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MAss Media & Body Image

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Hillary Walsh

on 15 November 2013

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Transcript of MAss Media & Body Image

Mass Media & Body Image
What is Negative or Distorted Body Image?
Body Image refers to how people see themselves. Distorted body image (also called negative body image) refers to an unrealistic view of how someone sees their body. Like eating disorders, it is seen most commonly in women, but many men also suffer from the disorder. You begin forming your perceptions of your body's attractiveness, health, acceptability and functionality in early childhood. This body image continues to form as you age and receive feedback from peers, family members, coaches, etc. Personality traits such as perfectionism and self criticism can also influence the development of a negative internalized image of your body.
-Glamour magazine conducted a survey:
81% of ten year old girls experience a fear of being fat
Adolescent girls are more afraid of gaining weight than getting cancer, losing their parents or nuclear war
A study that offered preschoolers a choice between two dolls that were identical except for weight, the preschoolers chose the thinner doll nine times out of ten
Dear Cosmo Girl:
Imagine a girl who's teeth are rotted from her constantly forcing herself to throw up in the bathroom. One who painfully wraps her waist with duct tape, or goes on a dangerous diet of eating nothing in middle school. Imagine staring at the tombstone of a young girl who died because of an eating disorder. Imagine your daughter crying herself to sleep after looking in a mirror and comparing herself to the Barbie doll like models in magazines. Imagine being able to stop it. You have the power to help kids, teens and even adults to raise their self esteem. We may not be able to repair it completely, but we can raise it somewhat...

The Struggles of Media: Girls vs. Women
-Media can have positive and negative influences on young girls today
Although girls are constantly bombarded with magazines, and music that may negatively impact their perception on who they should be, there are positive media pieces that promote women empowerment
Shows like Dora the Explorer and The Magic School Bus both feature women who interact with males as equals, rather than portraying women as submissive and fragile.
Research indicates that mixed messages from media make it difficult for girls to negotiate their transition between adulthood because of low confidence, and low self worth that is focused on their appearance and weight
Perception is a bug role when it comes to media perception
Discussion Question: After watching the Dove Real Beauty Sketch Commercial what are your personal opinions and thoughts on how we perceive ourselves and others?
-As young, impressionable girls growing up being surrounded by media, what they learn about who they should be, and who they can actually are usually tainted
-TV shows such as Toddlers and Tiara's is a prime example of how media can send off unrealistic goals to what young girls should look like. In the show, there are many remarks made by the toddlers that show their pre-conditioned thoughts, even at ages such as theirs.
-Media can impose negative expectations on what a girl should develop into, as well as also impose to boys who a girl "should" develop into.
-Magazines that include celebrities like Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato that are featured with loads of photoshop, send messages to girls. That message is that perfection is what to aim for.
-Women represent 49% of humanity while female characters make up only 32% of main characters on TV
-Not only TV shows but music is constantly bombarding anyone who listens to music with songs about sex
Produce sexual stereotypes
appear less independent than boys
stereotyped by their hair colours (blondes fall into 2 categories being "girl next door" or "dumb" and redheads are always tomboys but always heavily sexualized.
Discussion Question: Seeing the survey results and images of young girl models, does this at all surprise any of you or does it seem normal at this point?
Although I am only 12 years old, I know several girls who, because of the figures in magazines, have been on diets since age nine. According to friends experiences and articles I have found on the Internet, this is not very rare. Girls of a very young age are being taught that they need to be "hot" and thin. This is not healthy.
Eating disorders are dangerous. More people die from them than any other mental illness. Anorexic women alone, 10% of them will die with 10 years of developing the disease. Only 1 in 10 people will receive treatment, as it can cost up to $2,000 a day.
Studies show that children age 10 and up who have been exposed to fashion magazines have a higher chance of developing eating disorders. What [magazines] need to do to help is put more realistic sized models in their pages. If they start advertising with healthy girls, readers will get the message that starving yourself is not right. There should be more articles warning readers about eating disorders. Please do something to change how young girls see themselves and make it a positive change.
-Glamour magazine conducted a survey:
One study showed that 75% of women consider themselves overweight when, in reality, only 25% were.
not only does media influence what women believe how they should be seen as, but media also influences how they believe they want their children to be viewed as
-having a tan is considered "healthy"
-natural beauty isn't
-outfits need to be up to par
-makeup and hair is needed to be considered "pretty"
-flipper is needed to impress others
-imposing a mom's belief of what beauty is unknowingly onto her child
Discussion Question: Considering the high degree of competition in pageants, do you believe the parents are rational when preparing their children for pageants?
Low Self Esteem
: can lead to increased levels of stress, and it can cause unhealthy behaviours like smoking, drug and alcohol abuse and oveareating. People with low self esteem often feel little incentive to care for themselves properly, and won't eat right or exercise regularly. They may exhibit poor grooming and social skills and have problems with relationships and at work.
Eating Disorders
: Body image concerns and eating disorders go hand in hand. Often, it is the early dissatisfaction with a young person's appearance, and make them feel better about themselves and their bodies. Thus, restrictive eating and over exercising are often next, frequently leading to patterns of disordered eating and weight obsession that can develop into anorexia, bulimia, orthorexia, compulsive overeating or binge eating disorder.
: Adolescents with negative body image concerns are more likely to be depressed because of constant comparison to girls in the media, who use tools to alter their appearance, such as Botox, and surgeries, as well as photoshop and extensive makeup
: many teens, as well as adults are admitted to hospitals for failed suicide attempts, and are often confused with the cause being mood disorders, anxiety disorders or PSD.
-The media has now shaped society into thinking being skinny beyond reason is normal
-Many women within societies dedicate their lives to fulfill the "norm" of looking young, healthy, and wrinkle free.
-Media has also imposed this way of thinking on men, which is to expect nothing less then perfection when it comes to their significant other whether it be their body type, physical features, and even in sexual manners.
-This leaves women constantly feeling helpless to live up to the unrealistic standards
Barbies Unrealistic Idea of Body Image:
Overall Effects of Body Image
-Research shows that one thousand women died each year of anorexia nervosa
-As many as 1 in 5 college women develop clinical or nearly clinical eating disorder, including 5.1% who suffer from bulimia nervosa
-Anorexia: these people have fear of weight gain and distorted view of their body size and shape. As a result, they cannot maintain a normal body weight. Restrict food diet by dieting, fasting or excessive exercise. Others may try binge eating and purging - eating a lot of food and then trying to get rid of calories by forcing themselves to vomit, using laxatives, or exercising excessively.
-Bulimia: Similar to Anorexia. Someone binge eat and then try to compensate in different ways, such as forced vomiting or excessive exercise, to prevent weight gain. This can be dangerous emotionally and physically- can lead to compulsive disorders. To be diagnosed with bulimia, person must be binging and purging regularly, at least twice a week for a couple months.
-Although anorexia and bulimia are similar, people with anorexia are usually thin and underweight but those with bulimia may be a normal weight or can be overweight.
-Eating disorders can lead to development of serious physical health problems, such as heart disease or kidney failure.
Compulsive Exercise
-Some people do this as weight loss as main goal. Many people then have unrealistice expectations. When they do not get the results they strive for quickly, they start to exercise compulsively.
-Images from advertisers of the ideal body; young and thin for women; strong and muscular for men.
-It is an addiction and a compulsive disorder.
Plastic Surgery
-When seeing perfect figures of women in the media, and at the first glance of radiant beauty, women may feel over powered. Can lead women to feeling dissatisfied with their bodies.
-There are risks to plastic surgery. Liposuction is one of the riskiest procedures available, and liposuction combined with tummy tuck is even more dangerous.
Plastic Surgery Continued...
-Risk of death from liposuction is on fatality per 47,415 procedures.
Self Hate/ Low Self Esteem
Dove: "Real Truth About Beauty Campaign"
Dove found that teenagers inner beauty critique moves in by age 14 and continues to erode self esteem as they age.
Only 4% of women worldwide consider themselves beautiful
The Dove Real Truth About Beauty research found that by age 14 more than half (55%) of Canadian girls feel pressured to be beautiful
By the time they are 29, this number increases to 96%
Only 10% of girls aged 10-14 put pressure on themselves to be beautiful, this number climbs to 59% of women 18-64
Found that having positive role models in lives of teenage girls can limit the impact of beauty pressures.
Negative Impact Research Shows:
Nearly half (47%) of Canadian girls between ages 10 and 17 avoided social activities like going to the beach, participating in physical activities, going to school or giving opinion because they feel badly about the way they look
Globally, 70% of girls who feel pressure to be beautiful from "friends" have avoided social activities, compared to only 46% who don't feel pressured to be beautiful
67% of girls without a role model have said that they have avoided certain social activities because they feel badly about way they look, only 57% of girls with a role model say this
Doves Movement to help Self Esteem:
-Women can support self-esteem in girls by:
joining the conversation on facebook
downloading free self esteem education tools at www.dove.ca to help girls feel more confident in themselves
sharing inspiring message with a young girl and encouraging her to develop a positive relationship with beauty
attending or hosting a local self esteem workshop in their community
Internet & Body Image
The Internet
: is where we can access images, web pages, social media, videos, etc, very easily through computers, smart phones and tablets. This means we are constantly connected, and see more of images that can affect us.
Companies & Branding
-Many companies realize that people spend lots of time on the internet and make it so they target those people. Most companies are distinct and make sure you know their brand. You will often see stores encouraging you to follow them online. Through this they can constantly have your attention and market their brand to you.
-There are certain images and words that we associate certain companies with for example when we think of Victoria's Secret we might think of the word "sexy" or "hot".
-Most of these companies make you feel you need the product they are selling because it will benefit you in some way, most likely how you look and appeal to others.
Companies & Branding
-On man of their websites for example this on by American Apparel, features only one type of body image, the "ideal" body image. For women it is typical tall and skinny with "perfect" features. And for men it is tall and fit, so they have lots of muscle and nice facial features.
-Many companies only promote their clothing using these types of body images because they believe it is more appealing to consumers.
Abercrombie and Fitch is a great example of this and there was recent controversy regarding the CEO of the company Mark Jefferies. Someone dug up and interview in 2006 and posted certain quotes online which created lots of discussion.
Mike Jeffries
"That's why we hire good looking people in our stores. Because good looking people attract other good looking people, and we want to market to cool, good looking people. We don't market to anyone other than that. In every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cool kids. Candidly, we go after the cool kids. We go after the attractive all American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends. A lot of people don't belong in our clothes, and they can't belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely. Those companies that are in trouble are trying to target everybody: young, old, fat, skinny. But then you become totally vanilla. You don;t alienate anybody, but you don't excite anybody either."
-Advertisements appear all over the internet, whether they are from clothing companies, beauty companies, for medicines, etc. They are there even if they do not directly pertain to the website. They pop up on popular sites like YouTube and other social media sites that many people are frequently using.
-Most concerning advertisements that appear are ones about weight loss. Diet pills or diet services that claim unrealistic results in an unrealistic time frame, and feature photo shopped pictures. They feature tag lines or slogans such as "lose 10 pounds in 10 days' or 'bulk up fast'.
-People are constantly bombarded with these messages
Social Media
Social Media
: is where we connect with people and share aspects of our lives with friends. Social media sites include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, etc. You can post pictures, comment on others posts and create statuses, etc.
Through the internet and social media our exposure to more "unattainable body images" have increased. Before social media and the internet those unattainable body images were those of celebrities who are constantly on diets and have access to personal trainers and expensive procedures. To make them look good. Now it is just not celebrities but our friends and other people we know that we start to compare ourselves with.
Social Media Continued...
-Snooki is a great example of celebrity weight loss. For anyone who follows her Instagram she frequently would post photos of her progress. From giving birth to her son to where she is now. If anyone has watched Jersey Shore there was much backlash about her weight during the show and interviews she revealed she had an eating disorder in high school.
CNN Article
"When looking at images of girls in magazines almost all of us know that they are altered electronically to appear perfect. When it comes to social media such as Facebook, most believe that they are looking at raw pictures, or real girls. Whether this is true or not, they are ultimately used as a standard of comparison" -- Mary
Discussion Question: How many of you agree or disagree with some of what these young adults said about social media and body image? How does social media affect you personally? (i.e. Do you feel pressured to be a certain way based on other peoples Instagram photos? Do comments and likes influence how you feel about yourself? etc.)
TV & Body Image
-Despite the popularity of the Internet, movies and TV still dominate young people's media use (though they are increasingly watching both online). Like advertisements most television shows and movies involve women who are thin and beautiful and men who are muscular and good looking, people who appear "perfect."
-By associating thinness with other desirable attributes such as wealth and desirability, drama such as Gossip Girl reinforce the idea that it's better to be underweight. When people of above average weight do appear, they tend to draw negative comments from other characters about their looks. These comments are almost always followed by "canned" laughter, indicating that the audience is expected to agree that these characters are appropriate aims for jokes.
-In addition reality shows and competition shows such as America's Next Top Model emphasize the importance of looks
-A lot of films these days especially from the genre of romance feature the "ideal" image.

-Also many movies- those aimed at young children, for example, Disney movies such as Cinderella, Snow White, and the Little Mermaid all feature young pretty girls with tiny waists and a large chest. And "Prince Charming" that is well built and good looking. These kinds of movies implant certain images in younger children's heads about looking a certain way due to how the people in the movie re treated. In these movies most of the girls are swept off their feet by the prince and catch their attention because the girls look a certain way.
-Talk shows dominate day time TV and often feature segments on weight loss and other products to "improve yourself," mostly beauty products techniques and technologies such as makeup, creams, injections, etc. For example, the Dr. Oz show frequently talks about weight loss and different products to use, promoting pills and "natural" supplements that are supposed to improve your fat loss.
-Advertisements and commercials are prominent on television and are similar to those we see on the internet. They promote products and services that improve your looks in some way.
Influence of Media on Males:
Previous research has shown that gender has a relationship to body image and eating disorders, with females suffering more than males
More and more males are struggling with body dissatisfaction, weight concerns, and feelings of inadequacy when comparing themselves to the societal ideal
Although these issues may manifest differently than they do in females, body image is becoming a point of concern for an increasing number of males, both young and old.
Male body image concerns usually result from external pressures to conform to a specific "body builder" physique:
Men receive these pressures from the media's definition of masculinity and/ or from teasing and expectations from family and friends
Family members and friends can also be the source of destructive information. Teasing and unrealistic expectations often cause males to seek to modify their bodies.
Discussion Question: How many people in this room, particularly males, go to the gym frequently? And how many can admit that they go to the gym in order to achieve a certain physique?
It is estimated that 25% of the adults in the U.S. with an eating disorder are men
The number of males diagnosed with eating disorders is increasing at an alarming rate. While women are overrepresented in most eating disorders, men suffer from binge eating disorder at a rate almost equal to that of women.
Like their female counterparts, males are also utilizing extreme measures to change the shape and size of their bodies. From taking weight gain supplements and steroids to having plastic surgery, men are putting themselves at risk. When it comes to plastic surgery the procedure men undergo most often is liposuction.
In fact, while men represent only 9% of the total cosmetic surgery population, they make up 13% of those who receive liposuction
Males much like females should focus on the positive aspects of their bodies and strive to accept and celebrate their true shape and size. Males specifically should:
Redefine masculinity
Pay attention to internal messages about their bodies
Critically evaluate
Accept individual DNA
Participate in sports that do not regulate size and weight
Discussion Question: Do you feel that we not only have expectations for our own body image but we have expectations for the opposite sex?
Full transcript