Assignment 4 The Persuasive Essay

Unrealistic body images presented in the media promote physical and psychological disease among women
The media is one of the most influential factor in shaping individuals and hence the society. Women in particular have fallen victim of unrealistic appearances and lifestyles portrayed in movies, adverts, music, magazines, reality shows among other media. How a woman looks is always an aspect that has been emphasized in the media. The media has in various ways tried to define what a `perfect` woman should look like. This includes fashion, to physical appearance. In addition, the social bodies constructed on women such as tattooing and body piercings cause harm on women. The unrealistic body images portrayed in the media causes physical and psychological stress to women. This essay explores how women have suffered in their effort to be that `perfect` woman depicted on media.
Women are traditionally known to be conscious about beauty and their general appearance than men. In the modern society, this aspect has been pushed beyond limits. A modern woman as perceived in the media is thin, tall and sleek in appearance. This notion has led several women to go overboard to match this description. The concept of dieting is probably one of the most popular ways that women are forced to adopt as a step to having a perfect body. This idea has been immense in women`s mind in that, girls as young as six years have engaged in “dieting” to have that sexy body. This is unrealistic and a danger to their health. Some women have suffered drastically for dieting. They become underweight and suffer from anorexia or Bulimia.
As noted by Dr Sarah Kreddentser “People judge themselves against others and through the eyes of others” (Milne 223). She argues that it is not experience, character and personality that matters, but image. The preoccupation of the society with body image is worsening with time. Women have so much concern on their appearance that they end up paying a higher price to look fit. A woman who has a body or physical appearance that is far from “perfect” usually has a low self-esteem. Many girls in Canada have taken up smoking to compensate for not being beautiful as depicted in the media. Women go to an extent of staying in an abusive relationship, if they feel that they are not beautiful, in an effort to please an unreasonable partner (Milne 223).
Apart from the body size, other aspects of a woman body appearance have also been exaggerated in the media. The women breasts have been used to depict sexiness. A perfect woman`s body have always been portrayed with tight elongated breasts. Women tend to forget that, the size of the breast and their shape is a natural occurring unique to every woman. They also ignore the fact that breasts change with child bearing and with age. Many women have undertaken cosmetic breast surgery to just have those sexy elongated breasts. Surprisingly, even older women who have borne and raised children still feel that they need to look perfect. They take cosmetic breast surgery to regain their teenage breast appearance. These surgeries involve breast argumentation and breast lifts. These transformations come at a cost. Besides, financial drain, breast surgery poses various health risks on an individual. Other forms of cosmetic surgeries that women undertake include tummy tucks, buttock lifts, thigh lifts, nose reshaping among other forms of cosmetic surgeries.
The images portrayed by the media unrealistic and have caused suffering for women. Women go various extents of trying to look like the ideal images they see in the media every single day. While most men are okay with the changes in their bodies, women have issues with them, and work in any way in their capacity to correct them. For instance women will have anti-wrinkle treatments to remove wrinkles when men will accept them without a problem. These pressures to conform have seen women suffer as the processes of restructuring the body are painful are complex, besides being expensive.
Some women have taken the issues with their bodies too far so to speak. Some women will forego getting children just to maintain an ideal body or refuse to breastfeed their children for fear of degrading their breast size and shape. Failure to eat in order to lose weight sometimes drives women to serious health risks such as anorexia and bulimia. Women also suffer psychologically when they fail to meet these standards. Obesity for instance has become the most form of discrimination in the United States. Women are trying all their best not to be overweight and to look ideal. Some practices undertaken by women to conform may affect their body health wise. Women are ready to take any risks to maintain an ideal body.
In addition to an ideal appearance, women are also victims of social bodies. As stated by Sullivan (542) every culture has certain customs that prescribe intentionally changing a body`s natural appearance. Tattoos and body piercings are the most used form of body changing customs adopted by women for social and beauty purposes. Ear piercing for instance has been widely adopted by women across all races and cultures. Women feel that this is part of their body. Piercings on the body are done at various places including navel, nose, tongue, lips and genitals. The process of piercing is painful. Body piercings and tattooing are done so that a person can belong to a certain social group. Women just like men like being established with a certain group of people. Acquiring these social bodies make women to suffer both physically and psychologically.
In conclusion, the need to conform to the ideal body of a woman portrayed in the media, women go to various extents that cause them physical and psychological harm. Cosmetic surgeries are expensive, are risk to health. Failure to conform to super body shapes lead women to suffer psychologically and physically as they tend to have a lower self-esteem. Hence try to cover for it. Behaviours such as smoking among young women and staying in abusive relationships are some of the examples of the psychological harm women go through as a result of not having an ideal body. Besides, the construction of social bodies has similar devastating effects as conforming to ideal image. The portrayed images of women in the media are unrealistic at the end and the social bodies are just there as a custom. Women suffer unnecessarily because of trying to conform.
Works Cited
Celia Milne “Pressures to Conform” pp. 221-224.
Deborah A. Sullivan “Social Bodies: Tightening the Bonds of Beauty” pp. 541-545.