Roman wrote this empowering piece seeing the scaring effects of media’s beauty standards on the the females in his life!
“When peering into a women’s fashion magazine, what do you see? Do you find your eyes drifting over glossy, stunning images of women of all races, shapes, and sizes? Or do you instead see one standard of beauty – beauty that is thin, white, perfect, and unreal? Our society has a penchant to heavily focus on a principle that women must look like a fairytale standard of beauty. A standard where women are told to lose weight to be accepted.
There will always be new, impossible standards for beauty. No matter what milestone a woman makes in her attempt to achieve media’s standard of beauty, she will continue have demands hurled at her from every direction. Working in cahoots with magazines, the beauty industry subjugates the reader by subtly shaming them for the way they look thus making them insecure. This is why girls in high school, middle school, and even elementary school reported wanting to lose weight because of pictures they saw in magazines according to ANAD (National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders).
The magazines do this secretly so they don’t overtly upset the reader but merely plant a seed of doubt into the reader’s mind that makes them question their own self-worth. Now that the magazine has subconsciously demoralized the reader, it quickly offers helpful advice on how to repair the flaws nature saddled them with. This whole process is intricately woven in such a fashion that readers can’t distinguish where the magazine is shaming them and where it’s offering them helpful advice. Magazines almost always display their demands as helping women which is usually completely opposite from their intentions.
Advertisement plays a similar role by perpetuating the cycle of shame. Most beauty advertisement is aimed at women and at attacking their self-esteem. Because our society still ascribes a women’s value on her physical beauty, and because beauty still has one impossible flavor, advertisers have an unending source of wealth as they tap into women’s fears of not being desirable. Once an advertisement has crushed the confidence of a consumer with its mighty fist, it can sell anything. It makes you feel like you will have more friends, more money, and more happiness if you try to look the way the model looks in the advertisement. They feed the reader lies and false hopes, in which the advertisers depend on the viewer’s subservience to continue the cycle.
Media has the power to drive a woman to despair and to keep her mainlining the costly solutions the magazines sell, like a drug. They are addicted to the impossible image of beauty. Yet some hopeful signs are emerging of a movement where society is accepting women’s bodies and looks for what they are and celebrating their differences. For example, Calvin Klein used a size 10 model named Myla Dalbesio in their ad campaign which was shown in Elle magazine. This would have been unheard of a decade ago.
A growing number of celebrities such as Tyra Banks, Adele, and Jennifer Lawrence have been speaking out against media’s standard of beauty. Supporting media channels that advocate for a healthier, more inclusive image of beauty will help ensure these changes become the norm and girls don’t have to starve themselves to think they are attractive.”
My name is Roman Lloyd-Muller and I am a high school senior. I was inspired to write this paper because I have females in my life that I care a lot about and have seen the scaring effects of media’s beauty standards on them and so I felt like I needed to say something. As a young man, it is important that I take a stand against the pervasive media influence on women’s body image. A lot of people think it’s women’s job to address this problem. I feel that they already shoulder the burden of media’s unrealistic standards of beauty. This problem may only get worse for future generations. I see it as my responsibility to do as much as I can so the self-worth of our children, grandchildren, and even great grandchildren is not dominated by negative media influence.
Writer: Roman Lloyd-Muller Facebook: Roman L-m
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Thanks for the support and love 🙂 Your REglam Team xx
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