To the Editor:
I am writing to you today on behalf of my concerns with the way the media portrays women, and what it is doing to the self-esteem of young women and inflicting poor body image across the United States.
The visualization of women that media presents portrays unrealistic social expectations and has a negative influence on children and adolescent girls. In magazines, on billboards, social media, the internet and television, women are portrayed as perfect model-type beings. The reality of this in day-to-day life is not the case, but forces society to think so.
Women, young and older, are made to feel as though they need to live up to these expectations and look a certain way in order to be deemed “beautiful.”
When only a few types of bodies and looks are being plastered all over the media, young children may aspire to look like these women they see, and resort to unhealthy lifestyle choices to do so. The truth is only a small percentage of women look these ways, and even then, these women’s bodies and facial features are often highly edited and unrealistic.
Therefore, the “look” that women all around the country are now desiring to resemble is edited, which can never be the case. This instills doubt, poor self-esteem and negative body image in many young girls and women.
I believe that women in media should be portrayed realistically, with flaws and curves, as most women look like in real life.
Women also should be represented because of what they offer such as intelligence and skills, not just beauty. How can we expect young women to feel confident and comfortable in their own skin when media is constantly trying to elicit visualizations that teach them otherwise?
I ask you to please consider these thoughts moving forward, and hope that media will someday soon move toward more realistic representations of women.