore who endorses cosmetic surgery herself. . Concluding Paragraph – After considering the points above, one has to agree that the media has negatively impacted teenage girls both mentally and physically and has caused the desire to have the ‘perfect’ body to take control of their lives. One thing is certain. The media are to be blamed for the 80% of girls who responded to More! Magazine that images of women on television and in the movies makes them feel insecure. The term ‘beauty’ holds different meanings and understandings to every individual teenage girl.
The media has a large influence of what society believes is beautiful and what is not and made teenage girls feel insecure and fear that they are not good enough. However, the numerous problems and damaging impacts of such a negative body image are devastating and one must be sure that aspiring for such beauty is not the way to go about life. Inner strength is the key towards a happy and successful life and not beauty. We were all crafted and made by God and there is no need to bother about who you are or what you look like. The important thing is to love yourself and that is all that matters.