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Letting the Media Have an Upper Hand

Harleyann Wolf
Professor Beech
English 102
12 November 2016
Letting the Media Have an Upper Hand

In America it is estimated that 80% of women don't like how they look and 34% of men are not content with their bodies, ( Gallivan, P.3). People mostly think only women are affected, although, 20% of college men have an eating disorder and 25% are excessive exercisers (Hobza, P.5). Studies prove it affect children as well, there is evidence that poor self-image does not start in adulthood, it often stems from late childhood or early puberty. In today's society Insecurities sell, by objectifying women and men and making them feel bad about themselves is what makes people want to buy the products, they think it will make them look better. The media is creating a negative impact and affecting peoples body image.

The media starts digging at society when they are children, poor self-image starts averagely at the age of ten. Studies have been done to prove that over 80% of children at the age of just 10 years old worry about being overweight. Which corresponds to the fact that 40-70 percent of middle school females are not content with at least two of their body parts. Even commercials for kid's clothes model slender children much like the models of the adult world. Which is quite disappointing because children's brains need to be developing knowledge not poor self-image. Children have not learned by age ten the importance of a balanced diet and they just worry and figure not eating is the way to go. Which will inevitably lead to anorexia, bulimia, and/or depression. Although, at such a young age boys are not as affected because of the Medias sexist ways. Commercials pointed towards younger boys advertise guns, cars, and other toys. As to where the girls are about accessories, clothes, and where to shop. Even the infamous Barbie is an unrealistic body shaped, perfect skin, perfect makeup girl. This is what we are teaching our children to strive for, unrealistic ideals. In fact there are so many articles on the media destroying women's self-esteem but I only found two devoted articles.

The next generation will benefit from no one telling them that they are too fat. Children will perform better in classes. By not worrying and comparing their looks to others or stressing about what they do/ don't eat they will be able to focus on their studies. They will also be able to focus on learning "real" person to person interactions that will benefit and shape who they are as a person for once they get older. Us as parents, and the media needs to raise the future generations to love for their beauty on the insides and for their knowledge. By raising more confident and less brainwashed children they will in result, be much happier and focus on enjoying their childhood and enjoy learning rather than worrying. This would discourage the media from reaching out to kids and would hopefully put scouting out insecure children out of business.

If we did in fact put children scouting out of business our children will then grow up and become even more secure adults. One is more likely to fall into the media's trap if they are focusing on appearances, looking for products like the seller, or already have low self-confidence. Bringing up this topic though is hard for the media because sex sells (Grabe, P. 3.). Popular celebrities are on the covers of almost every product to prove that one product is better than the other. People don't stop to think or realize that the celebrities just do the advertisements for money or more popularity. ). Recognition to the fact that celebrities make money off of brainwashing will help children understand that celebrities aren't perfect either and that it is OK to not be perfect. If there was a revolt against these horrible advertisements think of how that would change the media. The media would have to just give us facts about the product like what chemicals are in them, animal abuse awareness, and whether or not they actually work. This would also help people who might not even have a self- image issue because people would stop buying products that are a sham.

It is a shame that our society has come to using insecurities as a point of sale. More awareness on these types of products and the less that people fall into these traps will help prevent this issue for the upcoming generations. The soap brand DOVE has a campaign called, " the Dove self-esteem campaign", which they show a commercial on a girl going to a place looking natural and how they Photoshop to make her neck thinner, eyes bigger, and more colorful hair and then at the end they say, " no wonder our perception of beauty is distorted." DOVE a huge company even feels that they need to bring awareness to this topic. Their campaign has another commercial where they have a forensic artist sketch women how they see themselves and then how a stranger sees them. The women all look sad and fat in their self-portraits, but in the strangers they are beautiful and full of life. These are the kind of commercials that should be on the air. Promotion of self-love and self-worth should be magnified for us as adults and for our children. The media should not have the negative impact that it does.

Works cited
Doveunitedstates. "Dove Real Beauty Sketches." YouTube. YouTube, 14 Apr. 2013. Web. 12 Nov. 2016.
Gallivan, Heather R. "Teens, Social Media And Body Image." (n.d.): n. pag macmh.org.
2014. Web. 15 Oct. 2016.
Hobza, Cody L., et al. "What About Men? Social Comparison And The Effects Of Media Images On Body And Self-Esteem."Psychology Of Men & Masculinity 8.3 (2007): 161-172.

Grabe, Shelly, Monique L. Ward, and Janet Shibley Hyde. "The Role of the Media in Body Image Concerns among Women: A Meta-analysis of Experimental and Correlational Studies." Psychological Bulletin 134.3 (2008): 460-76. Web. 15 Oct. 2016.

Zephoria. "Dove - Evolution Commercial." YouTube. YouTube, 15 Oct. 2006. Web. 12 Nov. 2016.

Nov 12, 2016   #2
Harleyann, your opening statement is supposed to accomplish a number of things for your essay. First, it should present an introduction to the topic that you will be discussing. Topics for each paragraph are outlined at this point. Second, the paragraph should end with a thesis statement or the question you are presenting for discussions within the essay. You absolutely cannot, open the essay with a series of quotes. This is unacceptable in academic circles because it is seen as an easy way out when it comes to developing your essay foundation. Therefore, you have to write a new introduction, saving the quotes for use in the succeeding paragraphs.

You should also consider developing a more relevant title for your essay. The current title doesn't tell the reader what the media has an upper hand on so they may decide to pass on reading that paper. Try to always tie in your title with your essay premise. That way, the title informs the reader regarding what to expect should they opt to read your essay.

Overall though, the essay is informative and does its job. The quotes are properly spaced out so that it doesn't seem like the essay is simply composed of a series of quotes. Aside from the previous observations, your essay pretty much accomplishes the task you developed it for.

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