Mass media distorts images of women

Victoria’s Secret models, Cosmopolitan articles and overly skinny models such as Kate Moss are only a few examples of the images that some women in the 21st century judge themselves against. But so what, right? How will a picture of the skinny, voluptuous and provocative Megan Fox plastered on the cover of this month’s April Cosmopolitan affect women?

The answer is: a lot more than one might probably think.

The fact is, women today are consistently surrounded by unrealistic images in the media that tend to sit placidly in women’s psyches. Just browse the magazines in any grocery store and without a doubt there will be images of perfectly toned and perfectly Photoshopped women with an impractical body size.

Actually, browse the April 4 issue of The Merciad to read Jaslyne Halter’s article “Weight loss always an option.”
In the article, Halter bravely wrote that she felt she was “the poster child for the ‘fat college student’” and admitted to giving in to society’s “interpretation of beauty.” In other words, Halter compared herself to the media image of beauty, and after, deemed herself “fat.”

Now don’t get me wrong, I completely agree that trying to live a healthy lifestyle is a definite must in anyone’s life. But I wanted to rebut and ask women to look at things from a different perspective.

Instead of women comparing themselves and giving in to the media’s image of women, they should first ask how many people in the world actually look like the media’s depiction of the “perfect women.”

Specifically, try and remember that the women in Cosmo or the woman modeling the new summer 2012 bikini line, are not real. Literally, they are not real.

Their bodies are morphed with technology and Photoshop to the point where they are, in sum, computerized and made up.

Therefore, I wanted to stress that women should not “agree with society’s interpretation of beauty” because in turn they will only be agreeing with, and then comparing themselves to, a lie.

I’ll admit that it feels great to get a good work out in when it’s possible and that being overweight can be unhealthy, but women should not compare themselves to the contestants on America’s Next Top Model because it’s idealistic, unhealthy, false and non-progressive.

Remember, those who run mass media may be in charge of what is seen on TV, in magazines, and in daily lives, but by choosing not to agree with, and comparing oneself to, the unrealistic images is a progressive step in changing the way beauty is measured in society today.