Women Struggle with Society's Definition of Ideal Body Image

Women are bombarded with prepackaged messages involving images that appear almost too good to be true through depictions of the ideal image. The prevailing norm manipulates one into thinking a certain way, where feeling discontent becomes a dominant factor in every day life.

The media exposes the ideal image in order to reinforce a negative message that defines beauty as extremely thin with flawless features. Body image can be defined as how we perceive our physical appearance in relation with how others observe us.

High cheekbones, a chiseled bone structure, full lips, radiant skin, and bedroom eyes seem to be what every woman desires. Any obstacles are overcome in order to become physically attractive, no matter the cost.

Plastic surgery becomes a craze and an addiction amongst most women. The standard of beauty evolves over time making it nearly impossible to keep up with an exaggerated emphasis of perfection. How a woman feels about herself does affect performance in business, social, sexual and educational life.

Confidence by means of satisfaction with one's appearance does ultimately affect performance. In order to maintain an image that is accepted in society, one conforms to certain misleading norms simply to fit in.

Throughout history, in different parts of the world beauty has had its own standards by which different cultures have abided by. The 20th century has brought forth many changes through advertising by introducing new forms of technology.

"The media wants women to look like celebrities," said Santa Monica College student, Myrna Quintanilla.

Research suggests that the distortion that women have over the difference between how they currently look and how they are perceived to look causes various types of disorders including Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia, psychological illness and clinical disorders that often times go untreated.

Approximately 7 million girls and women struggle with eating disorders.

This is a dangerously true fact that should be taken seriously in a society where thinness is equated with success; nearly every American strives to live up to the desired image.