Fat Chance: Why Thin Is in and a Social Problem Essay

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Fat Chance: Why Thin Is In and A Social Problem
SOC Social Problems
Instructor Risa Garelick
September 1, 2013

The social problem topic I have selected for my final paper is picture society and mass media portray beautiful to be, the need to be thin to be beautiful which is message that is sent to an adolescent girl and young women throughout society by magazines, motion pictures, Television, and even in the books we read. From the day we are born society and our environment teaches us who we are and who we will become pertaining to gender and is referred to as gender socialization, with this gender socialization through our parents, peers, teachers, and mass media sending the message that for a person to be beautiful, popular, and accepted they must fit the criteria of extremely thin as depicted in mass media. (Korgen & Furst 2012) The need to be thin is a social problem due to it is society that sends the message that a young girl must do whatever it takes to be that thin they see in the movies and marketing ads. How do these adolescent girls and young women who are of a healthy size become that thin? These girls and women go on extreme diets, take pills, restrict their food intake till they achieve the thinness they feel makes them beautiful and will be accepted by their peers. What does these extreme measure do to the girls and young women, it generates eating disorders, depression, and other psychological disorders, as well as possible health issues. In most cases these psychological disorders and health issues will become the concern of governmental aided programs in an attempt to resolve the issues and concerns. (Lopez-Guimera 2010) It is through that gender socialization we lose sight of who we truly should be. It deprives an adolescent girl and a young women the ability to accept who they are and the body they have. Not all females are built the same way, some are larger, some are smaller, some have acne, some have full hair, some have fine hair, no one female is the same as another. Mass media sends the message that all females can look the same, have the same clear completion, the same full beautiful hair. Media may send that beautiful message, but they do not send the message of what it takes for each of those actresses and models to look the way they do in the marketing ads. It is common knowledge that there is airbrushing and makeup artists that perform those miracles. (Lopez-Guimera 2010) What can be done to reverse the damage of these impossible goals? Policies set into place that govern mass media in an attempt to keep marketing agencies promoting unrealistic extreme thinness. Policies and programs can be put into place to education the public, society to the effects these marketing ads have on impressionable adolescent girls and young women as well as the effects of the attempts for normal females to achieve the unrealistic thinness seen in mass media. (Lam 2009) One form of treatment for body image dissatisfaction is education. If we educate our young girls to the truths behind images seen in mass media hopefully we can either avert or rebuild their thought process and give a healthy knowledge that it is ok to be who they are and look like they do. We need to teach these adolescent girls and young women that not everyone is the same and that we are all different. We can teach females to love themselves and accept themselves as they are, not as they see themselves not looking like the females in mass media ads. (Raich 2009)
I selected the social problem of body image because I feel it is an important issue found in society today. If we can tackle this problem and keep even one