Media Effect on Body Image

Essay by Litsab1A-, November 2014

download word file, 8 pages 0.0

Downloaded 2 times

Media Effect on body image

A most commonly and constantly projected model via all sorts of media, such as TV shows, magazines, commercials and movies, among others, is the "thin ideal", according to which women need to have a certain physique, distinguished by a small waist and very little body fat (Jones, 2003). What is common among women that urge to be extremely thin, reaching the "thin ideal" model, is the fact that they feel more socially accepted that way. Unfortunately, the size of the highly sought-after idyllically thin female figure keeps decreasing and makes it rather an elusive dream, than something achievable, which contributes to women that care much about having an "expected appearance" experiencing psychological issues (Pinhas, 1998). The aforementioned phenomenon is more intense among teenagers that seem to care too much about their peers' opinion and they need to feel they fit in a community (Deci & Ryan, 2002).

According to the National Eating Disorder Association, the national rates of eating disorders have sky-rocketed in the last 70 years and even though the exact reasons for that increase are not yet determined there have been research that portray women with body-dissatisfaction and low self-esteem, which is why the bulimia incidents among women from the ages of 10 to 39 have tripled, within five years, ending in 1993 (2006).

However, since the media are introduced to one's life at a more and more younger age within the passage of years, children are also greatly exposed to the media effects and influenced by the body models projected to them.

Reaching for the ideal body figure looks like a never-ending struggle, which makes us wonder: Could it be that this constant reminder of the «ideal thin» body model creates a negative body image, hence is held responsible for generating...