Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Representation of Women's Body Types in the Media is Killing us Softly

Something that really stood out to me in many of the advertisements that Jean Kilbourne showed in her presentation last night is women's body image and how even the thinnest models are photo shopped, and not even those models could ever really look like the end-result photographs of themselves.  It is scary to think about the fact that the media affects us so much when it comes to body image, and especially affects young girls all around the world.  It is really interesting to me that when Jean Kilbourne started talking to people about the issues of the representations of women in advertisements, it was a very new topic that was not discussed by many others.  Today there are a many people who focus on this subject and she is no longer alone, yet the media continues to feed us images of unattainable body types and sexualized women seen as objects in advertisements.  It makes me question when the media will finally change the way that they represent women, and how this change will come about.  There are plenty of advertisement campaigns that go against negative representations of women in the media, such as the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty, which aims to change the definition of beauty by represent women in the media with realistic body types as beautiful, real women.  As Jean Kilbourne said, the campaign isn't perfect, but it definitely seems like a step in the right direction for the way that women are represented in the media.  Thin models have definitely gotten a lot of negative attention, especially in images that are photos hopped, such as the Ralph Lauren photoshop scandal, in which a woman who is 5'10" and 120 pounds is made to look even smaller than she already is.  Below, the model is pictured on the left and the photo shopped image of her is pictured on the right.  As Kilbourne pointed out, her waist is smaller than the size of her head which is anatomically impossible.  It is images like these, that show women's bodies that they don't even have themselves in reality, that make girls and women feel like their body types aren't good enough and that they are not attractive because they cannot achieve the bodies that the models they see have. 

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