Persuasion in the Media

Topics: Mass media, Anorexia nervosa, Self-esteem Pages: 8 (2891 words) Published: December 18, 2006
When you get home at night from a long day of school or work, you sit down and turn on the television and you cycle through the stations trying to find ¡§THE SHOW¡¨ to watch. As you cycle through you witness something that you may not realize effect millions of people around the world. The problem isn¡¦t having trouble finding something suited to your liking and the mood you are in¡Kbut the problem that I am going to describe effects guys and girls all over the world. It¡¦s not watching MTV¡¦s Real World or Grey¡¦s Anatomy, but it¡¦s the image that their characters portray. How does the media portray the characters of your favorite television show? When you take a closer look at how the media portrays the famous you start to see a definite trend. In this paper I will walk through five different articles that will open your eyes to the truth about how the mass media has a controlling effect and a lasting impression in the minds of many. Along with the misconception that thin or having the perfect body is to be expected because of the mass media.

Article #1
The influence of the media on eating disorders

When I think about how the media effect the way we perceive ourselves I think about how things were when my parents were just young kids. Who influenced the way people thought about themselves? The first woman that comes to my mind along with many others would be Marilyn Monroe. For her time she was the perfect woman. Beautiful facial features, great healthy body¡KPerfect! It started then. The mass media has kept a lasting image of a voluptuous beautifully curved woman in our heads until recent times where a thinner ¡§waif-like¡¨ look of Kate Moss in the late 80¡¦s (Blackwell science). Times have changed from then. When you were to look at the perfect body from then compared to the perception of the perfect body now it is drastically different. Taller, thinner, and more of an unnatural figure that doesn¡¦t reflect the majority of the population. What does this new type of person make you think about yourself? The physiologic norm is far from the ideal media image. Supermodels are a breed all their own. They are born with the bodies they have now without the extreme dietary methods that so many use to achieve the perfect body. But looking at this in the eyes of so many women don¡¦t set out to be anorexic, they begin this train of thought from the mass media telling them that their efforts to be perfect are right (Blackwell science). The causes of extreme to light eating disorders have multiple factors. One such factor is the family influence. The family has influences on almost every aspect of a young person¡¦s development and growth and if there is pressure at home at that crucial period, which could cause a serious self esteem issue that could lead to eating disorders to say the least. The next factor is the influence of peers. Peers shape the way individuals think because they spend so much time together and they have similar interest outlooks. Lastly the influence of the media on how we perceive ourselves. Described from earlier the media is watched by millions and the body images of the most widely looked at celebrities are nearly impossible to achieve naturally without being born ¡§that certain way.¡¨ Everywhere we go the media is telling us that the extreme efforts that we are taking to become perfect is the right one. The products that make the beautiful¡Kbeautiful is not the reason why they are attractive, but that is the idea in present times and I believe that is directly linked to the mass media and how they display personal image to whoever is watching. Purchasing such products is thought to being steps to reaching the perfect body. These products are mostly directed at young girls trying to impose the idea if they use this expensive products they will become this perfect model and life will be perfect. Being at such a young age it makes them vulnerable to the influences of the media...
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