The Media's Effect on Body Image

The Media’s Effect on Body Image

The following sample essay on: “The Media’s Effect on Body Image”. Body dissatisfaction is the main fear between both genders, mainly amongst females. The main purpose of this analysis is to provide a detailed understanding of body image among men and women by looking how media influences the ideal perfect body standard.

A person’s appearance is determined by many factors including genetics, biology, behaviour, and cultural standards. Due to these diverse and complex influences, the appearance of human beings varies greatly.

Despite this diversity, the culture of western society sets forth a rigid ideal for appearance that holds that women should appear slender and thin while men should appear tall and heavily muscled, both with very low body fat (Thompson, Heinberg, Altabe, & Tantleff-Dunn, 1999). Society influences us in several ways, perhaps more than we know. The purpose of this study is to analyse the effects of social media and magazine use on body image.

I wanted to focus my analysis on how the media effects on the way women observe body image.

The models and celebrities that we idolise are not to blame for a women’s poor body image. There are so many ways about how the media can convey beauty ideals, including skin, facial features and hair. The media encourages a certain physical image. This shows in many ways in television, advertisements, magazine and commercial . The perfect body that media highlights is the idea that thinness is a good and desirable thing to be.

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We all have a slightly different idea of the perfect body image. But, we are deeply influenced by our social pressures and different forms of media. The society we live in expresses us what kind of body we need to have in order to be beautiful. As the Media is an important topic, there are so many different types of media, different ways in which people get pressured by. Some of these types include magazines, books, movies, newspapers, radio, television and the internet. More often women are portrayed as the thin ideal’ without imperfections. I will focus on looking at magazines and Social media, how social media can be dangerous body image environment. particular adverts, and how they portray beauty and how we then observe the Medias idea of perfection’.

The impact of music Industry on body image

Music is highly social, I don’t go through a day without listening to music. We all do. we listen to music on the way to work, to school, when we fell like there’s nothing else helping us. However, the impact of music is not as positive as we believe. All we’ve ever wanted, is to look good naked, Hope that someone can take it, God save me rejection, from my reflection, I want perfection (Robbie Williams, Bodies) come out in 2009 shows that there’s a lot of pressure of perfection everywhere and you need to have that Perfect body to be desired. Through the numerous music categories, rap is the one of the main and easiest genres to point out body image. In several rap songs, you will catch the words as “bad bitch, dime and red bone”. All these phrases are aimed to represent a woman and the majority of females want to reach the requirements to fit into these groups to be the bad bitch also describes as having the perfect body, with an perfect face and know how to get what they want to be successful, red bone as seem to have light skinned, with thick thighs, and dime used to objectify women’s as very attractive and rates as a 10 on a scale from 1 to 10. There’re also songs about how the media puts so much pressure on the society Pretty Hurts by Beyonc? and it shows how women try really hard to obey society’s beauty standard. In the music video, many people, including Beyonc? are represented as harassed with the negative body images. Pretty Hurts shows the bad influence of beauty standards. The music video encourages positive body images. The soul is what needs surgery which suggests that it’s not your face or body that needs to be change, you need to fix your soul which seems more important and not everything is about the looks. In Pretty Hurts, the director illuminates the thoughts of beauty standards in the Western society by Beyonc?’s character.

The way magazine portrays perfection

The magazine covers are covered in fit idolised models the consumers gaze as they wait in line at shops or any stores and have the pressure on their body image even if they don’t buy the magazine’s but it’s there to have a look at. The front covers of magazine is really important to consumers because often it is the cover that initially attracts the reader to the magazine. Titles, catch phrases, and pictures displayed on covers are usually all that the reader has time to look at in a store. Wasylkiw, A. A. Emms, R. Meuse, and K. F. Poirier, Because, people will see the cover in a store without going through the magazine. The ones featured on the cover such as models and celebrities get much more attention than the models featured inside the magazine. Magazine cover add bold eye catchy titles such as how she got her powerful post-baby body (Shape, April, 2013, cover) persuading consumers by not only making them to read to see what’s inside and also what to do to be like models they see on the front cover.

The society we live in now is more obsessed with our look, rather than what we do and how successful we are, it’s no wonder why women are physically and mentally abused by the Media. From my own view, I see more articles congratulating celebrities on losing weight rather than talking about their success. Constantly using the same figure of model, will stay in the mind of the viewer. This technique is called subliminal messaging. When these subliminal messages seen or heard, we are unable to identify what it is. In fact, they may be unnoticed by the mindful brain and be beyond the level of conscious perception. Negative body image of women is a very common nowadays! Young women always felt the need to be desired by society. idealised and sexualized imageries of fashion models, actors, celebrities also influence the way women dress. Therefore, this can be a lead to stress or anxiety for anyone who can’t afford to purchase the outfits they think they need to have it, so they feel desired and have the gaze of their idols they see every day on a magazine cover or any celebrities they face with on social media platforms.

Manipulated and Underweight model’s images of the Perfect body is everywhere. The sign of this pressure is very clear when you look at how young men and women portray their images on social media, young women’s going for the overtly sexual looks and young men focus on the strong, muscly and aggressive content. People spend a lot of time checking out how they look compared with others such friends, peers, the strangers they follow and celebrities – and spend a lot of time talking about appearance. This unnatural thinness is a terrible message to send out, because the people watching the fashion shows are young, impressionable women, said a former Victoria’s Secret model Frederique Van der Wal.

We always want to be beautiful with a model typed figure and a have that perfect face we see on magazine covers. This impact of this idea is emotionally and physically unhealthy and can lead up too many problems which can lead up to suffering from low self-esteem, depression, self-harm, eating disaster, dissatisfaction, and body dysmorphic disorder. The promotion of the thin, sexy ideal in our culture has created a situation where the majority of girls and women don’t like their bodies, says body -image researcher Sarah Murnen, professor of psychology at Kenyan college in Gambier, Ohio. Women are highly affected from the many things media promotes on body image and beauty. I believe magazine and social media has a huge impact of body image on women’s as they constantly compare themselves to the celebrities in the magazines and deciding whether they have an acceptable figure due to the ones they see on magazine covers.

In my opinion it’s the mix of women’s obsession with celebrities and a low self-esteem that creates a negative body image. Body image involves of a person’s perceptions, thoughts, and feelings about his or her body (Grogan, 2008, p.03), while body dissatisfaction is defined as a person’s negative thoughts and feelings about his or her body (Grogan, 2008, p.04) According to Jeremy Kees, a professor at Villanova University, considers that women likes to see attractive women in advertisements, even when makes them feel worse about themselves. As women grow into adults, they realize their body becomes an object. They are judged daily on their appearance, learning quickly that thinness is something to be valued and appreciated; women come to learn that their bodies equate to societal meanings such as, lazy, inadequate, out of control etc. (Bordo, 1993).

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The Media's Effect on Body Image. (2019, Nov 19). Retrieved from

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