The media plays a large role in today’s society, especially with the easy accessibility of media with television, the Internet and magazines. These sources of mass media allow people to be able to obtain information easily, along with being connected with others all around the world and having entertainment at the very end of our fingertips at all times. However, despite its obvious positives, there are negatives to this as well. Because of how much people have now relied on the media to learn, sometimes bad facts or images are spread around.

One most common negative sides of the media would be subliminal beauty standards. Although in some cases there is encouragement of natural beauty and loving one’s self for who they are, most times an image on “how to look” is implanted into the public’s minds, most commonly affecting women. Celebrities, supermodels, and nearly all famous women who are considered to be beautiful have a certain particular body image: thin. One scene from a TV show that was not as subliminal, but garnered much attention from teenagers on the Internet was an episode from the Disney Channel show, “Shake it Up,” where a guest character had commented to the main characters on how she could “just eat them up… if [she] ate.” This scenegathered attention for being inappropriate, for it joked about a topic as serious as eating disorders to their target group of impressionable young girls. Most notably, singer and former Disney star Demi Lovato slammed Disney for making light of such a disease. Lovato voiced her complaints on Twitter over Disney using such jokes, especially when she herself had to leave when suffering from an eating disorder. Luckily Disney’s official account quickly replied to Lovato’s tweets, apologizing to her and pulling the episode.

Although such high standards are more obvious towards women, a standard also applies to men, in a way that many do not notice, but in some places is much more obvious: advertisements for male products are almost always displaying an attractive-looking male with toned muscles and a chiseled face. Even in television shows for younger children, a character that is not as toned is made fun of, which creates an idea of men having to have abs or large arms in order to be deemed attractive.

However, with cultural differences, pressures of these standards vary in other countries. A notable place would be South Korea, most significantly being the country’s view on an attractive man. While toned men are still considered attractive, another type of male that are commonly found attractive are “flower boys,” men who, in Western standards, are more on the feminine side. Although these flower boys are more popular among younger age groups, the standard of having to be attractive is important to society there. Plastic surgery is a practice that is common for both men and women and even encouraged by families.

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