Ellen Goodman’s Causal Arguments in “The Culture Thin Bites Fiji”

In the essay The Culture thin Bites Fiji Goodman discusses the problem of mass media and its considerable impact on the society and lives of people. In Fiji, Goodman draws a line between pre-media society and a new society affected by mass media and media promotions. Goodman underlines that mass media is one of the most powerful tools which form ideology and social and cultural values of people. Maida has a great impact on women providing them with fashion ideals and norms accepted by the society.

The arguments of Goodman are based on negative perception of media and wrong images and messages popularized by TV. Goodman describes that eating disorders are a direct result of false images of skinny girls portrayed as beautiful. Besides having a great effect on those who watch these TV commercials (and by implication on the community which is comprised of those who watch these messages), they also reflect certain strains and difficulties in modern society. Many of the images people find in commercials are interesting and revealing — and are susceptible to interpretation. Thus, media popularizes negative body images such as extremely thin bodies or tattoos. Media has a negative impact on teen girls and their understanding of fashion and style popularizing thin bodies and gaudy colors. For instance, some deodorant advertisements foster negative self-images and seem to be based on an underlying repugnance for the human body. The point is that this attitude toward the body and think body is not natural; it is learned and taught to society by people who wish to exploit young girls, one way or another (Goodman 401).

The Goodman’s arguments are very effective as they vividly portray that TV changes ideals of healthy life and health in general. The arguments are very effective because they portray a transition between pre-media society and media age. Goodman describes that modern women are taught, to put it bluntly, to feel bad about their bodies and to gain relief from these anxieties by using different diets. The situation becomes worsened by the fact that there is so much competition among the makers of these products. The main problem is that women and men are bombarded by TV images, all of which reinforce the essential unconscious fear that is foisted on them — that their body is somehow disgraceful. TV images also assign “roles” to women, some of which are most significant. In the Fuji Ireland, women have been subjected to the same kind of an attack by advertisers, who have opened up a whole new world of beauty and have made style conscious. That the media magnates have been successful in convincing women to change frequently the styles of their clothes and shoes, to purchase different cosmetics and similar items is demonstrated by social demands and ideals, which show that hundreds of millions of dollars are now being spent for them (Goodman 402).

In sum, Goodman selects vivid and impressive arguments against false images and messages send by mass media to society. One of the charges against false TV images is that, by investing only those choices which society makes as consumers with the glamour of art, it depresses in the social awareness major areas of life where social decisions are urgent. Goodman underlines that false images and messages have a negative impact on society and its understanding healthy body image. Many women perceive themselves as ugly and unattractive because they do not meet the established standards of ideal body image. A media market which is organized by this kind of art has the disadvantage for casual consumers leaving open a wide variety of choices. But it has the benefit of stressing the personal, as against the social, consumption of goods and services.

Works Cited

Goodman, E. The Culture thin Bites Fiji. in Lunsford, Andrea A., John J.

Ruszkiewicz, and Keith Walters, ed. Everything’s an Argument. 2nd ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2001.pp. 401-403.

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