Naomi Wolf has done much research on the oppression of women through beauty. She says, “as long as the definition of beauty comes from outside women, we will continue to be manipulated by it. ” Therefore as the media is owned and run by middle class men, women will be oppressed by the images of ‘beauty’ that they lay upon us through their view of what beauty is and should be. Considering the average size for the British woman is 16, the advertising industry vastly misrepresents women.
The British Medical Association produced a report in 2000 that said, “The gap between the ideal body image and the reality is wider than ever. There is a need for more realistic body shapes to be shown on T. V and in magazines. ” Wolf believes “advertising aimed at women works by lowering our self esteem, if it flatters our self esteem it is not effective. ” If women were given more confidence they wouldn’t need to buy hundreds of products to make them feel better and look younger.
N Wolf believes that “The media, especially in advertising, presents a physical image as the ‘normal’ body image to have. ” And that “society is evading the fact of real women, our faces and voices and bodies, and reducing the meaning of women to these formulaic and endlessly reproduced ‘beautiful images'” D Souhami says that “pictures of women plaster the environment. Legs breasts, hands, bottoms and smiles are displayed on advertising boards, in magazines, calendars and T. V commercials.
They belong to Ms Perfection and are used to sell a variety of objects. ” In Wolfs book ‘The beauty myth’ she says, “We as women are trained to see ourselves as cheap imitations of fashion photographs rather than fashion photographs as cheap imitations of women. ” Ferguson (1983) thought that teenage girls magazines created a “cult of femininity” Socialising them into stereotypically feminised roles; teaching them things like how to be a good cook, what to wear, how to keep a family happy etc.
Nowadays, teenage magazines are all about beauty regimes, men and ‘real life articles’ that usually consist of bravery stories about rape, stalkers and pregnancy. The advertisements in teenage magazines are predominantly for cosmetics and beauty products or fashion adverts. Photographs of the bodies of models are often trimmed with scissors. Computer Imaging has been used for years in women’s magazines. Every model is airbrushed to remove blemishes, age and weight and add cleavage.