Culture and Media: Negative Effects on Body Image
September 13, 2013
We live in a world that is surrounded by magazines, television, movies, internet, and music videos that cause unrealistic expectations of how we should look. Media influences society’s perceptions and has become a part of our everyday lives. Unrealistic body image causes low self-esteem and can lead to eating disorders as well as other dangerous behaviors. It also has been known to be associated with bullying. The following sections go over the media’s role in influencing that way we view our bodies.
Individuals, women in particular are unfairly judged in today’s society in ...view middle of the document...
Media and culture lead them to believe they should be shameful. Be in control, be concerned with taking care of your body and loving it more than what other people think about it.
People often speculate that the fashion industry may promote eating disorders. There is a danger that lies within the contrast between the real and ideal; the girls on the catwalk vs. the girls in the mall. This creates an atmosphere for binge dieting and unhealthy eating habits that will result in weight gain rather than weight loss. As models become skinnier, American women become heavier. If women see themselves gaining weight then they see the thin models, this causes a discrepancy in what they see in the mirror and how they feel they have to look, this can prompt extreme behavior. This stems from a combination of genetics and environmental factors; there is not just one sole reason. The Dove study found that only 2% of women and girls would call themselves beautiful, most avoiding activities such as: the beach or a party, and going to work or school, because they felt unattractive. The influences on body image range between family and friends to the media and affect each woman differently. A majority of the problem also stems from the fact that fat doesn’t sell according to the public. Women do not fantasize about being a size 18, but they do a size 8.
It starts with reaching the younger age groups. These days there are children as young as 8 and 10 that are concerned with their body image. The National Eating Disorders Association reports that 40-60% of children between the ages of 6 and 12 are worried about their weight, and 70% want to slim down (CNN Wire, July 31st, 2013). Statistics show that childhood obesity is one of the most significant health issues of our time. In 2010 the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported more than 1/3 of children and teens in the U.S. were overweight or obese (CNN Wire, July 31st, 2013).There are some children weight loss programs that are causing some concern, because the focus on BMI is so high, its making kids feel more anxious when they are...