The Effect of the Media on Body Image

The Effect of the Media on Body Image
Since the beginning of media history, it has been empowering and limiting woman in many ways. Some of these ways are how woman today view there own body image, what stereotypes media puts on woman, and how these types of things effects woman?s health. The media has been altering the way everyone see themselves and others. They can also change the way we dress, look, and even the way we act. The media is the biggest source of stereotypical comments and acts in the world. This provokes others to stereotype as well. The media becomes a great source of role models to all members of society. A mass amount of media role models prods negative habits to our society. Media has become a double-bind All types of media are great for news and entertainment, but it also brings many negative habit?s to our society.
Body image is the way one see?s their own body, perhaps not in the mirror but in their own mind?s perception of themselves. Media is constantly trying to alter the way we perceive our own bodies to be, and what we accept as the norm for a perfect body image. This is done by creating near fictional images, thanks to digital image enhancement that fill the world with what people ?should look like?. These images can become role models for entire generations, be they an actor, model, sports star or other headlining figure. These images can have a very detrimental impact on a woman?s self esteem and sense of self worth. The most commonly impacted factor is how a woman compares her own body to that of edited pictures, and her sense of self image. This factor becomes a negative in humanity once it changes the way anyone see?s themselves for the worse. ?[Media] bombards women; often with the effect of creating an unattainable image in their minds of how they should appear.? (Influence of Media). Another way women are affected through media is the over-stimulation of the ?Sex sells? mentality. Some examples of this theory in media is, the half naked woman dancing in music videos, making breast size incredibly unrealistically big on woman in video games, shooting photos of scantily clad woman for magazine covers and many more.

Stereotypes are used to quickly understand a person, a group of people, a persons race, gender, and or sexual orientation Media presents us with more stereotypical messages than it has ever before in history, some of these messages however are so subtle as almost to be subliminal. A perfect example of this is the alternative language sports annalists use while talking about female athletes as opposed to male athletes. ??[Men] are described as ?Big,? ?Strong,? ?Brilliant,? ?Gutsy? and ?Aggressive,? women are more often referred to as ?Weary,? ?Fatigued,? ?Frustrated,? ?Panicked,? ?Vulnerable? and "Choking?. (Media coverage of women).This shows how males are described by words that would serve to empower them, give them rooting for their own ego?s and boost their playing. However for women this may cause a submissive mindset, that since a man and woman playing the same sport at the same level are being described so differently, she must be inferior to him. This being shown to a wide populous only furthers this agenda. On top of this, sports annalists are more likely to call a male athlete by their last name only, but yet they are three times more likely to call a female athlete by their first name only. One of the biggest stereotypes that the media portrays woman as are week and emotional. They are rarely seen as the supper hero or the saver but rather the one that needs to be rescued. One stereotype that has been put on blonde woman for a vary long time is that they are all ditsy, clumsy, and vary sexual.

There are many health related proclaims that can happen because of the impact from the media. Some of the most conmen health problems that occur are eating disorders and smoking. ?Eating disorders theorists and feminist scholars have long indicted fashion magazines, movies, television, and advertising for their advocacy of disordered eating?. (Levine & Smolak, 1998). There has been many studies by many different groups that have shown that the mass media is one of the biggest case of all types of eating disorders. ?[With in Canada] almost 40% of adult ?woman engage in yo-yo dieting?. (Canadian Gallop poll 1994); ?and from 15 to 20% develop health-threatening eating problems? (National Eating Disorder Information Center 1989). Often when characters are shown in media smoking they are portrayed and or stereotyped as the ?cool character? just because they are smoking. ?[In]? movies rated PG-13, 82% of the movies show characters smoking. (Information and messages). Many of these characters become role motels to woman, there for if the character is smoking, the woman might start as well. In North America smoking is the lead case of lung censer and has clamed the life of millions already. Smoking can also case many other health problems.

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