University of California
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Solution to the Media’s Effect on Women
Recently, the media has come under numerous criticisms due to the manner in which it has been objectifying the female gender. According to Britton, the media has taken advantage of women’s quest for beauty to enrich themselves. This is evident due to the media’s involvement in numerous product advertisements addressing the female gender in terms of beauty and body posture. These advertisements have lately been in plenty not only in televisions but also in billboards as well as the numerous social media platforms. In most of these advertisements, the media is ever stressing on one main factor, which is beauty. According to these advertisements, for a woman to be beautiful, in addition to being slender in posture, she also has to apply cosmetic products. Whereas the media is reaping heavily from these advertisements, little concern has been given to the women, who happen to be the main victims. This has negatively affected the female gender since most of them become discontented with their appearance. It is because of this discontent that most women start skipping meals in addition to spending thousands of dollars in cosmetic surgeries (“RCPSYCH”). The study looks forward to addressing some of the necessary measures that ought to be taken in a move to curb the media’s role in objectifying women. For instance, apart from the introduction of a new bill targeting the media, the essay also addresses the creation of awareness programs for women in addition to other factors such as health education as well as changes in media advertisements.
Introduction of a New Bill
Although the Media’s objectification of women is high, men too are victims of these issues. In order to minimize the images being displayed by the media, the government also has a role to play. It is the responsibility of the US government to ensure that its citizens live responsively. It is the government’s responsibility to come up with solutions that address the issue of women objectification. For instance, , the government ought to come up with a new billnew laws. This bill, which can be called “The Media for Health Bodies Act” needs to in a move to curb the manner in which the media is using false images to lure women and women into purchasing beauty product with the objective of acquiring the perfect body as portrayed by the Media. Presence of this billese laws will be beneficial since through it there will beit will result to a steady decline of women objectification by the media. Curbing the Media’s role in women objectification will minimize the rate at which women are spending their money on cosmetic products and surgeries. In 2013, women residing in the US spent 12 billion dollars on surgical as well as non-surgical procedures in a move to improve their appearance (ASAPS). Although this is a large amount to be spent on surgeries, it is likely to rise if the media is allowed to continue using false images in conducting promotions. In this bill, the government needs to come up with strict rules targeted to the media, especially in relation to the manner in which they display their advertisement images. According to studies, most of these images are computerized; hence, they are false (Webster). Although these images are of famous celebrities and models, most of them are computerized; hence, they are not real. According to Webster, it is because of these falsified images that women and men are spending a lot of money on cosmetic products and surgeries. This is because the media has made people believe that perfect bodies exist. In order to carry out its mandate effectively, the government needs to introduce a bill that will oversee a reduction on in the types of images being used in advertisements. Since most of these images are false, enactment of this bill will this bill ought to ensure that the media does not use falsified images while promoting products such as clothes, cosmetics and groceries. Apart from women, men too are also objectified by such images. For this to be achieved, the government needs to introduce strict penalties for any media that will be found using false images in conducting its advertisements. In this bill, the government needs to ask all Medias to ensure that all false images are labeled. By ensuring that all false images used by the media are labeled, the government will aid in reducing the rate of depression among women as well as menat which women are spending money on beauty products and surgeries. For instance, the government needs to inform Medias that they risk losing their business licenses once found to be using unlabeled false images in product adverisements. Apart from the loss of business licenses, hefty fines will also be imposed on these Medias.
Apart from coming up with a bill that will oversee a reducing tion in the image falsification, the bill also needs to introduce education programs aimed at creating awareness of false images in addition to the negative effects of excessive usage of cosmetic productsgovernment also needs to introduce laws that will minimize the high rate of cosmetic surgeries in the nation. This will only be achieved if the government increases the cost of beauty products as well as cosmetic surgeries. In addition to increasing the cost of surgeries, the government also needs to offer education on the negative effects of cosmetic surgeries. The bill ought to include education programs that can be can either be televised or be taught in seminars or learning institutions. Women ought to be made aware that some beauty products are toxic; hence, using them is risky for their health. Through education, women will also be informed of diseases such as Bulimia and Anorexia. Most women undergo these surgeries since they are not aware of the pending consequences. It is therefore evident that the number will drop drastically once they are educated on the effects of these products.
Awareness Programs to the Female Gender
In order to curb the high rate of women objectification by the media, women ought to review the manner in which they perceive these images. The numerous advertisements being displayed by the media tends to give women negative impressions concerning their physical appearance. In many advertisements, the media is ever displaying images of women that are slim with lots of makeup. This gives many women the impression that beauty is only achievable if one has a slim body and applies makeup (Goh-Mah). Women need to know that most of these models never exist since they are just computerized images intended to lure women into believing they can achieve the same beauty (Striegel-Moore & Franko 186). Since age is rarely considered, awareness ought to incorporate not only adults but also children. This is because just like older women, little girls are also lured into believing that a ‘perfect body’ is the only way to beauty. According to studies, half of all girls aged 6-8 have at one time stated that they wish to be slim (Striegel-Moore & Franko 183). This is because they too have been made to believe that beauty is achievable only if one attains the perfect body. Since the entire female gender has fallen victim, awareness ought to target the entire female gender. The awareness need to be conducted in different venues in a move to create awareness to many women. For instance, apart from places of work, awareness programs also ought to be introduced in other institutions such as schools and health centers frequently visited by women. These awareness programs need to be initiated by non-governmental organizations not only in the US but also globally. This is because the issue is gradually becoming catastrophic to the female gender not only in the US but also in other nations worldwide.
In these programs, women ought to be made aware that there is nothing like a ‘perfect body’. Additionally, they need to be asked not to believe everything they see on media platforms. This is because most of the information is false and the media’s main objective is usually to objectify women in order to receive its monthly income. In order to make them comprehend this information, organizations ought to compare them with their male counterparts in relation to the manner in which they react to such media advertisements. According to Gianatasio, just like women, the media targets men as well when it comes to objectification of their body. However, the only difference between these two genders is that whereas men rarely take these advertisements seriously, the same cannot be said for the female gender. This is because women tend to take these advertisements seriously and this has resulted to a number of negative effects such as low self-esteem, depression in addition to contraction of disorders such as anorexia as well as bulimia and nervosa (Holmstrom). In men objectification, Medias showcase images of men who are not only handsome but also masculine. In such advertisements, Medias tend to display the fact that men ought to be masculine in order to look attractive and win the hearts of many women. Unlike women, men rarely take such advertisements seriously since most are contented with their physical appearance. In these awareness programs, women ought to know that the main reason why they are the most affected is due to the fact that they are more conscious about their body appearance than any other object.
In addition to the awareness program, women also need to be educated about their body in addition to how these images are posing great risk to their health. Through efficient health education, women will be in a position to change the manner in which they view most of the media images. According to Holmstrom, women tend to adore media images so much to the extent they forget their own body. In most of these images, the media uses women that are slender with lots of makeup. Since these images are ever popping up in various media platforms, women have become addicted to them that they are willing to go to the extreme in a move to achieve the so-called ‘perfect body’. In a move to become slimmer, most women have opted to go on diet. This is whereby they are eating little food compared to what they are actually supposed to consume on a daily basis. Apart from consuming less food, women are also spending billions of dollars on cosmetic products in addition to undergoing cosmetic surgeries to improve certain features on their bodies (Stewart). Although Medias are busy urging women to buy beauty products in addition to going on diet, little is being said about the consequences that are likely to surface. Since little is being done by the media in relation to finding a solution for women objectification, health organizations need to come up and educate women on some of the risks they are exposing themselves to when they opt to embrace media images.
Through health organizations, women ought to know that apart from spending a lot of money on beauty products, influences by the media images are likely to cause other negative effects such as depression and low self-esteem. Additionally, due to these images, most women have developed anorexia and bulimia. According to studies, these are eating disorders whereby a person starts avoiding food due to the fear of increasing weight (“RCPSYCH”). These disorders tend to affect women more compared to men. Apart from the worry of weight gain in addition to consuming less food, other symptom associated with these disorders include the wearing of baggy clothes to conceal one’s body, irregular menstrual periods in addition to a regular feeling of guilt and tiredness (“RCPSYCH”). Health organizations need to provide this information to all women in a move to reduce the rate at which women are embracing the images they view on media platforms.
Similarly, health organizations ought to come up with programs on the health effects that come alongside excessive use of cosmetics. According to studies, the cosmetic industry is one of rapidly expanding industry not only in the US but globally. This is because most women have been made to believe that it is only through cosmetic products that they can achieve the perfect body. Although the media has played a major role in terms of advertising these beauty products, little awareness is being said on the health effects of these products. Women need to know that although these products tend to improve one’s physical appearance, they also expose them to a number of health risks. According to studies, some of the ingredients used in the manufacture of beauty products are usually toxic (“American Cancer Society”). This has resulted to numerous cases of skin and eye irritations. Similarly, some of these products result to allergic reactions, which could easily cause negative outcomes for its users. Additionally, although there is still no solid evidence, there are also high probabilities that these products expose women to the risk of contracting skin cancer (“American Cancer Society”). Apart from cosmetic products, women are also being lured into undergoing cosmetic surgeries in a move to improve their physical appearances. According to research conducted in the US, the number of women undergoing cosmetic surgeries is ever rising on an annual basis (“ASAPS”). Health organizations need to educate women on the dangers they expose themselves to once they undergo cosmetic surgeries with the objective of acquiring the perfect body. According to Goudreau, tampering with the body balance normally causes new health problems. For instance, when one suctions fats from the lower abdomen, other fat cells are also damaged in the process. Hence, one is likely to spend to spend more funds in search of medication.
Changes in Media Advertisements
Most of the images used in promotion advertisements are usually false. In order to reduce the rate in which women are embracing these images, a number of aspects ought to be considered. For instance, the media needs to change tactic in the manner in which it makes product advertisements. The media needs to minimize the usage of celebrities and other famous models while making product advertisements. Instead, they can make use of animated advertisements. This is because whereas the use of celebrities makes women change the manner in which they view their bodies, the same cannot be said for animated advertisements and images. Since the main objective of media advertisements is usually to create awareness in addition to increasing the target market, animated advertisements can also relay the same information just like models. Apart from embracing animated advertisements, the media needs to be dynamic, that is, instead of choosing only models with a certain body posture, the media needs to be all-rounded. For a long time, the media has been using images of slender women; this has driven many women into believing that this is the perfect body. It is due to this perception that has driven many women into skipping meals in addition to spending a lot of money on cosmetic products and surgeries. Instead of using a single type of body posture, the media needs to use women of all sizes, race and color. When the media uses all types of women, this will improve the manner in which women perceive themselves. For instance, by using overweight ladies on images, this improve the manner in which over weight ladies perceive themselves, that is, instead of feeling depressed, they will begin loving adoring their bodies. This will be quite beneficial since it will reduce the high cases of low self-esteem and depression among women. Similarly, this will also result to a steady decline in eating disorders such as bulimia and anorexia.
Although the media is being accused of being the major contributor of women objectification, it also needs to receive some credits due to the role of improving the nation’s economy through product advertisement as well as marketing. According to studies, it is evident that the cosmetic industry is one of the main contributors of the nation’s high economy. This would not have been made possible without media advertisements. It is through the media that product awareness is created, which is usually directly proportional to more sales, hence, profitability. In my opinion, enacting new laws targeting the media will end up doing more harm than good to the nation. For instance, there will be a reduction in product advertisements and this will result to a decline in the nation’s economy.
Recently, the media has been accused of lowering women’s self-esteem in addition to making them feel have numerous depressed. This hasion that have also resulted to disorders such as bulimia and anorexia. This is because it has been objectifying women by coming up with false images. The media has been using models that are slender, hence, making many women feel ugly. In a move to achieve the perfect body being used by the media, women have skipped meals in addition to going to the extent of undergoing cosmetic surgeries. In order to curb women objectification by the media, a number of factors need to be considered. For instance, organizations need to come up with awareness programs. These programs need to make it clear that there is nothing like a ‘perfect body’, this is because most of these images have been falsified with the aid of computers. Similarly, organizations need to introduce health programs. Through these programs, women need to be educated on the health risks associated with excessive usage of cosmetic products as well as the dangers of cosmetic surgeries. The government also needs to make sure that Medias do not use falsified images while conducting product promotions. For this to be achieved, the government needs to introduce new laws such as strict measures on Medias caught using falsified images. Finally, the media needs to change the manner in which they advertise products targeted for women. For instance, apart from using animated advertisements, they also need to incorporate all sizes of women in their advertisements.
American Cancer Society. Cosmetics. 2014. Web. 19 November 2014. < http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancercauses/othercarcinogens/athome/cosmetics >
ASAPS. News Releases. Web. 06 Nov. 2014. <http://www.surgery.org/media/news-releases/the-american-society-for-aesthetic-plastic-surgery-reports-americans-spent-largest-amount-on-cosmetic-surger>.
Britton, Marie. “The Beauty Industry’s Influence on Women in Society.” University of New Hampshire. 2012. Web. 19 November 2014. <http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=23&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CCsQFjACOBQ&url=http%3A%2F%2Fscholars.unh.edu%2Fcgi%2Fviewcontent.cgi%3Farticle%3D1085%26context%3Dhonors&ei=7GxrVMimJeOhyAOw2YHwBQ&usg=AFQjCNFSyiwFuLgAiCg_YlBJTnBZGN5imQ&sig2=7GsuFp9KHox47uEXq_s0OA&bvm=bv.79908130,d.bGQ>
Gianatasio, David. “Hunkvertising: The Objectification of Men in Advertising some wish they’d just keep their assets covered.” ADWEEK. 2013. Web. 19 November 2014. < http://www.adweek.com/news/advertising-branding/hunkvertising-objectification-men-advertising-152925 >
Goh-Mah, Joy. “The Objectification of Women – It Goes Much Further Than Sexy Pictures.” The Huffington Post. 2013. Web. 19 November 2014. < http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/joy-goh-mah/objectification-women-sexy-pictures_b_3403251.html >
Goudreau, Jenna. “The Hidden Dangers Of Cosmetic Surgery.” Forbes. 2011. Web. 19 November 2014. < http://www.forbes.com/sites/jennagoudreau/2011/06/16/hidden-dangers-of-cosmetic-surgery/ >
Holmstrom, Amanda. “The Effects of the Media on Body Image: A Meta-Analysis” Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media Volume 48 (2004): 1.
RCPSYCH. Anorexia and Bulimia. 2014. Web. 19 November 2014. < http://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/healthadvice/problemsdisorders/anorexiaandbulimia.aspx >
Stewart, Dodai. “Americans Spend Billions on Beauty Products But Are Not Very Happy.”Jezebel. 2012. Web. 19 November 2014. < http://jezebel.com/5931654/americans-spend-billions-on-beauty-products-and-are-still-pretty-unhappy/ >
Striegel-Moore, R., Franko, D. Body Image Issues among Girls and Women. In T. F. Cash & T. Pruzinsky (Eds.), Body Image: A handbook of theory, research, and clinical practice (p. 183-191). New York: Guilford Press.
Webster, Dr Irina. “Eating Disorders And Media.” Selfgrowth. 19 June 2008. Web. 7 Nov. 2014. < http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/Eating_disorders_and_media.html>