The Media Influence on Body Image

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Researchers have used various abstract foundations for examining the relationship between media and body image ( Holmstrom, 2004). Here I review the theory that has been used by researcher in the area. Bandura’s Social cognitive theory (1994) assumed that “people learn and model the behaviors of attractive others”. The supporters of this theory suggest that young women find slim models in the media attractive and try to imitate them through dieting which leads them to eating disorders.

Body image refers to a person’s unique perception of his/her body. It is how we perceive ourselves, how we think we appear to others, and how we feel about our looks from “our own internal view” (cash, 1990b, p. 51).This internal view is associated with a person’s feelings, thought, and evaluations (positive or negative). (Cultivation and social comparison, p. 3).

Body image includes an individual’s perception and judgment of the size, shape, weight, and any other aspect of body which relates to body appearance.

The concept of body image has changed greatly over the years. According to ………(10)

Models of Rubens, Rembrandt, Gaugin and Matisse were all rounded, plump women.A plump and healthy women was admired as it reflected wealth and success.(14). Where as images of women have become slimmer since the 1950’s according to Jennifer A. (Australian journal of nutrition and dietetics).

Abraham and Mira warnes in 1988 that health educators and health professionals should weigh up carefully the benefits of weight loss against the risks of inducing psychological disturbances such as eating disorders and adverse physiological side effects such as dieting and severe weight loss…(37)(ajn).

Media has played a great role over the decade...

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.... Psychology and Marketing, 513-530.

Nio, T. (2003). Cultivation and social comparison of the thin-ideal syndrome: The effects of media exposure on body image disturbance and the state self-esteem of college women. School of Journalism in the Graduate Scho, 105-113.

Holmstrom, A. (2004). The effects of the media on the body image: A Meta-Analysis. Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, 48(2), 196-217.

Strasburger, V., & Donnerstein, E. (1999). Children, Adolescents, and the Media: Issues and Solutions. Pediatrics, 103(1), 129-139.

O’Dea, J. (1995). Body image and nutritional status among adolescents and adults. Journal of Nutrition & Dietetics, 25, 56-67.

Groesz, L., Levine, M., & Murnen, S. (2001). The effect of experimental presentation of thin media images on body satisfaction: A Meta-Analysis review. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 1-16.