Over the next several days, I'm going to post sections of my thesis. I had a request to see it, and I figured I might as well post it here. It's about negative body images in the media and the programs that work to combat the negativity. Because the paper was long, each post will be one major section of the paper. Today I'll begin with my abstract.
The current definition of beauty is far too narrow. American society dictates that a woman is only beautiful if she is thin, regardless of any other characteristics she may possess. In fact, most people assume that a thin (beautiful) woman will have positive characteristics, such as kindness, whereas overweight (or even normal weight) women will have negative characteristics, such as cruelty. The media supports this notion by utilizing women in commercials and on television programs who are underweight.
Unfortunately, female adolescents do not realize that the women on television are not realistic or representative portrayals of the female population. They perceive that the women are appropriately-sized and that such a size will lead to happiness, so they must suffer the consequences: low body satisfaction, poor self-esteem, and sometimes eating disorders.
Surprisingly, a movement has arisen within the past decade to combat this epidemic. Organizations like the National Eating Disorder Association and companies like Dove are working to combat the negativity that the media projects onto young girls. They provide information, workshops, and constant support if the parents or teachers would become involved.