The Media’s Influence on Female Body Dissatisfaction Too often we hear ourselves and others complain about the way we look. Females of all ages complain that they need to lose weight, need a nose Job, lip injections, Bottom, and implants. These surgical procedures are even advertised on public transportation. Most of us are not satisfied with our bodies even though we are considered healthy. What can possibly be the cause for most women to be dissatisfied with their natural bodies? Consider that most women are comparing themselves to unrealistic models in magazines and “perfect” bodies advertising assign and beauty products.
Notice I quote the word perfect, I do this because I believe body image is subjective, yet many people don’t think so anymore causing them to become dissatisfied with their bodies. This unfortunate dissatisfaction is caused by the way the media portrays beauty and the ideal body. Commissioning editor of The Observer magazine Eva Washman, In her persuasive-informative article, “Uncomfortable in our skin: the body-image report,” discusses the media’s massive role on the way most people, from pre teens to senior citizens, are dissatisfied with their bodies.
She adopts an earnest tone in order to display Just how massive the media’s role towards this issue is to her adult readers. Washman’s purpose is to expose that the way the media displays the ideal attractive body will, has, and is causing people from as young as age seven to be dissatisfied with their body. Washman advises people, who feel dissatisfied with their bodies, to consume the media critically and realize that they are advertising trying to sell them something. In the beginning of her article washman arrives at the University of the West of England to visit the world’s only Centre for Appearance Research (Car).
There she meets the women of the Car, a team led by Professor Nicholas Ramsey and Dry Diana Harcourt, to discuss their research on how people deal with changing attitudes to appearance, and along the way helping answer the question: why do people, women and men, hate the way they look? She mentions to them that she doesn’t like the way she looks as well. Throughout her article she points out four main points about the way the media is effecting the way people, specifically women, hate the way they look.
First she points out that people are becoming dissatisfied with their appearance from a onus age and for many women it lasts almost forever. Second she points out that people who are dissatisfied with their appearance compare themselves to social networked strangers, celebrities, and to photodiode images provided by the media. Third she points out that It is the fashion industry fault for making skinny, bony, unhealthy models seem like the ideal “perfect body’ because their size zero sample sizes force the media to advertise on such bodies.
The fourth point, she adds, is that today’s diets, which are continuously advertised by the media in magazines, TV, and he radio, are the way people are cognitively encouraged to eat and are to blame for their anxiety. Washman concludes that the best way for people to get past the media false portrayal of the ideal “perfect” body, is to consume the media critically by reminding themselves that the media is advertising, and they are Just trying to sell them a certain product. Washman also concludes that after leaving the Car she is still insecure with her appearance but she now has a better understanding of why she feels that way.
Washman furthers her purpose by effectively combining the use of Logos, Ethos, and Pathos to expand her main points. Washman Effectively convinces her audience that the media has a massive role on the way most people, from pre teens to senior citizens, are dissatisfied with their bodies through the use of interviewing women who are in a powerful position in the media paired with emotional stories from victims of this dissatisfaction including herself. She also tells of her extensive research in the area to make her readers believe in her credibility.
By using all 3 strategies, Logos, Ethos, and Pathos she effectively gets the reader to believe her logically, to relate emotionally, and to establish her authority. Although washman’s article is strong and credible, I believe she personalizes the topic. The Car talks in general about the way people hate the way they look while she mainly focuses on the female sex. I think that took away from her purpose because she started out talking about both sexes but got into detail on only the effect it has on females. Also, throughout the article she misuses Ethos or authority by not citing her sources in some areas.
I agree with all of Wigwams points completely, I can relate to them because I personally am dissatisfied with my appearance and she helped me analyze why the media is to blame for our dissatisfaction. Specifically thou I agree that our anxiety. I always feel so guilty when I have a piece of chocolate or a bag of chips. The reason I feel guilty is because I feel like models and women who are considered sexy are watching out, working hard, and avoiding these foods, and I am eating them and not being as slim as the people who don’t.
Washman mention Bounce’s Bibb post pregnancy weight loss in her article to support my thoughts and feelings. Washman’s effective use of Logos and misuse of ethos appears in her first point; People are coming dissatisfied with their appearance at a young age, and in many cases this dissatisfaction lasts almost forever. She uses Logos or logic to prove her point by bringing in statistics. She explains that at age 5 children start to realize that their appearance is being Judged by others, at age seven they feel insecure and dissatisfied with their appearance, and that 90% of women in Britain feel anxious about their body image. Although she did somewhat prove her point she did not include her source here, which causes the audience to question her credibility of this topic. She then explained that this can almost last forever in some women. Contrastingly in this part of her evidence Washman clearly states “And it doesn’t wane – many women in their ass are still anxious about the way their bodies look which, Professor Ramsey explains, can even affect their treatment in hospital, when their health choices are influenced by aesthetics. I agree with her because, being born in the mid ass’s, I went through body dissatisfaction at a very young age. I used to cry to my mom when I was 6 because I didn’t look anything like Barbie. Now I feel very ignorant for that but I still feel dissatisfied with my body even though I am at a healthy weight. She shows logic because her point is clear and specific, she has strong reason, and she gives evidence of her point, but her evidence is not completely credible therefore her logos or logic is not either because in order to have strong logic your evidence must also be credible.
As you can see in her statistics she discuses males, she only speaks of females, this will most likely cause her body image-dissatisfied males to draw away from her article. Washman then uses Ethos in a better way along with pathos or emotion to continue to prove her first point. She connects herself by going back to her editing career. She tells a story about her emotions towards her appearance. She states “Two years ago I started writing a column for this magazine, illustrated by a photo of my face. At times it made me feel odd (l have never liked photos), at other times sad, often anxious.
It made me more aware that I don’t like the way I look, but more, I don’t like the fact that I don’t like it. But it’s not Just me. All Car’s research suggests that Britain’s body image is in crisis. ” Here she establishes authority effectively by connecting herself to the gist and she uses Car as a credible source. Pathos is used here because of her emotional story bout how she has been feeling dissatisfied with her appearance for the past two years of her career. The emotion she used is where the Pathos strategy comes in.
She gets the audience to relate to her feelings by using this story to get there emotions going and to also get them to imagine the illustration of her face. She uses the words Odd, sad, and anxious. Her use of diction here is clear there is a pattern of sadness in her words to get the audience to realize how the media affects their emotions negatively Just like it does for her. I think she should have used a much stronger rod than sad, I would liked it if she used the word gloomy or even another word that is more intense such as depressed.
Also I think the women and men reading this will find themselves questioning what exactly made her feel sad, odd, and anxious. What about the illustration made her feel that way? She does not demonstrate the illustration at all. I think if she was more specific, It would bring more emotion to them and help them imagine the illustration more vividly. Wigwams point that people who are dissatisfied with their appearance compare themselves to social worked strangers, celebrities, and to photodiode images revived by the media is proven by her effective use of logic.
This time she establishes better Ethos or authority to make it much more credible. “We’ve always compared ourselves to other people, but what has changed is the way we use images. ” She says. She then brings up a famous study, to back her claim up, which looked at teenage girls in Fiji after TV was introduced to them in 1995. The study showed that after three years of the girls watching TV, the most ones who watched it were 50% more likely to describe themselves as “too fat”; 29% scored highly on a test of eating-disorder risk.
Her clear use of statistics and logic causes her audience to believe what she is saying because she has evidence, a scientific study, to go with her thesis. She establishes credibility by proving that the media really does have a massive affect on their body dissatisfaction and the evidence is there to speak for her. I can’t agree with her more on this. The medias role here is way too clear. Many of my friends are always out to get that celebrity look and do not feel satisfied because they will never look exactly like that celebrity.
I think if this study was done again in 2013 the rates would be much higher. Washman uses Pathos or emotion and Ethos or authority to prove her third point; It is the fashion industry fault for making skinny, bony, unhealthy models seem like the ideal “perfect body’ because their size zero sample sizes force the media to advertise on such bodies. Washman decides to use a personal interview with the editor of Vogue Alexandra Sultan. Washman explains that Sultan herself knows that “real people”, actors featured in Vogue, don’t fit sample size cloths.
Her exact words are “We’re sitting in her bright white office, beside shelves displaying international Vogue covers. She points at them one by one. Washman says. ” As she pointed at them one by one washman says that she that she explained that the celebrities in each of the covers were wearing sample sizes that fit them tight, unlike the models. ” The way she presents this information is much more detailed and adds vivid images of their conversation. This kind of vivid information presented with such strong imaginary detail is a great example of the way Washman uses detail in proving her third point.
She continues to add evidence, but now she uses Ethos. She speaks of sultans efforts to get the fashion industry to roved larger sample sizes because she did not like that their tiny designs were forcing editors to shoot them on models with no “breasts or hips”. Washman then asks sultan if she has seen any change throughout her efforts. Sultan sees that there is still a bit off blindness and the fashion industry does not realize that people want to see something different. I completely agree with sultan because I am the same way as well.
I am Muslim and often times I prefer shopping at boutiques owned by other Muslims because they provide Muslim and middle eastern fashion and there models wear a hajji Just like I do. Washman also agrees with her by saying “She’s right”, but she doesn’t stop there she adds her evidence. She states “Ben Barry (a PhD student at Cambridge University) surveyed 3,000 women, the vast majority of whom significantly increase purchase intentions when they see a model that reflects their age, size and race”. Here Washman demonstrates complete credibility.
She demonstrates respect for sultans viewpoint and thoughts. Backs up both her thoughts and Sultans thoughts with credible evidence and sources, and she cited her source correctly. Her fourth point claiming that Today’s diets, which are mutinously advertised by the media in magazines, TV, and the radio, are the way people are cognitively encouraged to eat and are to blame for their anxiety she combines the use of ethos and logos to show credibility and then uses pathos to get her audience to emotionally feel her thesis. Washman starts out with the use of statistics.
She begins by mentioning that rates of depression in women and girls doubled between 2000 and 2010 then she adds that the more women self objectify themselves the more they become depressed. She proposes that this is caused by the medias warm embrace of disordered eating. Then she backs up her thoughts with evidence. “Garcia reports that Beyond lost 60 pounds of “baby weight” by eating only lettuce. Cosmopolitan wrote about Kate Middleman’s “Dugan diet”, which begins with seven days of pure protein, and later two “celebration meals” a week.
If women don’t look like Beyond or Kate Middleton, their flat stomachs a testament to their stamina then, it seems, they are not working hard enough. ” here she is using Logos by providing deductive reasoning. She uses this by first stating her evidence then proving her thoughts towards it and adding it to her thesis or point. She adds ethos to it by providing her sources correctly in this case her magazine titles while titillating them. This establishes her credibility. She continues to prove her fourth point by interviewing Lauren codger.
Washman explains that Codger is, in her words, “One celebrity whose body is frequently scrutinized (and scorned) by the tabloid media”. Washman meets with Codger as she is weeks into a drastic diet plan. Washman says to her: ” Many women feel Judged on their appearance in some way, but what does it feel like to have those verdicts read by 99 million people a month? ” Now before I mention Codgers response I want to mention that washman most probably chose that question knowing that Codger is going to have an emotional response.
She does this so she can be able to provide Pathos or emotion when she comes to write about her interview to her audience women who somewhat share the same feelings. Washman said that Codger responded by saying “l can’t look at comments. I can’t buy the mass any more. I used to love them, but I was happy then. Then my weight became a story, not Just for the show but for the press. Yeah, I’m definitely aware of the online scrutiny. My body becomes my work. ” Codgers Response causes people who are dissatisfied with their bodies to feel worse for codger than they feel for themselves after reading this.
Codger is one of the victims who find that today’s diets are the way they cognitively feel encouraged to eat and are to blame for their anxiety. In sum, Washman’s Article is very useful because it demonstrates the media’s massive role on the way females, from pre teens to senior citizens, are dissatisfied with their bodies. It offers ways the media is trying to avoid this negative influence, the reasons fate the influence, who is to blame, ND what women can possibly do about it, even thou they do not have control over the way the media portrays beauty.
Although it provides all these aspects to prove her thesis, I do not consider it one 100% credible because Washman forgets to cite some sources and loses focus when talking about women specifically instead of all people generally as she first stated. I Think both sexes are dissatisfied with their appearance equally from the media’s false portrayal of beauty and the ideal body image.
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