Today’s society, the media has succeeded in brainwashing the world . Things like, “Thin is in” “fat is out”, “eat this”, ” your beautiful if you look like this”, the list goes on and on. From the media, to weight loss company, magazine articles and cosmetic lines, they all want women to take their advice because of course they know what’s best for you as a woman, right?
Self-esteem, according to an article on the United States Small Business Administration (SABA) website entitled, “Self Esteem,” is appreciating one’s own worth ND importance and having the character to be accountable for oneself and to act responsibly toward others. It Is a confidence and satisfaction In oneself, and an absolute necessity (2001, pig. 1). The article also states that “nearly 1/3 of all Americans suffer from low self-esteem” (pig. 1).
The media, specifically women’s fashion magazines, is increasingly being held for the self-esteem epidemic that plagues’ our society. In almost every woman’s fashion magazine such as Ell, Cosmopolitan, and Glamour are advice articles on dating and sex, weight loss and beauty. In fact, the subtitles for these articles are on almost every cover of every issue of these publications. However, these same magazines consistently put thin, attractive women on the cover of their magazines as well.
Studying how these advice columns in women fashion magazines affect women will determine how often and to what extent women rely on these articles, therefore assisting in understanding the role communications and its mediums have on society. Women’s fashion magazines demonstrate how a woman should look and act and therefore have been criticized for Dolling the thin, attractive female. An article In the Journal of Family and analysis of body related content in Girl Zone,” in essence states that mainstream women’s fashion magazines make physical appearance out to be the most important aspect of a woman.
The problem is that these magazines use the thin, attractive women in their magazines without explaining to the reader that the pictures have been airbrushed and therefore are presenting “fake idols”. Women’s magazines have always have always had a large effect on women’s actions, mainly by indirectly dictating the role a woman should have in society. The easiest way this can be done is by publishing advice columns that “teach” women how to keep a man and how to “look beautiful”.
Today’s women’s fashion magazines, such as Vogue, Cosmopolitan, and Mademoiselle not only affect women, but also young girls. An article entitled “Narrative analysis of sexual etiquette in teenage magazines” found in the Journal of Communication discusses the messages teen magazines send to young women about social and cultural norms for sex and sexual relationships (Garner, Steer & Adams, 1998). The study suggests teen magazines teach women to accept men for who they re and to change themselves so that men will desire them. The authors explain that “the rhetoric of sexual etiquette encourages young women to be sex objects and teachers of interpersonal communication rather than lovers, friends, and partners. Young women are being taught to subordinate self for others and to be contained” (pig. 59). Being a woman in today’s’ society is tough. You have to try to be something that you are not, and unless you can afford the latest diet plan, newest makeup line, or latest fashion trend you will be left behind.
It would make more ensue to promote self-worth and happiness, but that would be too easy, and how can companies capitalize and make money from you being happy with yourself? They cannot. So to make you feel like something is wrong with yourself, they have come up with way on how to improve yourself so that you can learn to accept yourself, and so will others. Not to say that all magazines are alike, because they are not, but for the most part they want you to see and do things the way they see best, and if you don’t, then society will not accept you and neither will anyone else.
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