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Advertising and Psychological Identity

            Identity is defined as "the condition or character as to who a person or what a thing is" (dictionary.com). But what makes up one's identity? Identity can be made up of many things. Some factors include "race, age, gender, physical or mental disability, ideology, religious conviction, someone's region, digital technology" (Cesmat, 2013), sexual orientation, family background, etc. Psychological identity is the way in which a person views himself or herself, personally. Media affects one's psychological identity greatly. .
             There is no doubt women feel the need to conform to the socially constructed idea of beauty. Because of this, many women are dissatisfied with their appearance, and many try exceptionally hard to change the way they look whether it is with diet pills, fad diets, or plastic surgery. There are many social influences on the idea of feminine beauty, but "the mass media [has] been identified as the most pervasive and the most powerful (Groesz 2002)". As society and media is progressing, so is the prevalence of eating disorders. Many people feel the need to lose weight or look a certain way so they stress their bodies to do things that would not normally take place. Many people starve themselves to achieve the "perfect body". Trying to achieve "perfection" is unrealistic because there is no such thing. Trying to achieve "perfection" sets ones self up for failure. Failure can cause people to grow into a state of depression because their psychological identity tries to identity themselves as perfect, when in reality, there is no such idea. .
             Many television shows, movies, ads, or magazines depict thin women as the main point of view in their media. There aren't many ads or magazines, for example, that show an average or plus sized woman on their cover. The focal point in many ads is a thin woman. By failing to present a diverse range of body types, fashion magazines promote thinness as both the desired, and prevalent norm for women.

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