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Slim and Flawless…and Perfect

-Submitted by Agnes Karimi
*This blog was created for a classroom assignment on media and advertisements

 
When I first moved to the U.S., I was surprised at the amount of commercials on TV.  But, what shocked me most was how graphic some of the advertisements were. It didn’t take me long to notice the majority of ads have thin women featured, seemingly the ideal body type.  Some advertisement companies have now started using women of all shapes and sizes to sell their products… but the number still doesn’t compare to that of the ‘ideal’ women.

In our society a slim figure and flawless skin is perceived to be more attractive. The woman in most magazine ads don’t appear to have any blemishes at all. These images make women feel very self-conscious about themselves, causing them to spend a lot of their time and money fixing what the media tells them are flaws.

These two ads use sex appeal to attract our attention. Encouraging sexual objectification, women are consequently being robbed of the respect they deserve. This comes with huge consequences; women are vulnerable in a culture in which there is such widespread objectification of women’s bodies and such glorification of disconnection¹.
Advertisements are ever-reminding women that they are not beautiful enough. Bringing on a comparison of body and skin types creates a feeling of insecurity, resulting in decreased levels of self-esteem. It is hard for girls not to learn self-hatred in an environment in which there is such widespread and open contempt for women¹.
Ads set unrealistic standards for women the moment they alter the natural images of the women they use. Some of the images of the models do not even look the models themselves in real life.  Usually they are not as thin, flawless, or perfect as they are portrayed to be.

 
Consider the following questions:
Should advertisement companies have a sense of responsibility to the public? Why or Why not?
How do you feel when you see an ad portraying the ‘perfect’ body or skin type?

 

¹Colombo, Gary, Robert Cullen, and Bonnie Lisle. Rereading America. 9th Ed.
Boston: Bedford-St. Martin’s, 2013. Print.

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