Society Plays Many Roles In Peoples Lives Media
In this paper, I will discuss the different rhetorical techniques that six diverse authors use to get their point across to the reader. All of the articles that I had analyzed used pathos as a technique. There were two of the six articles that used ethos as a method. These two articles were Slim Pickings by David Butler and Do You Have a Body Image Problem? by Dr. Katharine A. Phillips. Phillips moral values or interests are because she has the title of a doctor; however, Butler's ethical appeal comes from the website that sponsored his article. Society and Eating Disorders by Colleen Thompson and Eating Disorders by Katherine Fox both discuss the issue of eating disorders due to the way society and the media put the ideal image into a female's mind. Both of these articles mainly use the social appeal to make their readers aware of this issue. The last two articles, Perfection - The Barbie Body?! written by Julie Hong and Expectations of a Fashion Model authored by Popular Culture, discuss the female's body as an object. These two articles also use social appeal to help the reader better understand how females grow up idealizing an unrealistic body. All six of these articles were all very informative and well written, even though they all used different techniques to get their point across. All of the authors used pathos as their main appeal, but they used it in different forms.
The most important rhetorical technique is ethos, which only two of the different articles used. The reason ethos is so important is because it tells the reader whether or not the author's information is reliable. Do You Have a Body Image Problem?! is the most reliable article because the author is a doctor. This article is written about body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), a disease that two percent of the United States population has. A person being overly concerned about their appearance within society brings on this disease. Dr. Phillips discusses her concern about how females, especially, are "obsessed with how they look," and how people with this disorder will sometimes seclude themselves from others until they feel confident enough to go out in public. Dr. Phillips strongly agrees that society plays an enormous part in how a female feels about herself. She also uses pathos to get her point across. She tells a story about a female who would "rather be blind or have (her) arms cut off" before she would become overweight. By Dr. Phillips telling this women's story, she makes the reader feel sorry for this person, and makes the reader realize how awful it is to have this disorder. Unlike any of the other authors, Dr. Phillips allows the reader to take a questionnaire to find out whether or not they have a serious problem with the way society perceives them. The other article that uses ethos is Slim Pickings. This article is sponsored by Women.com, which is a reliable source because who would know better about eating disorders and how females feel about themselves than a women's website? However, Slim Pickings mostly uses a pathos technique. This article has a social appeal because it has women write their opinion about how they believe society plays a role in the way they feel about their body images. The author David Butler asks a question about whether or not actresses portray unhealthy body images? Eighty-one percent of the females that answered this question believed that actresses did "convey an image that is nearly impossible to achieve." Surprisingly, eleven percent of the women polled said that actresses do not portray unhealthy body images, and eight percent were unsure. By reading these statistics, you can tell that there is mixed emotions about how the public feels about this issue. Butler does a good job by letting women who feel either way express themselves to show two different points of views. The women that answered yes or no to this question were able to write a statement about how they felt regarding this issue. I think that when it comes to how females feel about their body image, it is best to hear from them directly because only they know how society makes them feel about their body representation.
A severe consequence of society's roles on body images is an eating disorder. An eating disorder is a dangerous way for females to lose weight in order to fit the criteria of being thin and beautiful. The authors of the articles Society and Eating Disorders and Eating Disorders both agree that a majority of eating disorders are a result of society's emphasis on being thin. Society and Eating Disorders author Colleen Thompson uses the social appeal to show the reader how the media plays a huge role in how society depicts the female body to look. She also uses a bit of emotion when she states that girls under the age of ten are starting to diet because they are obsessed with weight issues. When the reader hears this statistic, they begin to wonder why a little girl would be worried about her weight when she should be worried about what toy to play with next? In this article, the author states that society is way too concerned with putting emphasis on the "ideal" image, rather than letting females understand it is okay to be any shape or size. The article Eating Disorders written by Katherine Fox is a very informative site. The article is mainly about how eating disorders not only ruin the health of the individual who has this disease, but it also ruins the lives of people around them. The thing I liked best about this article is that at the end it contains different places where someone who does have an eating disorder can go to get help. It also contains information about warning signs to look for in someone who might have a problem. At the top of Fox's article, it clearly states how she feels about this issue; she states "society is sending all the wrong messages to young girls struggling with their self-image." Both of these authors strongly believe that society plays a huge role in how females feel about their body image.
The last two articles, Perfection - The Barbie Body!? and Expectations of a Fashion Model, both critique the media for the way females feel about their bodies. The author of Perfection - The Barbie Body!?, Julie Hong, talks about how the toy industry has developed a popular icon that many girls love to play with. The only problem with this icon is that is portrays an unrealistic body image. This icon is the most popular item played with by little girls, Barbie. Little girls grow up idealizing the hourglass figure that Barbie has. However, the truth about Barbie is that if she was a real female she would fall over and not be able to get up because her breast are so huge. Hong uses pathos throughout her entire article to get her point across that society puts the idea that "with movies, models, and beauty pageants that dominate society, it's impossible for young, impressible adolescents not to succumb to the desire of having a perfect body." The best point that she makes about this artificial body is that it does not cry when its body is wasting away. Little girls grow up admiring the "idealistic" body, but they do not see the consequences that these women face. According to Popular Culture's Expectations of a Fashion Model, models give women and men the image that all females should have a very thin sleek body, which in reality is an unrealistic body. Popular Culture uses both forms of the pathos technique; they use the social and emotional appeal. For the social appeal they, as well as all the other authors, say that society is to blame for the reason women feel the way they do about their bodies. For the emotional appeal they tell a story about a fifteen-year-old girl who had a severe eating disorder and had been hospitalized off and on for being so sick. They go on to explain how a modeling agency had approached this young anorexic, ninety-one pound female and offered her a job to become a model saying she had the ideal body. So if this anorexic female has the ideal body, then what type of body do healthy females have? Society puts to much emphasis on being thin and beautiful that female's begin to develop unhealthy habits to meet these thin criteria.
Authors can get their point across many different ways. All six of these articles used pathos as their main appeal. Even though the authors presented their appeals in different ways, they all got their point across to show the reader that society is mainly to blame for the way females feel. All of the articles that I reviewed agreed on how they felt about the body images in today's society. I found all of the articles to be very informative in their own unique way. Some of the articles showed their opinion about the subject, others showed additional people's opinions, and one of the articles showed her thought due to research she has done. Although, these authors used different strategies to get their point across, they all did it in an effective way.
In conclusion, I have found that the female gender needs to realize that it is okay to be any shape or weight. Women need to grasp the fact that they can be sexy and attractive to men even if they are larger or if they are stick thin. On the other hand, the male gender needs to accept the fact that females can be beautiful in many different ways. Men need to understand that not all females can look like Pamela Anderson or even Jennifer Aniston, that women of the real world are beautiful however they look. The biggest acceptance needs to come from society; they need to let females know any shape or size can still be considered gorgeous.
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