Relationship between females body image and the mass media

relationship between females body image and the mass media

The effects of a poor female body image include eating disorders, depression, For more information on the media and body image, follow these links to body. in the health of women, specifically body image and eating disorders. The . analyses68 –70 examined the association between media exposure and body dis-. Influence of Magazines on Body Image Dissatisfaction and Eating Disorders. The literature supports a relationship between mass media consumption and a.

Body Image--Women in Media

Over fifty percent of 9 and 10 year-old girls feel better about themselves if they are on a diet 3even though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that only 18 percent of adolescents are really overweight.

About 80 percent of girls in this age group say that they have dieted in an attempt to lose weight. Likewise, some boys as young as grades nine and ten are being found to use anabolic steroids in an attempt to gain more muscle mass. It is more commonly thought that negative body image affects only girls and women, but this is not the case.

Men and boys suffer negative body image too, but they are simply less likely to admit to being affected than girls are because it is less socially acceptable for men to admit to caring what they look like. The weight loss industry is very profitable and marketing firms know exactly how to sell products to people with the promise that their lives will be better if they lose weight or buy a certain brand of clothing.

Clothing firms use size zero models in their advertisements that are often photoshopped to alien-like dimensions that would be unachievable and unhealthy in any human being For someone genetically predisposed to an eating disorderdieting caused by a negative body image could trigger one.

In addition to leading to the development of eating disorders, a poor body image can contribute to depression, anxiety, problems in relationships, the development of substance abuse problemsand consequently various health problems. Poor self-esteem often contributes to problems in relationships, the workplace, and any area in life that requires confidence.

Ultimately a negative body image can lead to unhappiness and depression both of which are also symptoms of low self-confidence. The saddest thing of all is that all of these negative feelings might be being brought about just so some company somewhere can sell more products.

Addressing The Problem of Negative Body Image Changing the way the media portrays women is a long-term goal for many advocacy groups. There are currently national and international efforts to make marketers take responsibility for displaying pictures of men and women that are unrealistic.

The truthinads campaign is an example of this and some clothing producers have reacted to public pressure by promising never to use photoshopped models in their catalogs.

Guillen and Barr 10 focused on the messages in a popular magazine for adolescent girls and found that between to the emphasis on fitness increased, and the body shape of models reported a trend toward more androgynous-looking bodies. These cultural standards may well explain, in part, why many adolescents are preoccupied with their bodies and dissatisfied with their body image, and are willing to try a variety of dangerous weight-loss practices in their quest for the perfect body.

Adolescent girls generally want to weigh less, while adolescent boys want to be bigger and stronger. A meta-analysis of 25 studies involving female subjects, examined the effect of exposure to media images of the slender body ideal.

Body image was significantly more negative after viewing thin media images than after viewing images of either average size models, plus size models or inanimate objects. This effect was found to be stronger in women younger than 19 years of age Tiggemann et al 14 studied body concerns in adolescent girls aged 16 years old and attempted to understand the underlying motivations for their wish to be thin.

relationship between females body image and the mass media

The factor exerting the strongest pressure to be thin was the media. Despite the fact that these adolescent girls clearly articulated a desire to be thinner, they also described how this did not necessarily mean they were dissatisfied with their bodies. The authors found that the girls had a surprisingly well-developed understanding of the media and its possible role in influencing self-image.

The authors suggested that this understanding may serve to moderate against overwhelming media forces. Many young women believe that they are overweight and want to weigh less. Several cross-sectional studies have reported a positive association between exposure to beauty and fashion magazines and an increased level of weight concerns or eating disorder symptoms in girls.

Field et al 16 found that the importance of thinness and trying to look like women on television, in movies or in magazines were predictive of young girls 9 to 14 years old beginning to purge at least monthly. In another prospective study 17this same group found that both boys and girls aged 9 to 14 years old who were making an effort to look like the figures in the media, were more likely than their peers to develop weight concerns and become constant dieters. The key indicators of disordered eating were found to be significantly more prevalent following prolonged television exposure, suggesting a negative impact of this media.

Among the narrative data was the frequent theme of subjects reporting an interest in weight loss as a means of modelling themselves after television characters A study of the relationship between media and eating disorders among undergraduate college students found that media exposure predicted disordered eating symptomatology, drive for thinness, body dissatisfaction and ineffectiveness in women, and endorsement of personal thinness and dieting in men In a cross-sectional survey of girls from grades 5 to 12, participants self-reported the frequency of reading fashion magazines, and attitudes and behaviours, including dieting and exercise.

After controlling for weight status, school level and racial group, those who frequently read fashion magazines were twice as likely to have dieted and three times as likely to have initiated an exercise program to lose weight, than infrequent readers The effect of the media may also extend to the development of specific, and possibly harmful, weight losing behaviours.

Many children and adolescents cannot discriminate between what they see and what is real. These images promote unrealistic standards that are impossible to achieve. Physicians should regularly inquire about media involved behaviours including television watching, video watching, the use of video games, time spent in front of the computer and listening to radio programs, and types of magazines read. As such, H1 was supported.

These two research questions were tested using linear regression analysis with selfies taken per month serving as the criterion variable, and actual body size and perceived body dissatisfaction serving as the predictor variables.

Age was considered as a potential covariate, but was removed due to a lack of significance within the final model.

The final model revealed a significant multivariate effect on the number of selfies taken per month: In response to RQ2, actual body size was inversely related to the number of selfies taken; such that possessing a lower BMI predicted more selfies taken.

Of note, body dissatisfaction displayed larger weighting within the overall model.

relationship between females body image and the mass media

Once again, participant age was considered yet ultimately removed as a covariate due to a lack of significance. The final model did not reveal a significant multivariate effect on the number of selfies posted to Instagram per month: In response to the research questions, actual body size RQ4 and body dissatisfaction RQ5 were not related to the number of selfies uploaded to Instagram per month.

relationship between females body image and the mass media

Discussion The present study examined the connections between selfies, actual body size BMIand body dissatisfaction. This set of variables enabled two important distinctions that contribute to the growing body of literature regarding body image and social media: Body image and actual body size Analysis of H1 revealed a moderate relationship between the actual body size and body dissatisfaction, which offers two interesting pieces of information. First, although the variables were related, this relationship accounted for only 20 percent of the total variance.

Body Image of Women Depression, Eating Disorders, Self-Esteem

This implies that actual body size and body dissatisfaction should, indeed, be considered separately. Second, the moderate positive relationship signals that despite other potential factors of importance, individuals with a larger body size are more likely to report body dissatisfaction. This finding is fairly intuitive — overweight or obese individuals will likely experience more body dissatisfaction — yet the implications are actually somewhat more complex when the specific results are interrogated.

Although not directly related to a hypothesis or research question, the reported statistics related to actual body size BMI and body dissatisfaction based on the BIAS-BD speak toward the state of body image perception for women in America.

The impact of the media on eating disorders in children and adolescents

According to the National Institutes of Health n. This finding supports previous claims e. Predicting the frequency of selfies taken and posted The present study distinguished between the number of solo selfies taken per month and the number of solo selfies posted to Instagram per month.

This distinction was made to better understand whether the more private act of taking selfies diverges from the inherently public act of posting selfies on Instagram. Results from RQ1 indicated that young women are far more likely to take selfies than they are to post them.

The average woman reported posting less than one selfie to Instagram during an average month, despite taking an average of 17 selfies during the same time period. Although many people are quick to assume that selfies are motivated by a narcissistic need for attention, these results suggest that selfies likely serve a more private and internal purpose for young women. Our findings for RQ2—RQ5 revealed that the decision to distinguish between selfies taken and selfies posted to Instagram was extremely important.

Actual body size and perceived body dissatisfaction both predicted the number of selfies taken with body dissatisfaction as the strongest predictoryet neither significantly predicted the number of selfies uploaded to Instagram.

relationship between females body image and the mass media

One statistical explanation for this finding is that there was more variability in the number of selfies taken than in the number of selfies posted. Taking selfies is private and therefore likely to be driven by internally focused motivations, whereas posting selfies is likely to involve aspects of external attention and validation.

When interpreted together, these results suggest that women of divergent sizes and levels of body satisfaction are equally likely to post selfies in the public Instagram venue, yet might differ in the internal processes that drive their decisions to take selfies. For example, future research should examine the gratifications that young women obtain from both privately taking and publicly posting selfies to determine whether these gratifications are related to body size and body image.

Likewise, future research should explore whether women with divergent body sizes and body images are likely to take different kinds of selfies; such as body centric versus facial centric images.

relationship between females body image and the mass media

It is plausible that body size and body image influence the actual qualitative nature of the selfie photos that young women take and post.

These possibilities are speculative, however, as they extend beyond the reach of the present study. Limitations and conclusions The present study provides an exploratory analysis of how body size and body image influences the taking and posting of selfies. This analysis provides much insight, but is not without limitations. First, the present study possessed enough power to detect results, but was still limited by the relatively small and convenience-based nature of the sample.

Future research should correct this by expanding to other populations e. Given that norms of body beauty are culturally situated Szymanski, et al. A second limitation is that the present study focused purely on Instagram, and did not look at the posting of selfies on other forms of social media.

Young women likely select from an array of social media tools such as Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat when posting different types of content. Future research should seek to determine whether the affordances of each platform might provoke differences in selfie-related behaviors.

Body Image Of Women

Likewise, the present study examined the number of selfies posted on Instagram, but did not assess the overall amount of time spent using Instagram or other forms of social media.

The overall time spent on Instagram and other social media sties — even if passively browsing content — could be an important variable for future research to examine in relation to body image perception. A third limitation is that the present study did not assess potentially relevant psychological variables such as self-esteem and social comparison.

Existing research suggests that self-esteem is related to body image Fabian and Thompson,and that both self-esteem and upward social comparisons are associated with the frequency of Facebook use Mehdizadeh, ; Vogel, et al. Future research should therefore seek to address the role of self-esteem and social comparison within the context of body image perception, selfies, and social media.

BMI can be easily calculated based on information that is readily available to most participants, and is therefore an ideal indicator of actual body size for naturalistic social science research. This limitation is important because current cultural norms of body beauty tend to privilege thinness Pelegrini, et al.

Recent social movements, such as the fat acceptance movement, have sought to disrupt the anti-fat discourse that can provoke forms of body-based shaming and discrimination see Cooper, The medical warrants of this movement are widely debated, but its popularity indicates that more and more women are seeking ways to reaffirm their own bodies while rejecting the pressure to be thin.

Future research should therefore seek to examine selfie taking and posting within the context of not only BMI, but also: Along similar lines, the present study was able to discern that women who are more dissatisfied with their bodies tend to take mores selfies per month.

This could be attributed to the desire of women with negative body image perception to find just the right angle or lighting that will contribute to the ideal selfie. However, more research would be required to confirm any explanation for our results. Such research should focus on the relationship of social media usage with selfies and body image perception, as well as how self-esteem relates to body image perception in the setting of social media. Regardless of these limitations, the present study takes significant steps toward determining how actual body size and body image perception relates to frequency of selfies taken and posted by young adult women.

The present study serves as a springboard for additional research regarding various ways that body image distortion might be prevented and confronted. He is currently following his passions for helping others and solving complex problems by working for PriceWaterhouseCoopers as a technology consultant in Chicago. He hopes one day to return to school for his MBA and continue his journey to learn, practice, and teach all things technology and communication.

She will graduate with a degree in Political Sciences and a minor in Spanish. Her primary research interests examine the interpersonal and relational dynamics of computer-mediated communication. Franco,paragraphs 10—