Magazines, Body Image, and Social Construction

social construction body image

Growing up and having an older sister who loved reading magazines, I eventually got into reading them too.  I began noticing that women on magazine covers were usually thin, considered to be beautiful, and people usually idolized them or wanted to look like them. If you go down any drugstore magazine aisle the women on these covers all look similar in these ways. I also began to notice that not every woman looks like the woman on the cover, so I started to wonder why so many women want to look like someone like Amber Heard on the cover above?  Why is this what’s considered beautiful? And who determined that this is what beauty looked like?

That’s when I began to realize that the media considering these types of women to be the beautiful ones, that it was nothing more than a social construct. We are seeing that this is what is considered to be beautiful, because there’s rarely a magazine cover today that features a woman with another body type. Body image overall in the media is widely negative and makes a lot of women believe that they have to look a certain way.


7 thoughts on “Magazines, Body Image, and Social Construction

  1. I agree 100% with your conclusion as to why would girls and women want to look like these women that are thin and look a certain way. The social construction of beauty is so grand and well established that it is affecting women and men to have impossibly high standards for beauty. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, however the beholder might start try to tell other that there depiction of beauty is the only depiction that should exist. The social construct of beauty is very superficial I feel because not one person on a magazine cover has been all natural they have some sort of fixture whether it be photoshop, or it be the simple change of filter on the picture. I strongly believe that if it has the slightest bit of change it can still be beautiful but is not genuine beauty.


  2. So interesting that you were able to recognize this from a young age!! I think it’s crazy how this type of beauty is projected onto us as being the “ideal”, when in reality beauty is so diverse and subjective that it’s just not possible to put guidelines to it.The repercussions are felt worldwide by both women and men, and influence how we view each other during our daily lives. Great topic 🙂


  3. I agree with you that media has influenced in social construction. The power of media is to bring more and more people to know and accept a “fact”, and the “fact” would later on become a standard or even common sense through human’s mind. It is so interesting to talk about this topic, because I always have friends who want to learn the fashion style and makeup skill from these magazine’s models, and that makes me question myself: why does everyone want to look like each other? We all have our own beauty, right?


  4. I totally agree with you that today’s media has had played an important role in the social construction of women’s body image. The media drives people to consider the only one kind of “beauty” through their particular parts of body. However, it’s not true in reality. Nobody has the ability to define the specific meaning of “beautiful”.


  5. After reading your post, I considered about how we see “beauty standard” these days. I totally agree with you that in today’s society, people think that the women’s body images from magazines’ covers are today’s beauty standard and everyone wants to have a certain body type. I think you chose a great topic to share with other people. It was very interesting.


  6. The media has left almost impossible standards for women to follow. Most of these images are photoshopped and edited so much from the actual photo. Its a terrible thing that women have to look at one body type or style and feel the need to replicate it. The idea of beauty in todays society can mean many different things, not just one.


  7. I agree. I feel the media plays a big part on how we think and act as a society. When we are told that looking or acting a certain way is attractive by the media, we accept it. I think it is a big problem that many people, viewing themselves with a negative perceptive.


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