English 1301- 50121
March 6, 2013
False Media Images Create Negative Effects In today’s society, media uses images to display facts, social norms, current events, and anything newsworthy via internet, television, and radio. Media is accessible to people in every aspect of their daily lives and strongly influences society as a whole, shaping popular culture and public opinion. When abused, the power that the media wields can be harmful to the general population it serves and creates bias, which tends to make the general public want to be someone else’s idea of perfect as normal. People subconsciously ignore their own goals, ideals, and beliefs. Media purposely markets to men and women the idea that one has to be thin, muscular, wealthy, or tanned, which leads to a general decline in one’s self-worth and self-acceptance. The majority of media outlets today market that the perfect body is what everyone is looking for and that everyone can have it if they use a certain product, buy a certain gimmick, or use a certain idea. “Media images are ideal for motivating people to better themselves” said the editor of Glamour magazine (Levie 2). While these types of market practices are useful to the companies pushing these products and ideas and their financial bottom line, many people end up suffering from the inner conflicts that result from the failure to achieve these body types that athletes or fashion models are able to maintain. “Weight loss is hard work, and telling consumers otherwise is deceptive,” said David Vladek, head of the Federal Trade Commission’s consumer-protection bureau (FTC Targets). It has been argued that these media portrayals are motivators to the consumer to improve their diets and overall health. However, with these false impressions about products, consumers are the ones that suffer most from society’s portrayal of the perfect body. After being influenced by a television commercial or magazine ad, certain people will purchase an item hoping that the same result will be afforded to them as well. The truth of the matter is this hardly ever happens. Every day, ugly people wear sensual cologne, and terrible basketball players wear Michael Jordan endorsed shoes. Mentally, some may feel improved but in reality nothing has changed. Realization of this leads to the demise of one’s self-worth and pride. The severity of both the physical and mental damage done to the person’s psyche depends on the individual. Some resort to extreme diets, unnecessary spending, and eventually a decline in social activity. After being rejected at a social event despite the bath taken in that special cologne, one might finally understand that one’s appearance or personality is the problem – not the cologne. Along with emotional conflicts, those influenced by these media practices encounter physical problems including, but not limited to, terrible dietary practices, bulimia, and anorexia. Unless honest reality is discerned from what is presented in major media circles, many people will continue to be harmed themselves as well as suffer needlessly. If products were advertised with the average person rather than these sensational characters, they would be more likely to find the truth about the products they are consuming daily or utilizing daily. Until this is accomplished, the average consumer will be vulnerable to the negative effects of this type of media advertising. A company is able to profit at the expense of the consumers.
People resort to losing weight to attain that athletic look and media argues that they are motivating people to care better for themselves. In fact, such conditions often end in some form of psychiatric disorders such as bulimia and anorexia:
Bulimia is a food disorder caused by mental insecurities. Doctors recommend that bulimic people see a psychiatrist because the illness’s symptoms, including compulsive exercise, taking laxatives, and throwing up, can cause one’s body…