How Does the Media Affect Body Image?

Today, we are bombarded with magazines and television shows that portray a false idea of beauty—thin, toned, tall, tan. It seems like women go to great lengths to achieve this “ideal” beauty. It is so tempting to peek at magazine covers while waiting in line at the grocery store.  After removing the sheer privacy screen, what do we see? A beautiful, young woman with a beautiful dress on, and her make-up and hair is professionally done. It is important for you to know the truth of these magazine covers. These are AIR-BRUSHED models. The photograph that is taken is altered to make the image seem flawless. The editing that happens is slimming of legs and arms, “taking in” of the waist, and the face is often stretched out, lengthening the face in order to slenderize the women’s face. And the crazy thing about it, is this doesn’t happen with just women! Men’s magazines use this process before the final publications, as well. We are the victims of this false idea of beauty—we are trying to achieve something that isn’t even real!

I want to provide you with ways you can protect yourself from media messages:

1. Ignore magazine covers at the stores or doctor’s offices

2. Change the subscriptions you receive at your home to home and garden, or decorative magazines.

3. “Talk back” to television shows or commercials that send a message of false beauty

4. Share feelings with friends and family, encouraging them to help you avoid negative media messages

5. Make a habit of writing 1 positive affirmation everyday

Dove Beauty

Cara Engle, LAPC
cengle@growcounseling .com