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Dying To Be Beautiful

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"Dying" to be Beautiful

Beautiful or else --a message often presented in society, is often detrimental to the American public. The desire to be beautiful has received more attention by blinding the public with images of the "beautiful people." The extent of the message the media portrays to our society is more harmful than beneficial to the average person. The images depict the common person as unattractive which causes many to alter their figure to attain the media's vision of beauty. Unfortunately, these unrealistic pictures mostly affect self-conscious adolescents who are surrounded by images of what the media considers beautiful.

Each day, adolescents are exposed to magazines with models who appear extremely emaciated along with men and women who have a perfect, muscular physique. These Calista Flockhart- and Arnold Schwarzenegger-like clones are not representatives of normal, everyday people, so they should not be considered images of beauty. However, many young adults look up to these fake role models and imitate their appearance. Due to the impact that celebrities have on individuals from the younger generations, people now find themselves bombarded by young Brittany Spears "wannabes" wearing tiny mini skirts and naval-bearing shirts. Seventeen magazine even has a ludicrous section on how to look like a favorite celebrity; it includes ideas as to what clothes to wear and what kind of makeup should be used. The media's influence is driven by the spending power of the younger generation and has purposefully created a superficial generation.

Many teenagers and adults have gone to extremes to attain the best, often deadly, appearance possible. Millions of misguided people, including celebrities, have died due to anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa; they are willing to risk their job, or their life to attain the image the media expects. In 1983, Karen Carpenter, the promising lead singer of The Carpenters, died of heart failure due to anorexia nervosa, which can be attributed to the pressure she received from the media. Unfortunately, Karen Carpenter's story is not uncommon; many teenagers starve themselves due to self-image problems brought on by the media. Anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa are just two reasons why the images the media portrays is disastrous to the American public.

Likewise, to gain the Arnold Schwarzenegger image, the use of steroids has also increased among young adults resulting in health problems. Using steroids is a deadly risk since it can cause serious nerve and hormonal damage and affects the user's ability to control his temper. Even Schwarzenegger, who denies using steroids, is seeing the impact of his grueling work out schedules. A local Centennial High School student, Parker Chamberlin, allegedly began abusing steroids, causing him to lose control and



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