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How Does the Media Affect Women's Body Images?

Updated on January 7, 2018

In what ways has the media affected women?

Negatively. With images, advertisements, commercials, shows and movies women are portrayed as people who have perfect bodies. They are beautiful with make up, no wrinkles, long legs and thin physiques. This unattainable image of women seen by society in the media damages a woman's self esteem. Because this is an impossible image, women will do anything to achieve it.

Your reflection, that's what matters.


What society wants you to see when you look in the mirror...

Society makes you believe that you have to look like the women in the media, the magazine or the movie. So when you look in the mirror and see a pimple or a blemish you become uneasy because of the media's images. This is where the dangerous affects come into play. The media creates a perfect looking woman with all the technology they have which women in America then think they have to compare to. The problem is that it isn't true and women need to start loving themselves for who they are and how they look naturally.

Going to extremes to reach beauty.

Studies suggest that the media causes most women to feel ashamed of the way they look. They try to achieve an “ideal and beautiful body”. Most of the time this means being skinny both in an extreme and unhealthy way.

You don't have to have the ideal body to still be on the cover of ESPN!


It's an athlete! Does it look like one? Does it matter?

Prince Fielder is an example of loving yourself and someone who is not ashamed of himself. ESPN put his photo in the magazine to show people that even though he doesn't have a six pack, he can still be handsome and still be called an athlete. In his statement he is clear that he knows he is not the picture perfect athlete and he's proud of that. He's not killing himself to be someone he's not or achieve an ideal that is impossible. That is the message many women need to hear!

The statistics.

The constant reminder that your not good enough.

What's the main issue behind the media's portrayal of women anyways? It's everywhere you look, there's no escaping it, the constant reminder that your not skinny enough or beautiful enough. As a young child even, there's pressure to fit in which means doing your make up, keeping up with a flat stomach and long beautiful legs and long pretty hair. It never ends. No matter where you look there's a model on the commercial of the TV show your watching, or the pretty actress in the movie. It's hard to not always have it in the back of your head that you don't compare to someone photo shopped in a picture or movie. That is the problem with the media today.

How much are we willing to spend?

What will women do to make themselves acceptable to society's standards portrayed in the media? Women spend hundreds and thousands of dollars on plastic surgery to lift their face or take away fat to make themselves look "beautiful". What's beautiful is how you look with your imperfections. No one's perfect and don't let the media tell you that anyone is. When you believe that, you just become another statistic who changed themselves to compete with an impossible ideal.

It's an around the clock job.


Acceptance is the first step to a healthier you!

You don't pick and choose when to love your kids do you? Then don't deprive your body of the love it so badly needs either! Not loving yourself leads to so many other life damaging things like drifting away from your social life, becoming aggressive and less time being happy. It's not that easy to reach a point of loving yourself again once you've already reached a point of not doing so. I'm not here to tell you that it is easy. What I'm saying is that you can make life choices that are healthier for your mind and body. And that starts with acceptance and loving your body for the way it is. After that, if you want to make changes it will become easier.

Don't fall into bad habits like these..

When women start to have lower self esteem, it causes them to engage in bad habits. These bad habits are ones that have evolved from not being able to obtain the perfect body the media reveals through images on magazines, advertisement, commercials, movies and shows. Anorexia, depression and self harming are all bad habits women engage in when they feel as though they are not enough as compared to women in the media.

Opposing norms.

Be your best self.

This is a woman has come together with other woman of size to help fight against negative thoughts revolving around people who are over weight. This woman engages in many activities and does things which most people think “fat” people shouldn’t do. For example, she gets into a bathing suit with her friends and is care free about it. She runs the walk way in a modeling competition. She also had the opportunity to dance and it was without doubt controversial. Her messages aims to show society that “fat” women can in-fact be a part of society just like anyone else. She says that just because your not skinny doesn’t make you any less of a person like society thinks. Society treats over weight people differently as she mentions that she can barely walk out in public without getting looks from people. Her goal is to help more women of size go against the norm and be proud and happy with themselves.

Waste of time.


Reality Check.

It doesn't matter what others think. As hard as it might be to hear that, it really doesn't. To think that we spend this much time on how we look just to please others is mind blowing. Society wants you to believe that you won't be accepted if you don't look a certain way. Guess what, you can look how ever you want to look and people can think what they want to think. As long as your happy, that's all that matters.


How do I change my mind set from hating my body to loving my body? Something many women like you struggle with daily because of the medias impact on your self image. With self esteem, a positive attitude and emotional stability you can begin to start loving yourself again. Thinking of yourself as a woman with confidence will help you feel better about yourself. If you don't have emotional stability you wont achieve a healthier you. Start by breathing regularly when you become frustrated, remember the goal at hand and don't lose sight of what's important which is loving yourself.


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