The Media Influence on the Consciousness of Women

Subject: Entertainment & Media
Pages: 4
Words: 1064
Reading time:
5 min
Study level: Bachelor


The modern beauty industry of the Western world exploits the particular image of a woman to promote its service. Slim and fit bodies of the models are presented in the magazines, on the TV screens, commercials, and anywhere the targeted audience is or can be present. Modern women are under the great pressure of the fashion, fragrance, cosmetic, and fitness industries these days. If a woman wants to be attractive and desired in modern society, she has to comply with the latest trends in fashion, use the best available lipstick, wear the latest perfume, and be slim and fit. This is how a woman is presented in the media today.

Cosmetic surgery has played little role in the look of a woman until it became available to the masses. With cosmetic surgery being a rather expensive procedure in the past, only people from the appropriate social class were able to undertake cosmetic surgery procedures. The goal was to improve the deficits of nature or cover the signs of aging processes mostly. There was no need in the extensive advertisement of such services as the interested women were aware to whom to address in case of necessity. Today, the media promote not only a very specific look of a woman but also the ways of obtaining such a look via cosmetic surgery. It is very important to understand if a regular woman uses information from the media consciously to increase self-esteem and well-being or it is the media’s success in shaping such an unconscious desire.


The scope of the research is to provide a comprehensive and well-grounded answer to the following question: Does the image of women promoted by the media cause them to undertake cosmetic surgery? In other words, it is necessary to understand what kind of influence the media have on women in this area and if this influence is negative or positive.


Considering the continuously growing interest in cosmetic surgery in the world, the paper aims at exploring the relationship between the media and the desire of women to undergo cosmetic surgery as well as discussing the effect of this relationship on women’s health and well-being.


The research is going to explore the available literature regarding the topic to come to the conclusion that would support or refute the main arguments. The sources to be used should provide different perspectives on the researched problem, so such an approach to their choice should provide the necessary relevance and solidify the conclusion.

Literature Review

Stephanie Berberick’s (2010) research “The Objectification of Women in Mass Media: Female Self-Image in Misogynist Culture” explores the image of a modern woman in the American mass media to find out if this image is harmful for women or not. The author concludes that “ideal” image of a woman is harmful for self-esteem and negatively influences women (Berberick, 2010). The resource is used for the research proposed to support the argumentation. The article “Aesthetic Anti-Ageing Surgery and Technology: Women’s Friend or Foe?” investigates the attitude of women of age from 46 to 76 to aesthetic cosmetic surgery and their reasoning of undergoing such procedures or not (Brooks, 2010). The author explores this issue using the survey as the method of collecting data. The article is used for the research to present the response of rather large targeted audience that may actually need such services.

Taylor Chapman (2011) in the article “Women in American Media: A Culture of Misperception” evaluates the depth of the problem of women’s misperception in the American mass media and its influence on the modern American women. The author points out that media is a tool used for the particular goals, pursues by advertising campaigns. The influence of such campaigns is being explored. The article is used for the research to solidify the argumentation. The newspaper article “Is Photoshop Destroying America’s Body Image?” by Vivian Diller (2011) argues if Photoshop is the tool that destroys an image of America’s body. The author explores the relevant literature and the reaction of celebrities (Brad Pitt and Kate Winslet, for example) regarding this matter to show if it is true. The article is used for the research to present one of the points of view on the researched problem.

Adrian Furnham and James Levitas (2012) in “Factors that Motivate People to Undergo Cosmetic Surgery” assessed a group of British interviewees (204 participants) to understand the current attitude towards the services offered by cosmetic surgery and the connection between this attitude and such measures as “self-esteem, life satisfaction, self-rated physical attractiveness, religiosity and media consumption.” The article is important for the research as the valuable source of the scientifically obtained and evaluated data, supporting arguments. The article “Why Don’t I Look Like Her? The Impact of Social Media on Female Body Image” by Kendyl Klein (2013) raises a serious topic of eating disorders caused by the influence of social media among college women. The author explores the influence of inappropriate imaging of a female body in the social media on the young generations of women in a psychologically hostile environment. The article is valuable for the research as the source of arguments.

John Naish (2011) in “When Looks Can Kill” provides the example of unsuccessful cosmetic surgeries and their outcomes for women who underwent these procedures. The article is important for the research as the source of the examples needed for the appropriate support of one of the arguments in the research proposed. The work of Lauren Riggs (2012) presented in “The Globalization of Cosmetic Surgery: Examining BRIC and Beyond” is based on the exploration of the globalization of cosmetic surgery on the example of its development in the countries, belonging to BRIC organization. The author evaluates the trends and global forces in cosmetic surgery on a strategic level, which is useful for the research proposed as the source of reputable and trustworthy information. The newspaper article “Does Social Media Impact on Body Image?” by Philippa Roxby (2014) explores the influence of mass media on self-esteem and psychological (and often physical) well-being of women. The author assesses the example of Kelsey Hibberd, one of the young women suffering from inadequate self-esteem and the related issues, who has managed to overcome the problem and has become a successful trainer in the relevant area. The newspaper article is important for the research proposed to be the source of argumentation.


Berberick, S.N. (2010). The objectification of women in mass media: Female self-image in misogynist culture. The New York Sociologist, 5, 1-13. Web.

Brooks, A.T. (2010). Aesthetic anti-ageing surgery and technology: women’s friend or foe? Sociology of Health & Illness, 32(2), 238-257. Web.

Chapman, T.M. (2011). Women in American media: A culture of misperception. Student Pulse, 3(7). Web.

Diller, V. (2011). Is Photoshop destroying America’s body image? Huffpost Healthy Living. Web.

Furnham, A., & Levitas, J. (2012). Factors that motivate people to undergo cosmetic surgery. Canadian Journal of Cosmetic Surgery, 20(4). Web.

Klein, K.M. (2013). Why don’t I look like her? The impact of social media on female body image. CMC Senior Theses. Web.

Naish, J. (2011). When looks can kill. Mail Online. Web.

Riggs, L.E. (2012). The globalization of cosmetic surgery: Examining BRIC and beyond. Master’s Theses. Web.

Roxby, P. (2014). Does social media impact on body image? BBC News. Web.