The Model Body: Negative Body Image in Women

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Have you ever looked at advertisements and noticed some sort of pattern? Most models are known for being tall, petite, and having no kind of flaw whatsoever. This has caused young women to think that this is what they should aspire to look like. Due to the lack of accurate representation in the media, women have been pressured into thinking that this is the only kind of beautiful.

Approximately 91% of women are unhappy with their bodies, and many resort to dieting to achieve their ideal body shape. Yet only 5% of women naturally possess the body type often portrayed in the American media. Studies show that the more reality TV we watch, the more likely we are to find appearance important.

Most of the pictures portrayed in the media aren’t even genuine because they use Photoshop. Some celebrities feel the need to look “ideal” in their photos, so they trick viewers into thinking that their appearance is acquirable.

In my opinion, agencies don’t hire enough models of different races — after all, 80% of runway models are white. If we added different varieties of race and size, it would expand the cultural awareness of young girls.

This media portrayal has resulted in eating disorders, anxiety, depression, and weight gain in women. Young girls see photos in magazines and on the Internet and have these images mentally copied into their heads while thinking, “This is what women look like.”  Luckily there have been positive role models like Ashley Graham, who inform us that we don’t have to change the way we look for anyone.

It is hard to be confident all the time when we hear criticisms like too tall, too short, too dark, too pale, too skinny, too overweight and too unorthodox. Why can’t we embrace and promote our differences for who we are? After all, our differences are what make us unique.