“Lose five pounds in five days!”

Media promotes unhealthy body image

Young women strive for the perfect body.

Why? Because media and the entertainment industry have devalued what a healthy woman should look like and built up the bodies of super models and celebrities, under pressure to remain thin.

You can see it anywhere: “Lose five pounds in five days!” Or “Who has the best bikini body?” Magazines often have separate beauty sections focused on how young girls should attempt to look.

“E! Entertainment News” dedicates its entire practice to how celebrities look. Who’s hot? Who’s not? The right hair, outfit and shoes are scrutinized down to the tiniest detail, and if a woman falls short of the gorgeous standard, don’t bother checking the news because the critics are downright nasty.

There are few advertisements and commercial campaigns that come right out with a direct statement about beauty. But many contain underlying messages about how a woman should look ideally.

In the article, “Eating Disorders: Body Image and Advertising,” one study showed 75 percent of normal weight women consider themselves overweight, and 90 percent of women believe they are bigger than they truly are.

The media markets desire: a desire to be thin, a desire to be sexy, all with the idea to sell a product. Women become obsessed with unattainable standards of beauty and ultimately become frustrated or disappointed and trend toward unhealthy weight control habits.

According to the same article, models today weigh 23 percent less than the average female. This pushes young women to measure their self-worth on an atypical value rather than what most girls actually look like, which according to the San Francisco Chronicle, is a size 14.

I have witnessed this devaluation of self because of a size. I see my friends constantly degrade their bodies and be unhappy with the curves they were given. Crash course diets are put in place, and an unhappy obsession with a number starts a downward spiral.

Models are stick thin, so the rest of the world should be too?


The media puts a lot of stress on women’s self-image. The average size is forgotten, and life-size Barbies are put on a pedestal. The argument of “true beauty lies within” is long forgotten in this harsh world full of quick tips to looking prettier.

Unfortunately, physical beauty only goes so far in life.