Most of the women that we see depicted in the media, whether in movies or in advertising, are actually starving themselves in order to look that way. When we present that as an ideal of how women should look, we are encouraging other women to do the same, or to feel bad about themselves if they can’t attain that look. Meanwhile, they’ve also had professional hair and make-up, and in the case of print ads, been airbrushed.
We allow this as a society because it drives consumer culture. If you feel bad about how you look, let me sell you something that promises to make you look better. This is starting to be addressed in that more and more companies are using models with a variety of body types, such as Dove and certain women’s clothing lines. This is the kind of thing that needs to continue.