Media Impact on Body Image
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Published: Mon, 16 Oct 2017
- Brianna Lloyd
This research is on media’s negative influence on a persons’ body image. The paper will identify the problem of how and why media such as celebrities, magazines, television, advertising, and social networks negatively target an individuals’ self-perception. This research is important because man
y men, woman, and children of our culture suffer a great deal of depression, stress, eating disorders, and many other psychological issues because of not being able to meet unattainable thin , and masculine ideals set by the media. This research can be beneficial to many because it can help make men and women aware about the dangerous effects of the media as far as making them perceive something that isn’t real and as w ell te ch them
Body image in the media dates back to as far as the beginning of the 20th century. Before, curvy body types such as curvaceous Marilyn Monroe set the standards for women. By the 1960s body image was taken over by supermodels with their 90 pound body frames. These tiny figures featured in early television and magazines and drastically began changing the definition of “beautiful”. Body Image develops partly as a function of culture in response to cultural aesthetic ideals (Kim, Lennon 2007). I’ve found in some research that every society has its own way of torturing women. Psychological change is linked with environmental change which brings about how people define physical appearance based on various exposures to media.
Media has so much control over the person staring back in the mirror.
In my research I’ve found 80% of women under the age of 18 have tried dieting of some sort to see results like the photo shopped images of many models and celebrities that are on places like Instagram and Facebook. These images that people see are computer made and the diets are not real. When results are not seen after trying quick fixes it lead s to young women as young as 3rd grade being bulimic and depressed. I wou ld like to open the minds of adolescents who go through the daily struggle trying to fit in and attain the impossible by doing so in extreme dangerous life threatening ways. Girls need to know that no matter what a scale says it doesn’t define them as a person, nor how beautiful they are.
Some research says that media is progressively getting better
about being easier on the messages pervaded within advertisement. I wouldn’t say that its worsening, but is it really getting better? What does the future hold as far as body image within the media? If we d on’t further push and reach out to our youth to teach the risks of being influenced by unhealthy diet fads, and not loving themselves because the television is telling them they’re either too big or small, we as peers, teachers, and parents ha ve failed. I feel the media has made a few changes just to push away the negatives that thrown at them as far as just being “thin”. At the same time they still continue to make note within the music we listen to and the most popular clothing to make money because “thin” is what sells in our society.
The worse part of all of this is that psychological and eating disorders can start in girls as young as seven or eight according to the Journal of School Health. Ten years ago it was safe to say that teens were ok to be exposed to media and it affects at the ages of 15 and 16. Now because of how easy electronics are to learn, children are exposed to electronics as young as 2. By the age of 5 they are using the same social networks as 26 and 30 year old adults, exposing their minds to things they can’t fully process. Confronting and educating an elementary aged child about loving themselves and healthy exercise and eating strategies is more relevant with cyber bullying, and self-evaluation happening because of not looking how the “media” says they should look.
Media is thought to be the number one source of influence on negative body image. Some other research points to genetics, and socialized responses attributed to dysfunctional childhoods. Some think things such as low self-esteem result from abusive childhoods. Likewise, when obese children are raised by belittling parents who antagonize them with food and their physical appearances, it can cause problems as they develop and mature in their teenage years. The alternative is that early intervention
that I want to help with for these type of children will help prevent long-term health issues for majority of patients with eating disorders and bad self-persistence.
To carry out these methods
I would like to educate others. I want to start my own non-profit organization that go es around to elementary, junior high, and even colleges because i have many friends that go through psychological issues on a daily basis that would love to be educate d on this topic. I will need people who care about this topic as much as me, and even with a little experience to help with this project. Teens and even adults commit suicide every year because of not being able to fit in and I would like to do fundraisers to raise awareness and money for their families . I will also need to talk to more people who struggle with eating disorders, and find more information about why the media targets the people they do and exactly how they do it, in order to effectively help those who fall victim to it. One thing that needs the most attention, and that I will further research is psychology of the brain, and medical disorders of these victims to the media to fully understand why they mentally feel the need to try and do as they see. I’ve discovered that many of us overlook all of these issues and push the reasons of sadness, depression, and anger to other things that we go through or are experiencing in our life that very moment.
I strongly feel like my research is feasible because it’s something that is happening now , and so many people can relate to falling victim to the Medias unrealistic perception of ‘beautiful’. I’ve found valuable resources such as the Journal of School Health, NeTweens: The Internet and Body Image Concerns in Preteenage Girls, and also Media Influence on the Body Image of Children. Lots of people agree with this and though there are many non-profit organizations for this topic, I haven’t seen any near me, and another voice can’t hurt . I have personally fell victim and that’s why my stance is so strong against the media. Elementary school girls are obsessed with their weight, teen’s everyday experience psychological problems, and many women pay lots of money for diet quick fix fads that do not work. The media does a great job at pulling our society into the advertisement that result in sales. Even if the argument is made that media is not the initiator of a woman’s self-perception, just a mirror of society, the media still should take responsibility for at least perpetuating the dysfunction.
Lawrie, Z., et al. “Media Influence On The Body Image Of Children And Adolescents.” Eating Disorders 14.5 (2006): 355-364. SPORTDiscus. Web. 16 Oct. 2014.
Monro, F, and G Huon. “Media-Portrayed Idealized Images, Body Shame, And Appearance Anxiety.” International Journal Of Eating Disorders 38.1 (n.d.): 85-90. Science Citation Index. Web. 16 Oct. 2014.
Tiggemann, Marika, and Amy Slater. “Nettweens: The Internet And Body Image Concerns In Preteenage Girls.” The Journal Of Early Adolescence 34.5 (2014): 606-620. PsycINFO. Web. 16 Oct. 2014.
Racine, Elizabeth F., et al. “The Relationship Between Media Use And Psychological And Physical Assets Among Third- To Fifth-Grade Girls.” Journal Of School Health 81.12 (2011): 749-755. ERIC. Web. 16 Oct. 2014.
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