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The Power of Personal Image

Uploaded by Admin on Jan 22, 1999

A young woman stands in front of the mirror and is disgusted by the reflection that only she can see. Thunder thighs, flabby arms, and a pot belly obstruct her view of the beautiful, smart, and loving woman who stares back at her. This is exactly the type of person the advertisement agencies and the media prey upon, someone who is self-conscious and ashamed of her body, someone who is willing to go to any length or pay any price to have the "perfect" body. In her essay, "Narcissism as Liberation", Susan Douglas wrote about the power and influence that the advertisement industry has in America. The advertisement agencies and the media do not just prey upon self-hating persons, they help to create them.

"When an image is presented..., the way people look at it is affected by a whole series of learnt assumptions. Assumptions concerning: Beauty, Truth, Status, Taste, etc. (Berger 53)." We learn from a very early age all about assumptions concerning body image. Television commercials and magazine advertisements teach us that we must look like model and surround ourselves with beautiful things in order to live a worth while life. We are constantly bombarded with images of

"beauty" every time we turn on the television set or flip through the pages of magazines. Day after day, hour after hour, minute after minute, our minds are being filled with images of "beautiful people" endorsing products that they claim will make us beautiful as well. We believe what these advertisements claim, and we buy the products. After using the product, we begin to compare ourselves to the so called "beautiful people" in the advertisement and soon realize that we do not measure up. We learn from a very early age that it seems our bodies are inferior to the rest of the world's.

The advertisement industry and the media have the power to influence our opinion on what we see as being beautiful. Advertisements dictate what we must look like in order to be accepted in a world so obsessed with body image. They tell us that it is no longer sexy to have a normal body with a little fat on your bones. The hour glass figure is out of style, while the stick figure is in style. In order to be considered sexy and beautiful in today's world women must have the tanned body of a half starved...

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Uploaded by:   Admin

Date:   01/22/1999

Category:   Social Issues

Length:   7 pages (1,472 words)

Views:   1086

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