Media Influence on Women
By Hibbah Khan

January 2007
Media affects the lives of many female adolescents out there, including me. We had been united with the world of media since the day we were born. An average North American girl has watched 5,000 hours of television, including 80,000 ads, before she starts kindergarten. On Saturday mornings, cartoons alone come with 33 commercials per hour. Imagine, if this is just at the beginning of our lives, how much of an impact will media have on us once we enter the real life out there? Everyone acknowledges the fact that media is everywhere, from T.V. to magazines to Internet, and that it affects us all, but not many people act upon it. Media has more of an impact on women than men, and one reason for this is because women are displayed as objects everywhere from display boards to Video Games. They are displayed in a manner that is offensive to many people. Personally, this issue affects me significantly as I am a teenage girl growing up in this materialistic society. I see my friends going on diets because they are unhappy about the way they look, resulting in medical disorders such as bulimia and anorexia. These girls let their looks and personality be changed so they can ‘fit in’. However, I believe that true beauty lies within a person’s soul, and that is the motto by which I live. Because women play a big role in media, there is obviously a lot of talk about the perfect body. What is the ‘perfect body’ of women? Skinny, curvy, blonde, these are just some words that come to mind. However, truth is there is no one perfect body. Someone’s eyes might be colored; someone’s legs might be skinnier; someone’s butt might be chunkier; and someone’s stomach might be flatter. There is no one body that contains all these characteristics. Each woman has their own distinctive characteristic that makes her perfect in her own way. This is shown in the picture as one body part from each of the role models of media to create a ‘perfect body’. Hilary Duff’s hair, Aishwarya Rai’s eyes, Angelina Jolie’s lips, Cameron Electra’s chest, Jennifer Lopez’s butt, and Nicole Richie’s legs. As a result, you get an image of a Barbie Doll. In reality however, a human being cannot look like a Barbie doll. Women in the media work so hard to attain the ‘perfect body’ that they end up in serious medical illnesses, and this is because they don’t realize that the vision they have created of the perfect body does not exist.
You can also see the imbalance in the picture which was done purposely to show that us woman get really caught up in the materialism out there and start obsessing over brand labels, such as Christian Dior, Gucci, Chanel, D&G, Guess, and Nine West. The spotlight in the corner of the picture is to shine the inner beauty of the body as it matters much more than the physical appearance. It is also evident that the body is completely out of proportion, as it is meant to look that way, because each body part belongs to a different person, and each person comes in a different shape and size. In the end, the ‘perfect body’ and the brand labels all unite to form the fake and materialistic world of the media.
Because I am aware of our media-centered society, I think it is my responsibility to alert my fellow peers that they should not get caught up in the traps laid by the media. We are constantly being told that we should do this and look like that, but no one has the power to judge. We do, however, have the power to make a great difference, only if we speak up, and it is about time we speak as loud as we can! You are only given one body in your whole lifetime, but you are given the chance to discover your soul multiple times.


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