Portrayal of the typical feminine body image in the media

Dear Editor,

I have recently come across an article in one of your magazine ‘Dolly’. This article stood out from the rest because it was one of the few articles in a popular culture magazine that had a different portrayal of a female. This article is called ‘Summer’s Best Sports’ and it shows an image of a well built sports woman surfing. Unlike many magazines , you have not used a super skinny model and instead have portrayed the female as more masculine like but still having a feminine look. I believe that all magazines and media in general must get rid of representations of not just the stereotypical feminine body but also the ideas of what makes a person female as it sends a negative message to the younger generation. Society believes that a stereotypical female should be extremely skinny not muscular, weak, dependent, stylish etc.I believe that change must start immediately before it alters the choices of young people and I am delighted that you have taken the first step.

In the 21st century media has played an important role in the choices and lifestyle of the younger generation. Portrayal of the feminine body image in the media affects young people in many ways such as the way people eat, what clothes they wear and what they do in their everyday lives. This article in your magazine has given the younger generation a positive view of how they can still look good but also have fun and stay healthy. As the female is more muscular and well built than the stereotypical woman it shows people that staying healthy and looking your best does not necessarily mean you have to be an extremely skinny and bony person. Young people look up to many celebrities as their role model and if one of their role model is portrayed as super skinny to the point of being anorexic than they will most likely follow in their footpaths. This could mean that they could use drugs or stop eating in order to have the same body image as the ones portrayed in the media. This could lead to eating disorder and becoming slower and weaker from too much exercise. Research has shown that less than a quarter of Australian girls are satisfied with their weight.

As well as this many young people follow the latest trend in the media. By following the latest trend in the media, young people begin to form ideas about a certain kind of ‘ideal look’ that may seem to them as normal and desirable. When people compare themselves with these images they may feel disappointed or not good enough. The younger generation must learn that most of the images of celebrities and models found in the media have been altered through lighting effects, camera techniques and computer software to achieve the ‘perfect look’. Attempting to get the ‘perfect look’ can lead to over spending and exceeding a budget as the majority of cosmetics and clothing found in magazines are of the most expensive brands. The media needs to teach the younger generation how to save and keep a budget as this is a vital life skill. This article is a great example of maintaining your own healthy lifestyle and body image while staying in budget. By interviewing a well known sportswoman which in this case is Stephanie Gilmore about how she stays healthy and fit outside of the spotlight, it helps to inspire young people.

To conclude this letter, I would like to again thank you for not portraying a stereotypical feminine body image in your article. We all come in different shapes and sizes and attempting to be like someone else is not a solution.

Yours Sincerely,


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