Sample Gender Studies Paper on Gender in Media: Exploring the Issue of Self-Esteem in Killing Us Softly

Advertisement in print and mainstream media has been identified as a leading cause of low self-esteem among women by Mrs. Kilbourne. Commercials and ads have presented supermodel women, and this has made women feel inadequate about their bodies. The feelings of inadequacy, despair, and shame developed in a woman’s mind once she realizes that her body is not as ideal as the images presented can be explained as low self-esteem (Kilbourne np). Ads have focused on objectifying women. Consuming these views by other women has enabled subjective evaluation of their bodies and their worth, thus convincing them that they should strive to become like women who have been drawn or presented by media. Trying to become like those supermodels who have been explained can be challenging. This has seen many women enhancing their body through procedures such as implants in pursuit of a perfect body like various media outlets have idealized it.

Self-esteem is a huge problem in modern society as it has been attributed to many challenges, such as increased suicide rates. Pursuing better body images can expose a woman or a young girl to depressive symptoms and self-criticism that can affect mental stability (Culley 6). Women have developed false expectations or living false lives, which can prove overwhelming for most people. The pressure to present oneself as an ideal can be overwhelming, and this can expose one to stress that can further perpetuate into other complex mental health illnesses such as depression and various forms of personality disorders. There have been recent trends among teens and even in younger adults in social networking sites where users on platforms such as Instagram have been posting pictures for likes. Some of these users are never confident with their bodies, thus pushing the world into a crisis of approval and becoming ideal women as it has been drawn by various forms of media in modern society. As a result, they find themselves enhancing their body outlook to fit society’s expectations, and this is evident that media has been propagating low levels of self-esteem among women in modern societies.


Works Cited

Culley, Colleen. “Body Perception in First-Year College Females.” (2018).

Kilbourne, Jean. Killing Us Softly 4: Advertising’s Image Of Women (2010). 2010,