The contemporary society is characterized by the popularity of the various forms of media. Today, we are living in the digital age brought to us by the dynamic technological advances. We are also currently living in the world of mass media wherein news and information are readily handed to us when we turn on our television and radio sets and when we browse on the world wide web. According to Beth Lane, by technical definition, mass media is the channel by which mass communication or message for a large, diverse audience is transmitted. At present, there are eight mass media industries: books, newspapers, magazines, and recordings, radio, film, television, and the Internet. Mass media plays a very important role in society as a channel of communication.
Media serve variety of functions to the society such as to inform, educate and to entertain.One form of mass media is advertisement. This form of mass media is used mainly to market goods and services. The advertisements convey information about the product to lure the consumers to acquire or avail the products or services. Advertisement is an important form of mass media as it informs the consuming public of the new products and services available in the market.
Mass Media and WomenProducers, businesses, and advertisers also find a way to utilize the scope of mass media to reach their respective consumers. Therefore, we are bombarded by different advertisements of various products whenever we watch or read. Advertising or commercial mass media is regarded as the lifeblood of publication.
Advertising includes all form of mass paid communication intended to influence consumers. Through advertising, publications and other forms of media obtain funds to continue the publication. Mass media gets half of their revenues from advertisement and sponsorship. Therefore, networks and publishing companies must maintain a harmonious and productive relationship with businesses and advertisers. In this way, business owners and advertisers will be encouraged to keep on placing their ads on the publication and in effect, keep the cash flowing (Wilson and Gutierrez 290).Advertisements have a strong influence on consumers. Advertisers, in order to sell their products, create strategies that will make buyers to patronize their products. They create the “buying mood” and as a result, make consumers avail of the product.
These advertisements make individuals think that their product is essential and necessary in their daily lives.Women are the population largely influenced by the mass media. Mass media tend to convince women that what they see on the television and ads is true and real.
Today, mass media mostly convey images of women that are thin and slender which makes most women unsatisfied of their body figures. Recent surveys claimed that most women are unhappy of their appearance and make them feel not normal.The average and common women are not represented in the current mass media. This is because standard of beauty are set by the mass media and can be seen anywhere such as in television and advertisements. The idea of beauty changes over the years as new trends emerges. Now, beautiful women are portrayed to be taller and slimmer. These beauty standards put pressure on young women who try to achieve the same look they saw in ads and TV programs (Maya). Mainstream culture taught us of what is the trend in the society and they try to create a market for people to follow their trend.
However, two articles argued that the culprit of the issue of unsatisfied women is the privacy put up in the public comfort rooms. They argued that women should feel comfortable with their bodies even when around other women. What happens is, due to the installation of privacy in our comfort rooms, women are not confident to show their bodies to others. Anna Schnur-Fishman said that, the level of body acceptance great varies to the other teenage girls. The America’s consumerist culture created them to be conscious of the looks and figures and keep them fixated on Hollywood looks.
In her personal experience as she relayed in her article, the summer camp she attended to provided a communal bathhouse where women of all shapes and sizes tend to share and all of them confidently shower naked. She assumed that the communal bathhouse somehow keep them immune on the mainstream culture of the United States.Leslie Goldman, on the other hand, claimed that the current situation is somehow depressing as most women try to achieve looks and slowly eating up their confidence and self-esteem.
Women appreciate the privacy in the bathroom to avoid the scrutiny of the public about their looks and figures. She said that when we are naked, we are both physically and emotionally vulnerable to the eyes of other people. Inside the bathroom, we remove our physical armor and reveal our true self-image which makes us more vulnerable to low self-esteem, personal insecurities and scrutiny of other people. Inside the locker rooms, we can all learn about body image, female form and the various neuroses that afflict it. This is also a lace where girls tend to spit out various statements and insults with their girlfriends, sisters and even their children that would seem abusive if it were coming from a man (xvii).They both assert that because of the trend of making locker rooms more private preventing them to see other women’s body besides their own, this leads to the strenuous attempts of women to achieve body and image perfection through various of ways such as dieting, exercising, and even going for a surgery. Abolishing communal bathrooms tend to reinforce the mainstream culture of body consciousness among women.I must admit that somehow both writers have a point as it all boils down to the self-confidence of women to show their real figures to all.
The mainstream culture tends to engulf women to be focused on looks and figures depicted on mass media. On the other hand, the issue must be seen in a much bigger perspective. The issue of women unsatisfied of their body figures was not mainly caused by the privatized bathrooms. Have we ever consider what caused people or the society to privatized our bathrooms?First, bathroom is just a room where people should be comfortable to do their own things that should not be done in public like taking a shower, shaving and dressing up. This is the main purpose of the bathroom. The level of self-confidence is not only measured on women’s ability to show her naked self in the bathroom but also on how she carry herself in public.
Personally, I think that mass media is the main culprit of the existing dilemma on women unsatisfied of their body figures. We are bombarded of advertisements that show beauty and bodies that make most women depressed. The mass media do not reflect the real image of women in the present society that would boost their confidence and egos.We should all bear in mind that despite our flaws and imperfections, we are beautiful in our own way. We may not level to the Hollywood looks and figures but we can carry ourselves with confidence and maturity. Women have their strengths and abilities that make them beautiful inside and out.