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Television Viewing and Its Effects on Females

Research on this topic done has found out that in actual fact, television viewing in general does not directly correspond to the encouragement of body dissatisfaction amongst females nor does it increase the urge for females to strive to achieve thinness. However, it was found that the extent of exposure to selected types of television programmes was in fact related to the “dissatisfaction and drive for thinness” (Wykes and Gunter 161) within females. Some examples are Melrose Place and Beverly Hills 90210 which have been established as skinny-oriented television dramas (Botta 29). Moreover, a study done by Gonzalez-Levin and Smolak on samples of young pre-teen and teenage girls have shown similar results. Results showed that a heightened idea of body resentment was prevalent in girls who had exposure to more than 8 hours of television in a week as compared to those who watched lesser television ("The Developmental Psychopathology of Eating Disorders" n. pag.). Other than television, exposure to other forms of media contribute to negative perceptions of body image on females. A study was done on a group of 37 female college students, they were shown 24 magazine advertisements that consisted half of body-related advertisements and the other half on non-body related advertisements. Results both before and after the test were recorded. The results showed that when these females were shown the body-related advertisements that showcased images of ‘beautiful women’, the exposure to “idealized images led for an increase in body shame and appearance anxiety” (Davis 13) whereas when showed non-body related advertisements, women did not react the same. According to ‘The Everything Parent’s Guide to Eating Disorders’, with the advan... ... middle of paper ... ...obability of developing a “self-schema emphasizing appearance” (Cash n. pag.). Based off the cultivation theory, heavy mass media users tend to “cultivate” perceptions of the world that are congruent with those that are shown in the media (“Cultivation Theory” 1). With the media being such a crucial and inescapable part of our lives and with the media endorsing and broadcasting the idea of a thin ideal to young girls and females around the world, many females will therefore cultivate the ideals that are shown on the media. Through the exposure of media, these females will develop a warped perception of beauty and identity. Research has shown that images shown on the media usually interpret a standard that is close to unattainable however, it is a standard that women in society are expected to work towards (Serdar “Female Body Image and the Mass Media”).
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