Essay: Effects of Body Image on Women and Men

By | April 27, 2011

Sample Essay

Essay: However, those are targeted squarely on the female population which outnumbers the male population. The female gender is much more susceptible to such stigmas. Research suggests that women criticize themselves much more than men and analyze themselves in the mirror a lot more acutely in virtually all cases. The beholder here sees nothing beautiful in the reflection in this case and always manages to find faults in their physical attributes so much so that around 80% of the women who see themselves in the mirror are said to be dissatisfied with their physical status (Fox, 1997).

Men on the other hand barely ever get affected with what they see in the mirror. They are likely to be satisfied with what they see or may easily choose to ignore it. As a result, the body image they present themselves with is much more superior to women and may actually just be an overestimate. Their flaws are shrouded by their ego and their conscience over rules any imperfections. The likes of people such as Arnold Schwarzenegger and TNA wrestlers may have induced many to work on their physique and tone their body image but most still remain indifferent.

It is no surprise then that women who resort to better individual grooming than men are more susceptible to body image projections. This has a lot to do with the added scrutiny of women who aspire to be cheerleaders or runway models representing large fashion corporations. The standards they are judged against are seemingly more inflexible than those of men rendering them more prone to physical judgments.

Women are generally associated with beauty, a trait that plays an important part for them to be able to stand out in the increasingly competitive world of today. It also enables them to present themselves better to prospective male partners and hence, they resort to the ideals of facial structures and figures that are set by the media trends of today, described by Naomi Woolf as the The Official Body (Fox, 1997).

The level of exposure that women tend to receive to these ideals start as early as their teenage years mostly through TV, internet, print media such as magazines, books and billboards. This makes being beautiful a priority since every other woman presented in these ads is a showcase of such making beauty part of acceptable mainstream life. Anything less than perfection is considered unacceptable. Contrast this with the life of earlier generations and it is evident that the growing number of borderline lewd commercials and portrayals of extravagantly beautiful women on the media are directly responsible for the displeasure women express with themselves.

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