The Perception of Beauty Today the world we live in is very reliant on the media. The media contributes to us updates on our economy, news on events, the weather, and other important information. The media also dispenses influential images and messages. The media is so intertwined in our lives that we do no truly comprehend how much influence it really has on us. Some of the messages and images we receive from the media can be positive as well as negative.
Most often than not, we are exposed to images that are so unrealistic and unattainable by the average person that we become discontent with our lives and with ourselves. This is when the media starts to distort our thoughts on the normal way of life and what true beauty is. The mainstream media’s perception of beauty is thin and glamorous. Most of the people displayed in the media have unrealistic body types. With the constant exhibit of these airbrushed to perfection bodies the audience becomes desensitized, especially the youth, making people believe that it’s normal.
This constant reminder can cause great guilt, making one think they are unattractive and below average. The negative body image being portrayed in the media is on display for everyone and it’s continuously being supported by the rest of the population. With this distorted perception of beauty many people have become unsatisfied with themselves. This persistent image of what you should look like can lead to poor physical and mental health.
With people becoming insecure with their body image things like low self-esteem, depression, eating disorders, and even suicide can occur. In source 1 (Effects of the Media on Body Image), it states that the National Eating Disorder Association (2006) reports, “In the past 70 years national rates of all eating disorders have dramatically increased. ” To some, being thin becomes everything. Deception of reality invades people’s lives and with media being just a turn or a click away, the influence of the media starts at an early age.
According to The Journal of Adolescent Health, “Teenagers that are overweight, or believe that they are overweight, appear to have a higher risk of suicide” (This information is stated in source 3: Teen Suicide Attempts Linked to Body weight and Body Image). Each year the models in the media are growing thinner and the advertisement of dieting and exercising is increasing. Beauty is being manipulated again and again. People’s physical and mental health is at serious risk and it’s time for a change.
Perfection does not exist and for someone to try to attain such a thing is not healthy. The images in the media have profound effects on our lives and with that in mind, the media should rethink their perception of beauty. Just because someone is not stick thin doesn’t mean they’re not beautiful. Just because someone doesn’t look like the model on the cover of a magazine doesn’t mean they’re not beautiful, and just because someone doesn’t acquire the characteristic of what the media insights as beautiful, doesn’t mean they’re not beautiful; it just means they are realistic.
We continue to take a walk down a dangerous path in our culture. Not enough is being done to deter the false images that are being portrayed. The media’s perception of beauty is both unrealistic and harmful to one’s self. As a collective society, we need to accept our flaws. We need to accept people for how they look, stop trying to live up to an unrealistic image in the media, and just be ourselves. Why do we give the media the right to say what’s beautiful? Their exhibit of beauty is not real. It’s time for a change in media for the sake of society’s health.
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