The media’s effect on…
Arianna, Kristen, Andrea
What is body image?
• The mental representation we create of
what we think we look like.
• Body dissatisfaction and eating disorders
are found to be common in college
females and adolescents.
– The avg. person receive at least 14 messages
a day related to attractiveness from the
Surveyed 100 students at Rutgers to see
how they felt about their bodies
66 female 34 male
Question 1: Are you happy with the way you
46% of students said no!
69% of these students were female
Question 2: If you could, would you
change your appearance?
Even though 60% answered that they were
content with their appearance…
94% of students wanted to
change something about
their face and/or body
Question 3: What would students
WE WANT TO CHANGE….
“teeth” “stomach” “breasts” “thinner” “legs” “arms”
“taller” “abs” ”under-eyes” “shorter” “eye lashes” “waist”
“thighs” “neck” “nose” “butt” “less acne” “hair not so
wavy” “lose a little weight” “height” “ears” “feet size”
Question 4: Who taught you what
the “perfect body” looks like?
72% said they were taught by the media
91% said NO, media’s representations of
males/females are NOT a healthy image to
Question 5: What is beauty?
“Beauty is where your looks don’t make you stand
out in a bad way”
“Self confidence” “Natural” “Anything” “Amazing”
“Deceiving” “Personality” “Selflessness”
“Compassion” “Confidence” “Healthy” “Nice”
“Content” “Honest” “Happiness” “Inside”
“Uniqueness” “in the heart” “different for
“The Social Construction of a
What is Internalization?
• Women have internalized the “patriarchal” view of what body image is
accepted into society
• Women work towards restructuring their bodies to the “current body of
fashion that is taut, small breasted, narrow-hipped, slim… almost like a
young teen in a pubescent stage” rather than a grown women.
• Magazines run articles such as “Fat Burning Exercise Guide”, “Six
Sleek- Down Strategies”, “Help Stamp out Cellulite”, and “How to Shed
Ugly Winter Fat..”- these promote the body becoming an “enemy” to
• “Tyranny of Slenderness” Women must be seen as slim, and are
forbidden to look muscular or massive. Must take up as little space as
So What? A Media Example
• Conclusion: The more influence the media has to
stop this, the less women will feel negatively about
Celebrities Speak OutCcCC
• Emma Stone spoke out against body-shaming in an interview
with seventeen magazine and Stone was not alone.
• Singer Lorde criticized excessive use of airbrushing in the media
by posting two photos of herself, one retouched to perfection,
the other revealing her real skin, blemishes and all. The singer
tweeted, “Remember flaws are OK.”
• Actress Shailene Woodley refused to wear makeup to several
Hollywood events. She also opted to go barefaced for the
majority of her role in last summer’s teen flick The Spectacular
• Actress Jennifer Lawrence criticized fat talk in an interview last
December. She argued, “I just think it should be illegal to call
somebody fat on TV. I mean, if we’re regulating cigarettes and
sex and cuss words because of the effect it has on our younger
generation, why aren’t we regulating thing like calling people
• Actress Jennifer Lawrence slammed fat talk in an
SSO WHAT NOW?
Solutions & Suggestions
• Get More celebrities, like Sophia Bush, to encourage
• What Do you Think we can do to Promote Change?
• Stop the Influence of Media .. HOW?
RReducing Media’s Negative Impact
• The Body Project/ Reflections- A scientifically supported
group intervention focuses on cognitive dissonance to promote
a health body image and decrease the risk for disordered
eating. Through different activities group leaders will
encourage young women to think, speak, write, and act in
ways that critique the thin ideal and challenge their previously
conditioned thoughts of beauty.
• Media Literacy- Teaching people, especially young people, to
think critically about the images they see in the media help to
reduce body dissatisfaction.
• Disclaimers and Warnings- Warning consumers that photos
are retouched and trying to look as thin as these models could
be harmful to one’s health.
In “The Social Construction of Women’s Bodies” the article describes the pressures women feel about maintaining their body weight to the “desired” look the rest of society believes is acceptable. The term internalization is “the process of consolidating and embedding one's own beliefs, attitudes, and values when it comes to moral behavior. The accomplishment of this may involve the deliberate use of psychoanalytical or behavioral methods.” Women have internalized the “patriarchal” view of what body image is accepted into society
Rather then women embracing their bodies, or working to improve their health women work towards restructuring their bodies to the “current body of fashion that is taut, small breasted, narrow-hipped, slim… almost like a young teen in a pubescent stage” rather than a grown women. Magazines run articles such as “Fat Burning Exercise Guide”, “Six Sleek- Down Strategies”, “Help Stamp out Cellulite”, and “How to Shed Ugly Winter Fat..”- these promote the body becoming an “enemy” to a women. “Tyranny of Slenderness” Women must be seen as slim, and are forbidden to look muscular or massive. Must take up as little space as possible.
Tumblr, a site used by millions of people everyday is a place where anyone can write blogs about anything. This is one place where girls openly talk about their eating disorders, and get feedback from other people who suffer with these eating disorders. It not only is a blog place for girls to openly talk about their eating disorders, but when you even try to search for “eating disorder blogs” This message pops up signifies that there are places to call for victims of eating disorders. These messages can help women dealing with disorders, and further seek out advice and information to help.
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