Through the constant bombardment of media messages, we start to believe that we want to be what we see. The statistics provided in the 2011 film, MissRepresentation are excruciating when you realize how many women would feel more accomplished to lose weight than reach any other goal. Some statistics included are by the age of fifteen, 78% of girls hate their bodies and 65% have eating disorders. The testimonies of these young girls are upsetting, especially the one who talked about her sister. One of the young girl’s stories about her sister cutting herself from being teased at school is one that is not only shocking, but heartrending. It seems like younger and younger girls are feeling attacked and resorting to pain to heel these feelings.
After reading these statistics, I wish I could look at my reality and say I am not surrounded by people who think they need “fixing”. After watching the film, I went on Twitter and realized how many girls openly talk about their imperfections and how they want to be thinner, especially when they are perfect the way they are. For instance, I have one follower. Over the past week she has posted four tweets about her body image and how she wants to be thinner. One post says, “Dear God, I just want to be thin with big boobs and marry a rich white man”. Another one said, “I am going to starve myself to fit into rock revival jeans”. These posts are from a college girl.
From the statistics to social media sites, we can see that our media is affecting all ages of women. Even with a great education, women still lean to the media to fulfill a perfect life. The media messages push women to think negatively about themselves no matter how intelligent, successful, or powerful they are. With women making up 56% of this country, why aren’t these messages changing? We have the upper hand.