Media's Perception

As part of my A-levels we had to choose a topic and write a 5000 word essay on that topic. It sounds easy, but we had to do so much research into the topic that we ended up knowing our topics inside out. My topic was

An exploration of how much influence advertising has on how women aspire to look in contemporary Britain?
This is something that I feel so passionate about and delving deep into the topic was so interesting to me. What I found amazed me and it has changed my views on so many things. As much as I would love to share my entire essay with you, I don't think that you would want to read through 5000 words of me getting a bit too carried away with my opinions so I'm just going to sum it up.

Advertisers aim to change the way we think through a variety of techniques. They target our ideas and perceptions in order to change our behaviour. This can be from changing and influencing what soap we use or it could be more malicious by affecting our perception of women's body image by using unrealistic images. Advertising can influence how women aspire to look by making them feel as though they should look skinny, tanned, flawless skinned and to have the 'ideal body' that advertisers seem comfortable to promote. It causes women to have low self-esteem, to be less confident and there's even been an increase in cosmetic surgery due to women wanting to look like those in the adverts.

There are a variety of forms of advertising that are used to reach out to the consumer. They are used to reach different audiences and in different ways. Advertisers find ways to ensure that their adverts are noticed by the people they are targeting it at. With media and communication and their powers it's easy to manipulate images and influence people's opinions.
Women see these adverts using women who appear 'perfect' and it causes women to feel as though they should look like that. Perfect is a figment of people's imaginations, it's what is forced upon us. But where did this current perception of beauty begin? Thin, flawless models hasn't always been what was seen as 'perfect'. Marilyn Monroe was named one of the most beautiful women to exist...she was curvy and definitely not perfect so why is that slated in todays society?

Most of what we see in advertising has been altered, what we see is not what the original product looked like. This is even beginning to come through in all forms of media and soon everything will be false.

I'm going to stop rambling there. If I would've shared my entire essay you would've seen that I argued both sides and that there is some possible positives to the influence.
Please let me know what your opinions are, I'd love to know!

Thank you for reading!