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Modern Female Imagery in Western Media

            Modern industry and media have converged to create a powerful breeding ground for advocating unattainable physical goals while simultaneously pushing deliciously destructive indulgences to the female audiences of the Western world. This toxic combination has created a myriad of dangers for both women and girls. The key to decoding this sly and destructive phenomenon lies in understanding the theoretical concept known as Ambivalent Sexism and educating the masses on the consequences of ignoring it.
             The video Killing Us Softly 4 documents modern media's portrayal of women in various forms of print advertising. Speaker, Jean Kilbourne walks us through the deceptive techniques used to manipulate these images and how the finished product harms the female psyche. The film details how industry uses social pressure to lure women into consuming products that will attempt to bring them closer to the prescribed ideal body type or conversely, will work to cure feelings of failure and/or guilt associated with failing to obtain the constructed standard of perfection. .
             Combining impossible standards with easily obtainable indulgences is toxic because it creates a cycle of assured failure that in turn lowers self-esteem and rapes women of empowerment. Certainly it lessens their chances of obtaining power through the creation of daunting obstacles not shared by men. The recipe of demanding women to fit into a size 00 and then conversely sexualizing fatty, sugar-filled foods encourages women to treat them selves with food at the same time punishing them for gaining weight as a result. The cycle is never ending because new products promise to bring the individual closer to the ideal. The trick is that the ideal continues to move further from reality and be pushed into a realm that is attainable by only a minute section of the population. Furthermore the diet promoted and offered to the masses is full of sugar, fat and salt, which takes the person to the opposite end of the spectrum of perfection and success.

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