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Word Count: 803
Todays society is undeniably marked by cultural norms and ideals The question is however does the mass medias depiction of this norm cause harmful behavior in its population Researchers have shown that there is a bias in the way television targets children in advertising Ogletree S Williams S Raffeld P Mason B Fricke K 1990 and that this media influence over people has always been observable Miles M 1995 This targeting of audience members serves the purpose of singling out the most desirable consumer for the product to encourage their economic support So if advertising is only concerned with selling product why is it blamed for the low self-esteem and body image and thus the bulimia and anorexia seen in todays women The images projected by the media in commercials products wrote ads etc give todays consumers an idea of what normal should look like Sellers M Waligroski K 1993 The people in the ads would all have the ideal body proportions material possessions and social status in order to deserve the attention the ad places on them Viewers see the ads and compare the body images they see to themselves which is likely to reveal a discrepancy Five years ago the average female model weighed 23 less that the average woman of the time Miles M 1995 and the difference is only growing Men to are affected by the medias portrayal of what ideal looks like Jirousek explains the evolution of the ideal male figure from a slim and romantic shape to the superhuman image we see in television and the rest of media today 1996 With the beginning of televised football in the 1930s the popularized image of males incorporated the larger than life appearance from shoulder pads and other armor to encompass movie heroes comic book characters and clothing models With the males in the public eye having these muscular figures and distorted proportions the normal
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