Media plays an important role in the lives of people nowadays. It serves to inform and entertain at the same time. The radio keeps the motorists company along their way. The television acts as refuge after a long day at work. The newspaper keeps the people abreast of the latest political issues. The computer is the hub of the different types of information through the use of the Internet. Latest gadgets have been the pastime of many young people. The magazines become the reference material of girls as they attempt to look attractive, which is just one example of the media influence on girls appearance.
The women that are most of the time featured on magazines are fashion models, pop stars or singers, and actresses. Most of them are skinny and have seemingly perfect hair, skin, everything. Accepting being underweight is one of the messages that get across to the readers of these magazines.
Additionally, a number of these celebrities are also seen doing vices such as smoking and extreme dieting that many people think these are effective ways of attaining that industry-standard body type. Celebrities who openly smoke sends the message that smoking is a “cool” thing regardless of the health risks it can bring about.
What most women do not know is that sometimes going on a diet and being underweight is tantamount to being undernourished. Another effect is losing menstrual period, that when this condition is prolonged can lead to fertility problems. Another trivia is that constant or extreme dieting can lead to weight gain problems in the long run.
In a research, about 70% of women felt more insecure and worse about themselves after having to read fashion magazines. Furthermore, about half of the teen girls read these types of magazines, resulting to a significant number of girls insecure about their bodies.
In movies, what most people do not know is that a number of actresses use body doubles to showcase a perfect silhouette of their body shape when the scenes warrant it. Moreover, admitting to cosmetic surgery misleads a lot of women that this is the only means of feeling beautiful. Because of this, there has been an alarming increase of teens that get plastic surgeries.
Movies and shows that depict hate and violence directed at women send a message to the young ones that these terms are acceptable to use. Certain songs have been popularized and have been known for their derogatory words. Certain advertisements too have imageries of violence towards women in an attempt to make it appear fashionable and even sexy.
With regard to video games, the female characters are stereotyped as being the victims of violence, rarely as the heroines. To add to this, racism becomes evident because there are some races that always portray the lower classes of the society. In case the female video game characters are the heroines, they are stereotyped and expected to be gorgeous, young, and usually white. Again, there is no room for those who are not in the category of industry-dictated standards.
The media influence on girls appearance is a profound one. The underlying effect of being conscious about the physical self is of a psychological one. It can cause a chain of reaction, which can be self-destructive as well as detrimental towards others.