How Social Media Affects How Women View Themselves Essay
Social media has become such a big part of our lives in today’s society.
People’s lives revolve around what goes on online and they cannot seem to live without it. They spend a lot of time on social networking sites and looking at media. Society is so affected by what goes on line and with the media that it is affecting how we act and how we want to appear to others. Women worry about their self-image seeing as how all advertisement portrays what women “should” look like.
Media makes all women look sexy, skinny, and beautiful; this makes the average women feel like they should try and act and be like the women in magazines or on the television. Because of this, users of social media sites such as MySpace and Facebook often experience the pressure to sexualize their profiles in hopes of appearing to be more attractive to others (Cougar Hall et al;2011). When people see advertisements online or certain television shows it gives them this idea on how they should act when being a woman or being a male.
In media women are caring and loving, however, they also have this sexy side to them that makes them attractive to men.
Men in media are portrayed as handsome, muscular and that they should be in control and be the care givers in a relationship. Women start to feel pressured to act like what the media is showing them so that men will find them more attractive. Women start to play the role of what a female is suppose to play and man playing the male part this is an example of gender performance. Since technology is growing and growing we are all acting and trying to be like what we see.
Some people who don’t agree with what they are seeing in the media are starting to feel like they aren’t good enough because they are not like what is on the media, so they feel like an outcast. Because of this, individuals online try to depict an ideal self. People are feeling the need to lie online in order for someone to like them and the problem with this is that someone could make up a whole life. There is no reality anymore with technology.
Self-image Since social media is showing women as skinny, beautiful and active women are trying to become like that.Its almost like they are getting brainwashed by what the media is telling them who to be. Ellison and Heino (2006) talk about how online dating is easy to meet people and it’s harder in the face-to-face interactions. People on online dating websites want to be appealing and attractive so when making their profiles they will over exaggeration the truth but not realize that they are doing so.
They call this the foggy mirror syndrome, and this is when people see themselves one way but other people view them a totally different way.People have this view of their ideal self; they explain themselves of how they want to be rather than who they actually are (Cougar et Hal;2011). Women on these social networking sites are trying to be like what they have seen on the media, so if that is a athletic beautiful women will edit their information in their profiles in order for men to be interested in them. Women can’t be themselves anymore they are trying so hard to be what the society considers beautiful.
Not always is it just media that affects how people act but it’s the people you associate yourself with.VanDoorn (2010) did an experiment with nineteen MySpace friends who all had the same interests. The behavior of everyone seems to effect how they all lived their lives. If the influences around them are people that do drugs, have crazy nightlives and have a lot of different sexual relationships.
That’s what they know, and they are influenced by their friends just like how the influences us as well. Self-Sexualization Women face a lot of pressure in society with the media since they are displayed as sex objects. Women are seen for their body parts such as breasts, hips and buttocks and not for who they really are (Cougar Hall et al;2011).Women feel the need to dress and show off their body so they are considered sexy in the eyes of men.
It is shown how when women see what is going on in the media, such as magazines and television shows that have a lot of sexual content in them is positively correlated with self-sexualizing behaviors in women (Cougar Hall et al;2011). Social media has degrades women and people have forgotten that women have their values and choices and they are just an object to look at. Hall, West and McIntyre (2011) explain how women still want to be attractive to men and they try to be like the women they see in social media.On social networking sites such as MySpace female users will tend to revealing photos of themselves for their profile pictures just so that men will notice them more.
Society seems to think that thin is good and fat is bad, no one wants to be fat people strive to loose weight. People on online dating websites feel the need to say they are average weight even if the are above because they are embarrassed of how much the weigh (Ellison,Heino, 2006). Society has put it in our heads that people will not think we are sexy if we are not the average weight. Performance of Gender Of course females and males have different roles to play in society.
However they have changed over a period of time. Women used to be known to keep things clean, their loving and caring while men did the hard work and were tougher. Seeing advertisements of women with very little clothing on and doing sexual acts changes how women view their self. There is lots of pressure on the females because they want to add up to the ads on the media.
Women’s roles are changing in society since they are introduced to social media at such a young age they grow up with thinking it is “normal” to show off your body and that men will find you attractive about.Ellison and Heino (2006) describe how people manage their online presentation of self in order to get to their goal of finding a romantic partner. Since roles of gender have changed women feel the pressure to act like the women in media. They change their profiles and even lie about their identity and appearance sometimes just so men think they’re attractive.
Media teaches women that in order to get attention you need to be revealing. On MySpace. com girls would show more of their body or do different poses, for example the would be on a bed or sofa and they would pose in a sexual position. Cougar Hall et al; 2011).
This is not how women should have to act, but social media makes us think this is how we should be acting. The media is teaching people that women should be treated like objects. However in VanDoorn’s (2010) study on nineteen MySpace friends the males and females didn’t play the roles of gender. Some of them seemed confused and were trying to attract both male and female.
The group of MySpace friends were affected by one another and were all trying to live the same type of life. Gender roles of males but mostly females have changed drastically due to the technology and media we are given.Critical Analysis The information given shows how both male but mostly females are affected by social media. Society today is constantly changing.
We are all trying to be like what we see on television and magazines. We want the clothing, makeup, and lives that these people in the media have. We try so hard to be like them even though most of the time there lives aren’t so glamorous. Being a female in society during this time of changing technology it is hard to fit in with what is seen as “normal.
” People spend way to much time on social networking sites and I know I do as well.The gossip, the photos and how people are just putting their lives on display is sometimes very entertaining. Some girls profile pictures are so degrading; they have a whole album of just them self making almost the same face in every one of their pictures, their makeup is all done up, their cleavage is showing while their making a “sexy” pose. Girls hope for acceptance from other people so they post these pictures online for everyone to see in hopes for people to “like” their photos.
When they get good comments on their photos it seems to give women a sense that they’re beautiful. Lying over the Internet is a very easy thing to do.Since everyone wants acceptance and for people to like them, they tend to make their lives seem better on social networking sites. It’s not as easy to lie in face-to-face conversation, but online people make up lives and type what ever they want.
I notice that girls will Photoshop their profile pictures until they look perfect as the girls in magazines do. How society displays beauty today is not natural beauty. My profile on Facebook displays who I think I am. I listed things that I’m interested in like music and art, I also put in some hobbies that I do like snowboarding and yoga.
Now thinking about it though some of the information on my profile is not exactly accurate. My “ideal” self does yoga but my “actual” self doesn’t do yoga very often. I think I put this as a hobby when yoga started to be a new trend. Everyone was doing it and it was thought of as a great way to exercise and relive stress.
Flexibility is another thing that men see as attractive, so if women are doing yoga that must mean that they are flexible. I feel like social media affects women then men. Commercials always have women in them and they are being sexual when trying to sell a chocolate bar or pop etc.I think we are given to many bad examples in the media and it is destroying us as humans.
Conclusion What we see in the media is normal. Letting everyone know about our lives online and displaying pictures that reveal are bodies in order to get attention. Creating an “ideal” self online because it is an easy way to make yourself sound more interesting and more attractive, since it is easier to lie online rather than in face-to-face conversation. How public performance that gender and sexuality is expressed with in groups of friends on social network sites affects how they act in society (VanDoorn 2006).
Research on the topic of social networking is very important because it is such a big part of our lives and it is changing all of us. Social networking isn’t always a positive thing it comes with a lot of negatives. In the research studies done it showed how we are pressured by social media. We want to be like what we see so that we will be accepted by others.
We lie online and change our appearance in order to be accepted. There has been a lot of research done on women because women care more about their appearance then men. However men to are still affected by the media as well.It was showed online that men lied about their age in order to have a better chance of meeting more women online (Ellison and Heino,2011).
Men are still affected by social media as well. They want to have nice clothes and big muscles like the men on the reality shows have. But since not a lot of research is done on males, it tends to look like females are more affected by media. People need to remember what is important in life and forget about what social media is teaching us.
It is affecting how we live out lives. Social media is making life harder then it is. We as a society have to stop letting the media control out lives.