Research studies, which are conducted in recent years, illustrated that stereotypical behavioral and personality traits are associated with each of the three ‘somatotypes’. These studies suggested that ‘mesomorphic’ (medium body build) body types were associated with the most favorable traits whereas the heavier endomorphs were associated with being socially aggressive, lazy, and unattractive and the thin ‘ectomorph’s’ were associated with being nervous, socially withdrawn, and submissive.
The two major contributing components of the media; which promote thinness are TV and print media. Girls and women experience a significant rate of exposure to the print media as well as television; information broadcasted strongly endorses the thin ideal as well as proposes means of achieving it (e.g., diet, exercise). The media is the means of teaching women not only about the thin ideal but also the provider of maladaptive information on how to attain this idealized figure, “including how to diet, pure and engage in other abnormal behavior.” Over 4 million girls and women subscribed to only three of the leading magazines in 2001.
Numerous other readers could be exposed through borrowing from friends of the library. The impact would be tremendous. This does not include billboards and other sources of advertising. The print media and television promote the thin ideal. The vast majority of female characters are thinner than the average Indian woman. When television characters are overweight they are often subjects of humor and unattractiveness. In real life, when young women do not get hourglass figure, they fell as less fortunate and after enter into bouts of depression.
Long before the advent of electronic media or ready accessibility to print media, images of beauty were communicated thorough art, music, and literature. However, freedman (1986) explained that whereas throughout history, beauty ideals have been modeled, the impact of today’s visual media is different from the effect of the romanticized as unattainable, but today’s media blurs the boundaries between glorifies fiction and reality. Airbrushing, set-focus cameras, editing, and filters may blur the realistic nature of media images even further, for instance, TV and magazines put forth and especially toxic influence because models in these mediums are seen as realistic representations of actual people rather than carefully manipulated, artificially developed images.
Generally media representations are not even of a single woman, rather, they are computer-merged images in which one model may provide the hair, another ht efface, and a third her figure. Even when exposed to a single image, women may fail to appreciate that models in print media or on television may spend many hours with clothes designers and professional hair and make-up artists for a single photograph ad follow a strictly controlled diet and exercise program. The average woman can afford neither the time nor financial investment necessary to achieve this kind of look, individuals regard it as a realistic representation of feminine beauty and as an appropriate comparison target for what one should look like.
The development of body image disturbance and eating disorders such as bulimia and nervosa are of major concerns among young females due to media influences. The brunt of the mass media is greatly stupefied upon all of us every day. Whether we choose to allow them to affect us is up to our own discretion. However it is wise to look at each ad with an open mind, know where it originated from and question its practicality. Even though we cannot avoid being exposed to advertisement and the media we can choose to pay attention to ones of value and importance.
In my opinion the women should be portrayed as strong, intelligent, confident and sociable. Although the thin ideal is not promoted solely by the media and may not even be originated by the media, the popularity and persuasiveness of television, movies, and magazines leads the media to be among the most influential and effective communicators of the thin ideal. It contributes to the development of body image disturbance and eating disorders by accentuating the importance of beauty and external appearance in girls and women over more substantive issues, such as identity and independence. We all need to educate our young that ideal figures are not everything in life; they should learn to accept themselves as they are. At the same time they should judge a person by his grey matter rather than by his look.