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Ever since the advent of print and television advertisements, women and girls have been subjected to objectification to sell products. This objectification evolved into an immense over-sexualization of the female body. Throughout all forms of media, the undeniable objectification reveals sociocultural models of body images and its relationship to media and how its usage feeds into the sexualization of young girls and women. Magazine advertisements, magazine pictures, commercials and even ads on the internet provide an outlet for extreme sexual images and unrealistic body ideals, which can lead to many girls and women to internalizing and continuously evaluating themselves against societies objectification of beauty. Mass media continues to be a domain where fabricated beauty ideals influence the way society views beauty as a whole. In doing so, media festers an outlet, causing mental health problems such as low self-esteem, eating disorders and depression in young girls and women today.     Societies standard of beauty is not only unrealistic but dehumanizing toward women. Media and advertising portray a message that females are objects and not human beings. In doing so, beauty ideals continue to perpetuate a cycle of self-objectification which causes several negative effects on how girls and women view their bodies.The portrayal of young girls and women as sexual objects in media is a form of sexism. Sexism is the conviction or attitude that one sex is intrinsically unrivaled to, more gifted, or more commendable in comparison to the other. It incorporates a wide range of partiality, secretive or apparent, concerning sex.  Sexualization of young girl and women is visible by various outlets, for example, through dialect, visual connections, stereotyping, and most visible-media portrayal. Explicitly, using sexualized images of women typically dehumanizing them in the process. Sexism is a critical issue as almost all females, at some point in their lives, have to bear it in different ways.      Our societal norms place a high value on attributes like our height, weight, and facial features. There is increasing pressure on our girls to fit the status quo of Western beauty models.  These sexualized, reinforced images of beauty are overexposed to our youth and far from reality. Sexism has been limited to being portrayed as the act of predominance of male over female. This attitude is detectable where women are more sexualized than men in the media.  Using a unique analytical framework that allows us to measure both the frequency and intensity of sexualization, we find that sexualized images of men and women have increased, though women continue to be more frequently sexualized than men.  Yet our most striking finding is the change in how women—but not men—are sexualized(Hatton & Trautner, 2011).     The sexualization of girls in the media is best described by Jean Kilbourne in her documentary “Killing Us Softly”(1987). Kilbourne has spent over 40 years researching the effects media has on women and society as a whole. Her orginal documentary describes portrayals of sexualized women in the media industry, especially advertising. She demonstrates the fact that women are being portrayed as sex objects in order to advertise different products. She discussed how adult women are presented as children in a sexualized display to sell products. Moreover, the statistics demonstrate that over 180 billion dollars are spent on advertising of products in the United States. The average person views 3000 ads daily, subconsciously being affected by the images seen. The way in which sexism makes its way into our society is significant in establishing the gender roles, and subsequently, it makes this predominance a norm in society.  In a majority of the ads, women are being portrayed as sex objects in order to sell a variety of products; where many products are not related to anything sexual, such as alcohol, garments and food items.      The concept of sexualization of young girls and women is dehumanizing, objectifying, and promotes violence against women and girls. In media and advertisement, women are being portrayed in the most controversial manner, which degrades them and takes away their self-worth and dignity. In Kilbourne’s documentary, she discusses how all of these factors form a perception that men possess the right to treat a woman in an inhumane manner.  It is considered as a major cause of promoting violence against woman in a male dominant society. Sexualized images in media send a dangerous message that little girls are the ideal sex object.      According to the American Psychological Association, research evidence shows that the sexualization of girls negatively affects girls and young women across a variety of health domains such as cognitive and emotional consequences: Sexualization and objectification undermine a person’s confidence in and comfort with her own body, leading to emotional and self-image problems, such as shame and anxiety. Also, mental and physical health is affected. Research links sexualization with three of the most common mental health problems diagnosed in girls and women; eating disorders, low self-esteem, and depression or depressed mood. Sexual development is also found to be negatively impacted by sexualization in the media. Research suggests that the sexualization of girls has negative consequences on girls’ ability to develop a healthy sexual self-image(APA 2007).     Medias constant sexualization of reinforced images of beauty is overexposed to our youth and far from reality. Sexualization was defined by the task force as occurring when a person’s value comes only from her/his sexual appeal or behavior, to the exclusion of other characteristics, and when a person is sexually objectified, e.g., made into a thing for another’s sexual use(APA 2007 ). Many girls do not understand the media’s primary goal is to sell products and sex is highly valued in society. However, the sexualized images are not realistic or representative of girls or women as a whole.      The images they see on television or Instagram and Facebook are usually edited, Airbrushed, or filtered. Psychologists call for replacing sexualized images of girls in media and advertising with positive ones. As a society, we need to replace all of these sexualized images with ones showing girls in positive settings–ones that show the uniqueness and competence of girls,” states Dr. Zurbriggen. “The goal should be to deliver messages to all adolescents–boys and girls–that lead to healthy sexual development(APA 2007). Our young girls learn from a very early age through media and advertising that how we look is the most important aspect of who they are.  Girls susceptiveness to these images in media causes the epidemic of “beauty sickness”, where females continue to spend  far too much time worrying about how they look and not about who they are as an individual.                                                                                    ReferencesHatton, E., & Trautner, M. N. (2011). Equal opportunity objectification? The sexualization of men and women on the cover of Rolling Stone. Sexuality & culture, 15(3), 256-278. Retrieved November 27, 2017 (, Jean. (1987). Still Killing Us Softly. Cambridge Documentary Films. Retrieved November 27, 2017( Psychological Association 2007. “Sexualization of Girls is Linked to Common Mental Health Problems in Girls and Women–Eating Disorders, Low Self-Esteem, and Depression” An APA Task Force Reports. Retrieved November 27, 2017 (

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