There are some girls out there who are completely comfortable with flaunting their natural beauty. However, the majority of young women today are afraid to accept themselves and show the world who they really are, because society has portrayed the picture perfect image of a girl and it’s not what they look like Currently, the ideal image for a girl includes those with skinny waists, flat tummies, and just being thin altogether. Which has changed from previous eras where bigger and curvier girls were considered beautiful along with skinny, but not extremely thin girls.
Teen girls already like to compare themselves and wish they were like Ariana Grande and Kate Hudson along with many other celebrities. “The Thin Ideal” does not help the self esteem of teen girls because it causes them to go to extremes to achieve that body image. Girls have been manipulated into thinking what is right and wrong with a girls image. On Huffington Post, Katie Atkinson says that “Women have been taught to compare themselves to others for most of their lives. There are signs everywhere, at every corner, flashing the words "you aren't good enough" to every teenaged girl in America.” Ads for products such as Skinny Fiber say stuff such as “Eat Less, Feel Fuller: which is why they call it Skinny Fiber is an example of what shames girls with fuller bodies. This ad is then followed by a drawing of a girl with a skinny waist, which is also on the packaging of the product. Although there are a lot more signs to be found everywhere that don’t specifically say those things it does not mean that those things are not being conveyed through an image. An image says more than a thousands words, especially an image that appears more than once and in many forms. It makes an attempt to send a message if they did not get it the other countless times and in ways they may understand.
Even though there are images out there of females portrayed as extremely thin down to the bone, with no thigh gap, and barely any muscle on their body, both women and girls alike have learned to empower themselves and know that they are better than what is being advertised in everywhere they go. Girls are now being thought a stronger side on self acceptance which brings more attention to different body images. On Huffington Post, Ellie Krupnick tested 37 different subject and got the following results “When the idealized female images are presented blatantly -- we detect the ideal being thrown in our faces. We therefore fortify our own self-image as a defense mechanism, as if to say, "We see what you're trying to do here... and we're not falling for it." As a result, our self-esteem actually rises...But when the idealized female images are exposed subtly -- it gets under our skin without us realizing. We end up feeling bad about ourselves.” When being shown the obvious in their faces it is shown that there is nothing to hide and be ashamed of.
The content of an article or magazine is always the same, but it is different to every person who reads it. Everyone interprets things differently and it just so happens that teen girls have managed to see those images and interpret that they have to change their bodies to fit what society thinks is beautiful, but this constant reminder has also caused this negative mindset. Health Psych says that “Magazines, television shows, movies, commercials, etc. portray attractive women as being extremely thin. It is nearly impossible to escape the influence of the media and children are being exposed to these portrayals earlier and earlier in life. Since we live in a world of constant stimulation and immediate access to all sorts of media, could the constant reminder of the “thin ideal” cause body dissatisfaction, a negative body image, and low self-esteem?” It is as though the same things are being repeated just so that it can get stuck in the heads of many teen girls. With this constant reminder of “not being good or pretty enough” the self esteem of those girls has being affected too much that they have been pushed to starve themselves to achieve this picture perfect image. It has been seen that plenty of teenage girls will do anything to fit in and that includes going as far as to starve themselves to achieve this Thin Ideal
Although The Thin Ideal may only seem important to ten girls in our society it should in fact concern anyone who cares about the well being of teen girls in this century. Teen girls have managed to become easily manipulated by what media and society says, especially with the big role models they have that are people known all over social media. They compare themselves to these role models making them vulnerable to the comparison of the “Thin Ideal”. Their confidence and low self-esteem goes down and they soon stop loving themselves. Once they see that they no longer love themselves they will do whatever it takes to reach this ideal by taking weight loss pills, starving themselves and get diagnosed with an eating disorder. In worse case scenario they might realize that they can’t reach this ideal and take away their own life, which is something that is not wanted by many people. There are different and small ways everywhere to get this ideal stuck in their heads, but it takes a huge community to stomp out that ideal.
Atkinson, Katie. "Breaking Down the Media's Distorted Views on Beauty."The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, n.d. Web. 09 Oct. 2015.
Krupnick, Ellie. "Women's Self-Esteem Affected By Idealized Female Images... But Not In The Way You Think." The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, n.d. Web. 09 Oct. 2015.
"Health Psychology Home Page." Effects of Media on Body Image. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Oct. 2015.