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The media and its effect on women’s body image

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  1. Social comparison
  2. Cultivation
  3. Confidence
  4. Satisfaction

Every form of popular media presents a sociocultural standard for feminine beauty. No single outlet is without conviction in this instance. The female audience is contaminated with the portrayal of the ?ideal body.? Often, the standards presented are not physically achievable by the female audience. The primary reason for the previous identification is the health factors involved. Most models included in the media are below the healthy weight. Consequently, the media implicitly sends a damaging message to the female audience. Any woman in the audience may assume an unhealthy standard. An abundance of research suggests that women's body image is negatively affected by the media's exposure to unrealistic beauty standards.

[...] However, there are rare cases of excess dieting. This may cause bulimic symptoms. Eating disorders Disordered eating patterns may arise when the internalized ideal body is similar to the socially represented ideal body. (Field, Austin, Camargo, Taylor, Striegel-Moore, Loud, & Colditz, 2005) Eating disorders may arise when girls are dissatisfied with their body and proactively attempt to change their appearance. Roughly 20 million women in America suffer from an eating disorder at some point in their life. Social media has initiated a new layer of pressure to meet sociocultural standards. [...]


[...] Media images are influential in the decreased confidence due to the presence of unattainable or unrealistic images. (Field, Austin, Camargo, Taylor, Striegel-Moore, Loud, & Colditz, 2005) On the contrary, there are actually some shows that boost women's confidence. These shows are primarily minority-oriented. Reports show that Hispanic and Black women have higher body satisfaction after watching certain shows. (Grabe, Ward, & Hyde, 2008) The shows are black-oriented. The more the subjects watch, the higher their body satisfaction is. The television shows serve as a protective function. [...]


[...] The manner in which the media impacts the female's personal satisfaction with their physical appearance is obvious. Theories such as the cultivation, social comparison, and self- schema assist in further explaining the negative impact the media has women's body image. (Derenne & Beresin, 2006) The various theories present a point of view that assists in reviewing the translation of media images into the women's body image disruption. (Grabe, Ward, & Hyde, 2008) The vulnerability of the female audience is also explained through the theories. [...]

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