Limited Media Perception of Beauty and Its Influence on Female Population

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Every day we are bombarded with mass media on ideal feminine beauty. From female models on the cover of Vogue to female contestants on the latest reality TV series, women are presented with a limited perception of what people consider to be beautiful. Rather than simply agreeing with the media, we need to consider that these feminine beauty standards are unattainable. Do you find yourself guilty of this?

Social media comparison refers to an individual’s inclination to compare themselves to others on an online platform. We are often inclined to compare ourselves to others whether they’re celebrities, models or even friends and family. The constant posting, liking and scrolling through posts exposes ourselves to incredible amounts of idealized media. Ask yourself why you have a social media account. Is it because you want to present a certain image of yourself online or want to subconsciously prove that you fit into the ideal societal standards of beauty? A study conducted by the Florida House Experience, a healthcare agency, discovered that most women constantly compare themselves with others on social media. The survey included 1000 men and women who had a social media account, focusing on their body image, confidence and media. It was observed that 87% of women compared their bodies to images they engaged in on social media. This clearly shows that these idealized images have a great impact on one’s self-perception of beauty based on the comparison to others online. Although people may look a certain way on social media, people are only presenting a certain image of themselves that is just unrealistic. Social media presents these societal beauty standards as achievable, fueling constant pressure on females and providing more of a limited perception on female ideal beauty than ever.

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Advertisements are constantly promoting idealistic feminine beauty standards affecting female’s perception of beauty to a slender waist-to-hip ratio. Tiggemann and McGill, social and clinical psychologists, discovered how images of more slender women on adverts led to more social comparison and negative dissatisfaction of women with their bodies. The truth is, advertisements are constantly trying to entice us into making us want to look a certain way. We want so bad to be something completely and utterly unrealistic. The advert from Protein World plants body insecurity and self-doubt in women who do not look like the model in the advert. It promotes an unrealistic body image for women, shaming all other bodies that don’t necessarily look like this body on the advert and claiming that this is the ultimate body goal. These advertisements are creating unattainable beauty standards with their purpose only to convince you into purchasing their product to fit into these feminine beauty standards.

Reality shows are unfailingly promoting the audience towards the perfect female’s body. Look at all the female contestants on ‘The Bachelor’. They’re ‘perfect’. With hourglass figures, suntanned skin and big breasts. But if we take a step back, we can begin to unfold that the fundamental root of this problem is that the media is continuously presenting people with a limited view of female beauty. We are only seeing women that fit into these societal feminine beauty standards. There is no diversity of beauty on these reality shows whatsoever. Instead, these shows should be showing us all beauty: a variety of shapes, sizes and skin tones of women. Beauty is not defined by just one set of standards that all women are constantly comparing and expecting themselves to fit into.

Photoshopping is heavily used in the media to promote a flawless and ideal woman’s body as the societal standard. It leads women to feel constantly pressured and believing that beauty only exists in an unachievable body type. Photoshopping digitally distorts a woman’s body to create something unrealistic and completely unachievable. It uses the airbrushing of ‘imperfections’ and the elongation of limbs to add to a physical visual aesthetic. Dr Pippa Hugo, a professional and well-known psychologist, warned people that “photo retouching by teenage girls was becoming the norm”. She claimed that photoshopping creates “disturbing psychological consequences”, reporting that in various schools nine out of 10 teenage girls “doctor themselves” into becoming thinner through the use of photoshop. It is unbelievably toxic and disturbing to see the large amounts of females conforming to digitally altering their body. These ideal feminine beauty standards portrayed in the media are leading us to praise these highly edited images and Barbie-like figures instead of embracing our bodies.

No one can have a size zero waist, perfectly flawless skin and a large thigh gap. We need to stop deceiving ourselves into believing that these expectations are achievable. They are simply unattainable because they are not real.

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Limited Media Perception of Beauty and Its Influence on Female Population. (2022, December 15). Edubirdie. Retrieved May 30, 2024, from
“Limited Media Perception of Beauty and Its Influence on Female Population.” Edubirdie, 15 Dec. 2022,
Limited Media Perception of Beauty and Its Influence on Female Population. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 30 May 2024].
Limited Media Perception of Beauty and Its Influence on Female Population [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Dec 15 [cited 2024 May 30]. Available from:

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