The aim of this blog is to focus on aspects of portraying beauty in the media; the negative and positive-if any. This topic is very important because the media actually manipulate us when telling us what is beautiful, how to perceive beauty and by continual portraying only the one type of a perfect woman make us consider it standard. Those women are all young, beautiful and thin. It looks like we are living in a perfect world full of perfect looking people. But how often do we actually meet those people in a real life? How often do we meet them on a street?

In fact, nobody can see what is actually behind it, behind this “media perfection.” Nobody realizes that many of those women may suffer from eating disorders and that the number of women who can really look like that is actually very small. Despite of all this, it does not stop women from trying to look the same and later ending with eating disorders or low self-esteem.

pondělí 24. května 2010

Blogs of my classmates

I would like to recommend you to visit several blogs of my classmates that I find very interesting.

Firstly, it is the Lenka Purghart's Blog on that I find very interesting. Her blog concerns the topic on social networks, their negative and positive aspects. Nowadays, most of us is a user of a social network, so this topic concerns many of us. So if you want to find out more, just visit Lenka's blog.

Then, I would recommend to visit the Oksana Bondar's Blog which you can find on Her blog is about branding, which creates the important part of advertising and marketing. What I found very interesting are the colours attributed to each brand and its effects on public.

Thirdly, it is the Tatia Kuxalashvili's Blog on that I would recommend. Her topic is Sterotyped Images of Women in the Media. I find this subject very important to discuss since it has already had so many negative impacts on a number of women.

Another blog I recommend to visit is the Pete Stejskal's on The topic of his blog is The End of Print Media and the Rise of Modern Media. So if you want to learn something about the current situation of print media on the market, just go visit his blog:)

Lastly, I would like to recommend Sanja Ilic's blog on to visit. She deals with a topic of The Influence of the Media on People's Body Image. This topic caught my attention mainly because it is related to mine- Beauty in the Media.

neděle 16. května 2010

Beauty in the Media

A never- ending chase to achieve impossible

We can see images of beautiful women everywhere. It starts with any advertisements in magazines, billboards, posters on streets, in subways up to commercials on TV or ads on the internet. Those women have one thing in common. They are all beautiful, young and have perfect bodies. Because of those portrayals of one single kind of a woman, people perceive them as kind of standards of beauty. Moreover, television and movies only support this perception of beauty. In all of the teenage shows as O.C. California, Gossip Girl, One Tree Hill, etc. are only beautiful and favorite in society people. Also, actresses in movies are still becoming taller, younger and slimmer. This kind of stereotyping has actually been realized since our childhoods when watching any of the Disney movies which portray not only princesses but all female characters as beautiful, happy and with Barbie-doll proportions. Plus, every women’s magazine advertise that if you want to be happy, successful, loved, have a perfect boyfriend, all is needed to do is to get slim and look perfect.

However, according to the article Body Image and Beauty[1] “the body image of beauty is constructed by the media, mainly to sell products related to the insecurity and unhappiness that it generates.” Another article says that “women- and their body parts- sell everything from food to cars.”[2]

By presenting an ideal difficult to achieve and maintain, the cosmetic and diet product industries are assured of growth and profits. And it’s no accident that youth is increasingly promoted, along with thinness, as an essential criterion of beauty.“[3]

In fact there have always been beautiful women in advertisements and commercials; however, whereas twenty years ago, the average model weighed eight per cent less than the average woman, today’s models weigh 23 per cent less. To get this look and weigh is for a normal woman almost unachievable and only a very small number of women can actually reach these proportions. Therefore, for most of the women it represents a never ending chase after something that is even impossible to achieve. “Still, the number of real life women and girls who seek a similarly underweight body is epidemic, and they can suffer equally devastating health consequences. In 2006 it was estimated that up to 450, 000 Canadian women were affected by an eating disorder.“[4]

In 2003, Teen magazine reported that 35 per cent of girls 6 to 12 years old have been on at least one diet, and that 50 to 70 per cent of normal weight girls believe they are overweight. Overall research indicates that 90% of women are dissatisfied with their appearance in some way“[5]

This issue involves also men, not only women. However, it seems like it does not have any serious impact on a man self esteem. Also, according to the statistics, women’s magazines include ten and a half times more advertisements and articles supporting weight loss than men’s magazines do. Moreover, most of the covers of women’s magazines contain at least one message concerning change of image, weight loss by a special diet or cosmetic surgery each month.

As it is said by Jean Kilbourne (an author and filmaker known for work on the image of women in advertising) the overwhelming presence of media images of painfully thin women means that real women’s bodies have become invisible in the mass media. The real tragedy, Kilbourne concludes, is that many women internalize these stereotypes, and judge themselves by the beauty industry's standards. Women learn to compare themselves to other women, and to compete with them for male attention. This focus on beauty and desirability effectively destroys any awareness and action that might help to change that climate."[6]


Media’s affect on women:

The Psychology of Beauty - Media affects body image:

Dove Campaign for Real Beauty

As a recent event related to the topic Beauty in Media can be considered the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty. It is a worldwide marketing campaign launched in 2004 which includes the Dove Self-Esteem Fund since 2006. The campaign includes advertisements, commercials and workshops. What makes the campaign innovative and original is that it is based on a natural look of a woman and therefore supports woman’s self- esteem. The goal of the campaign is to “to change the Western concept of beauty from ultra-thin models with perfect features to making every girl (and woman) feel positive about her looks, no matter what they are.”
It seems to me that there is finally someone who realized that portraying all those perfect and super slim models represents a real serious issue which only has a negative impact on women and that it is necessary to do something about. Plus, this is the only cosmetic company on the market having this kind of a program when presenting “normal” women as standards of beauty. And since most of the women are the average weight, the company can reach much wider public. I do not consider normal that girls start dieting at the very early age instead of enjoying careless childhood and should not think whether they are slim or not. If nowadays this is what 8 year old girls deal with, how it is going to be in 20, 40 years? How are young girls supposed to build self- esteem when they compare themselves with the models or their favorite actresses they can see every single day all around them? It also seems to me that today’s perceiving of other person is too superficial and rather based on the individual’s appearance than the individual’s personality.


The Dove self-esteem Fund:

Building Confidence & Self-Esteem in Young Girls:

12 year old girl suffering anorexia

In 2007 there has been created a video by an American student from the McGill University. It is about a 12 year old girl called Natasha who was admitted to the clinic for anorexia. Natasha is the youngest patient there and talks about her feelings. Her classmates were telling her she was skinny already but she would not listen to them and wanted to see that herself.

In my opinion this is just another example of the negative impact of portrayals of perfect and super slim women. This only leads to the eating disorders at girls of very early age; they are simply told by the media that those women look great. They are growing up with those “standards of beauty” and the media do not tell them what is behind this look. Moreover, there is a number of popular actresses and top models very often caught up on pictures looking too skinny (as Keira Knightly, Tori Spelling, etc.) and they are still portrayed as standards of beauty. It is no wonder that girls like Natasha can not later recognize what is normal and healthy and what it is not. According to that video, “the fear of becoming fat is so overwhelming that young girls indicated that they are more afraid of becoming fat than they are of cancer, nuclear war or even losing their parents. Media shows that only skinny people are beautiful such as favorite actresses or models. What children do not know is how the media modifies the reality of what is skinny. Dieting, excessive exercise and Photoshop are affluent in the media business.”[1]

I think this all is just sad and people should learn to have other priorities in life than just getting thin so they look like someone who is not even “real.”

Media, how we perceive ourselves:

[1] Media, how we perceive ourselves;<>; May 14, 2010

Body Image Advertising

Another article called Body Image Advertising that you can pursue at and was published in 2009. As it is said in the article our culture seems to be obsessed with physical appearance. Especially young people are strongly influenced by the Mass Media. And also as it is written in the article, while we might think of this as a relatively recent development, examples of advertisements that use this same approach have been around for more than 100 years.

According to me, it is not surprising that people still try hard and buy products just to look like the society ideals. We are surrounded by them since our very childhood, are learnt they are ideal and then just grow up in it. Plus, many people do care about what the others think; and if the society’s attitude is to recognize only good looking people as successful, it seems to me that people try to look like these ideals not because of themselves but just to be able to achieve something. And then there must be something wrong with the society.

How Advertising Affect Body Image

I would like to react on the article How Advertising Affect Body Image that was published in 2008 and that you can find at It is just another article concerning the negative influence of mass media on people. As it is said in the article: “while we often say that the inside is more important than the outside, far more is invested on average to change our exterior than our interior. Advertising directly influences this behaviour.” How come that even though people realize that the personality is more important than the physical appearance, they still work hard on their looks at the first place? Also, the article says that “very few overweight people are portrayed as smart and capable people. This is not true in the “real” world.” According to me, it is simply the society’s perception that should be changed.

Web pages suggestions

I would like to recommend you to visit several web pages that are related to the topic Beauty in Media where you can find out more about the subject. All of the articles agree on one thing and it is that portraying just one kind of a woman in media, which is thin, young and beautiful, only has bad impact on women of any age. It does not only affect negatively women’s self esteem, but what it is even worse is that it causes health problems when trying to reach women from advertisements looks. Therefore, women are suffering anorexia or bulimia when trying to achieve something that is not even real and what is just created by tons of stylists, fashion designers and at the end by the computer.

Beauty and Body Image in the Media:

Body image and Beauty:

How the Media Adversely Influences Our Youth: