Magazine News Volume 69, Issue 6

Pressure to be Perfect

The media has a large influence on how we view society. Consequently, the media’s objectification of women is extremely problematic. Through television, advertising, and social media, the sexualization and objectification of women has spread like a wildfire, burning up all progress made by women in the past. In the media, women are presented as sexual objects, and set standards of beauty that other women are expected to match. These standards are often unattainable, and lead young girls and women towards a negative self-image. 

In television, women are often the subjects of sexual exploitative jokes and comments. These jokes are intended to make viewers laugh, and the more they are made, the more normal they become to people. As long as media producers and outlets continue to find the degradation of women funny, airing the content, the impact and seriousness of sexual exploitation will continue to be understated and not meaningfully addressed in our society. Many of these shows are labeled as comedies, and laughing at degrading jokes about women makes these ideas normalized.

Women are portrayed to be somewhat perfect in the world of advertising. The fashion industry has created a new type of woman. Many common features of this almost artificial woman include: smooth skin, a small waist, perfect teeth, and shiny hair. With the goal of selling a product, these advertising companies utilize this perfect version of a woman to attract consumers. What is not taken into consideration is the impact that the vision of women in advertisements has not only on women, but on men too. Everyone that views an advertisement takes it a different way, and in many cases, the standard of the average woman may change due to this image of a perfect one.

Social media is very important to today’s society. People present themselves however they want others to see, and those who see these images are only getting a piece of their personality. Many young women use social media as a way of appearing perfect to their peers. Through apps such as Instagram, Snapchat, and VSCO, many girls post pictures with the intention of making others jealous or just to make them like them more. These perfect representations of themselves that many girls post on social media platforms can make other girls self-image degrade. Although some women post for themselves and not to impress others, many find themselves retouching and editing their photos to meet the unattainable standard that Instagram models and their peers set. The media’s view of women comes into play with younger women in situations like these.