Mass media’s Impact on Body Image

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Fact of theory: Mass media’s impact on body image of females

Introduction
Mass media being an extremely powerful medium can affect many things and many people in various ways. Everyday, everyone is involved by engaging with form of Mass Media, be it magazine articles, advertisements or television. The effects it has on us can be positive, neutral or even negative. One such effect that many researches have been trying to investigate for many years is Mass media’s impact on body image of Females. Body image; which is the mental idea of one’s physical appearance which is formed by both self-observation and judgements of others.(Ondina Hatvani, Good Therapy; Body Image).

Why Body image of females? Women’s perceptions of their body image is something that is always running on their minds and causing them to be constantly conscious of their bodies. In a study done by Brown University, it is stated that 74.4% of normal-weight female college students kept thinking of their body image frequently or most of the time. Therefore, there is a reason for this constant thought of their body image and thus it is important to investigate the cause of these perceptions.

Literature Review

Mass media contributes to negative perceptions of body image

Mass media can lead women to have negative perceptions of their body image. In a study by Krahe and Krause from the University of Potsdam, Germany, they observed the snacking behaviour of 50 female undergraduates which included whether they had a habitual tendency to show restrained eating behaviour or not, and whether they chose a diet snack or a regular one. The experiment group were shown thin models while the control group was not. They found that the most women chose the diet snack over the re...

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...es the ideal slim body image, leads to a negative impact on females and their body image, this exposure can lead to positive results too. Overweight or obese females might be motivated to lose weight while underweight females could be motivated to gain weight.

Also, the negative effects mass media has on females’ perception of body image is not permanent. Showing the truth about how many of these images of idealised bodies are actually altered would help the females understand that the ideal body image promoted by the media is not realistically attainable due to a variety of factors such as genetics.

Finally, despite the many studies done on media and its effects on body image, there is a need for more longitudinal research to be done to yield more realistic results in order to further, and more accurately, explore the effects media had on females’ body image.
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