From the moment a young girl becomes aware of her surroundings, she is inundated with images that dictate how she should act, what she should wear and overall, how she should look. Therefore, it is not surprising that over time women have begun to fight back. Women of all ages, myself included, have become irritated by “the perfect body” ideology that marginalizes most women.

The frustration that many women feel has most recently been amplified after the release of the Victoria’s Secret Perfect Body advertising campaign. The company, well known for its sexy supermodels and products being “made by women for women,” has been under fire for the recent advertisement for their “body” bra, represented by a similar, thin body type that, for many women, is extremely unachievable.

This singular representation of women in the advertisement calls for reconsideration of how we represent women in the media, as well as a reassessment of how we can better promote the idea of self-love and acceptance.

The media’s portrayal of women have been scrutinized in the past several years and has repeatedly come under fire due to its biases and failure to represent the average woman in a positive light.

Whether that scrutiny is a result of blatant sexism, which was the claim after the release of Robin Thicke’s music video “Blurred Lines,” or whether it is dissected following the Perfect Body campaign that represents society’s homogenous definition of beauty, many women have rightfully had enough.

But why are women viewed and portrayed in the way that Victoria’s Secret represents us? I believe that it is due to the sexism that permeates the media and our society, depicted in images such as the aforementioned “Blurred Lines” phenomenon, and other similar works.

The video itself promotes the idea that if a woman looks, dresses and acts a certain way, she will be desirable to all men. Much like the Perfect Body campaign, there is a singular body type throughout the video, sending the obvious message that the method to becoming desirable is quite simple: try to fit this extremely unachievable image.

What message does this send to young girls? For one, it promotes an extremely unhealthy belief that being loved and desired has a direct correlation with one’s body. The impact that the media’s representation of women has on young girls is tremendous, which is the argument that many critics are making.

Proponents of promoting healthy body image in women have pointed to the Dove “Real Beauty Campaign,” emphasizing that Dove’s campaign better represents women of all body types. The message conveying all body shapes and sizes as “perfect” is the message that we should be teaching young girls, rather than allowing them to believe that if they are not model-thin, they are not beautiful and worthy of attention. The Dove campaign is much more realistic and better promotes the idea of self-love, depicting the notion that beauty emanates from within and comes in all shapes and sizes.

While the Victoria’s Secret Perfect Body campaign is not solely to blame for the low self-esteem and body image issues many women and girls live with daily, it is just the latest example of the media’s misrepresentation of the majority of women that leads to a lack of self-esteem that impacts so many people today.


About The Author

-- Online Editor-in-Chief Emeritus-- Digital Journalism

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