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The (Less Than Ideal) Thin-Ideal

In: Social Issues

Submitted By aglaze34
Words 2979
Pages 12
Beautiful, a term defined by the Oxford Dictionary as “a combination of qualities such as shape, color, or form, that pleases the aesthetic senses, especially the sight”, is a term that most people want to be perceived as (“Beauty”). Celebrities who fit this definition act as role models for women who want to look like they do, and magazines and television advertisements are constantly telling women how they too can be “beautiful” by selling them weight loss products, exercise programs, and other image enhancers. The constant exposure to the media’s version of beautiful is not something that is often thought of as negative. However, their portrayal of what is beautiful has become distorted over the years, to the point where achieving this “thin-ideal”, which will be defined later, is nearly impossible for women if done through healthy means. Because of this, many women develop body dissatisfaction, which can lead to serious and dangerous consequences, such as the development of eating disorders, in order to be “beautiful”. While there are many factors that can be linked to eating disorders, research has found that the media’s influence on society’s portrayal of extremely thin females as the ideal body is directly correlated to the increase in body dissatisfaction, eating disorders and other harmful conditions found in women. By analyzing this from a feminist perspective, it can be argued that not only does the media’s influence on the idealization of thinness effect females physical and mental health negatively, but it also acts as reinforcement for the patriarchal culture prevalent in today’s society.
There is a wide range of eating disorders, ranging from minor to severe. Body dissatisfaction, which is “a psychiatric condition in which the affected person suffers from a flawed perception that views some part of the body or physical feature to be defective or

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