Body image and the Media
I choose this topic because I constantly see people who have body image issue wanting to change the way they look, especially their body figure. A huge factor that I know of is Media that makes the way people are feeling. I will be focusing on how men and women compare themselves to the media displays they see.
A. Irving, J. (2008). An exploration of the influence of media, advertising, and popular culture on the self-esteem, identity, and body image in adolescent girls. [online] Scholarworks.smith.edu. Available at: https://scholarworks.smith.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2316&context=theses
The main focus of this study was that it was done on adolescent girls aged 16-18. They were asked questions regarding their thoughts, feelings, and experiences in dealing with the ways the media influences and impacts their lives. Interviews were done to understand their perspectives around the issues like body image, media, magazines, celebrity culture and more. The study concluded that there are many different influencing factors within the media but there are other people in lives as well that impacts. They revealed in the narrative interview that exposure to media impacts how they feel they should look, appear and feel about themselves. Other influences included parents, peers and school. This totally adds pressure in adolescents lives.
Wykes & Gunter’s social comparison theory states that it’s normal for humans to compare themselves to others and the qualities they possess. Growing celebrity culture becomes a major influence on the distortion of body image. Female adolescent tends to follow their celebrity crushes and look up to them. Moreover, media has become a strong influence over young women about the beauty standard and what their families teach them. Young girls are put into pressure by intrusive and controlling parents to gain perfection in everything they do in their lives.
This study will be helpful for my research because it targets adolescents and find out who influences them from a young age. This lets me know that there are a lot of pressure from surroundings as well and not only from media, or celebrities.
Meshioye, A. (2016). Influences Social media has on body image, anxiety and self-esteem in young adults.. [online] Esource.dbs.ie. Available at: http://esource.dbs.ie/bitstream/handle/10788/3040/ba_meshioye_a_2016.pdf?sequence=1
According to Anu Meshioye previous study, she found out that body image, self-esteem and social anxiety has been a problem in both men and women’s lives. Media has grown and has shown impact on women more then on men. This research however was done on different age groups 18-25 and over 26’s and both gender. This study’s first hypothesis was supported, and was proved that there is a significant relationship between intensity of social media on total esteem while the social comparison and body image were not significant. Second and Third hypothesis failed, there wasn’t a significant difference between male and females in terms of the use of social media and there wasn’t a significant difference between age groups and the social media usage.
From the research conclusion, we can see that there wasn’t a significant issue on body image regarding the intensity of social media, however it affected their total self-esteem. According to Clark & Tiggerman conducted a study to examine influence of media and peers factors they found out that girls had the desire to be thin not because of the media but from their peers who always talk about body sizes and then in the study they compared the results with women with women, 11 of them showed more awareness on their bodies because of the media. Sarah Grogan & Helen Richards conducted a study on body image to see how it affects boys and men, they found out that young boys want the bodies to be like athletes with toned and strong muscular bodies as shown on media displays, which indirectly says that’s how a man is meant to look like, it decreases confidence in young boys body image. Furthermore, men also desired athletic bodies but only to feel strong and in control to face day to day life.
This study is going to help me examine who or what are the factors that creates positive or negative body image in women’s and men’s lives and how the media contributes to this notion.
After reading the 2 studies, its possible not only the media to influence young people’s body image, but also the people surrounding them such as parents, peers and school.
Both articles are going to help me with my research, I will be looking into what attributes negative body image, who’s being the most influential, is it because of the growing celebrity culture, I also want to find out are both young boys and females dissatisfied with their bodies, or are young women being affected more than men.