Media Effects On Body Image PresentatonPresentation Transcript
The Media as a Role Model Damaging Effects on Youth’s Body Satisfaction and Perceived Body Image Tiffany Wexler COMM 457 April 15, 2010
Gender Assumptions Many times, males are dismissed as part of the vulnerable population to eating disorders and the ‘thin ethic.’ Assumed that conversations and conflicts about pressure towards thinness only occur between “images and females, or females and other females (peer pressure to conform; criticisms from the mother); the vulnerability of men and boys to popular imagery, the contribution of their desires and anxieties, the pressures thus brought to bear on girls and women, remained…a hidden and somehow unspeakable secret in the prevailing narratives” (Bordo, 1993).
Visual Culture “With the advent of movies and television, the rules for femininity [and masculinity] have come to be culturally transmitted more and more through standardized visual images” (Bordo, 1993). What does this mean?
Society looks to the mass media that invade everyday spaces for cues about what defines femininity and masculinity, and what each should LOOK like.
Learning to please visually and sexually, through practices of the body Media imagery, beauty pageants, high heels, girdles, makeup, simulated orgasm – seen as crucial in maintaining gender domination Cultural Paraphernalia of Femininity Bordo, 1993
Television Becker (1998)
Weight and shape preoccupation
Purging to control weight
Television: Becker Study “Becker was surprised by the change; she had thought that Fijian cultural traditions, which celebrate eating and favor voluptuous bodies, would ‘withstand’ the influence of media images. Her explanations for the Fijians’ vulnerability? They were not sophisticated enough about media to recognize that the television images were not ‘real’” (Bordo, 1993)
The media provide raw materials for boys’ fantasies of power, violence, and muscularity Comics, films, and television portray a landscape of war, death, and destruction, peopled with impossibly muscular superheroes In this world, ‘real men’ are fearless and invulnerable, unburdened by emotion or sensitivity to others. Media- Fueled Paraphernalia of Masculinity Buckingham, 1992
Television Field, et al. (2005)
Effort to look like male individuals in media
Engage in physical activity
Supplements and shakes
Media Role Models The media is such a noteworthy influence on the youth’s bodily perceptions and ideals because of the tendency to imitate and lust after the figures that are validated on television, in film, magazines, etc. Bandura’s Social Learning Theory Children learn to become boys or girls through a process of conditioning. Children and teens want to “fit in,” and so they model media-hyped celebrities and “socially accepted” stars and popular figures.
Film Intelligent Foolish Attractive Unattractive “Bad” “Good” Klein & Shiffman(2006)
Positive messages about being attractive
Negative messages about being unattractive
Magazines GIRLS Field (1999)
Magazines influenced their conceptions of the “perfect” body shape
Influenced them to lose weight
Magazines BOYS Field (2005)
2x more likely to use products that enhance appearance, muscle mass, or strength
Television Film Magazines
“What’s done to children, They will do to society.” -Karl Menniger
References Becker, A. E. (2004). Television, disordered eating, and young women in Fiji: Negotiating body image and identity during rapid social change. Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry, 28:4, 533-559. Bordo, S. (1993). Unbearable weight: Feminism, Western culture, and the body. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. Buckingham, D. (1992). Boys’ talk: Television, masculinity and media education. Paper presented at Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, San Francisco, CA. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED347589) Retrieved April 11, 2010, from ERIC database. Cash, T. F., & Pruzinsky, T. (Eds.). (2002). Body Image: A handbook of theory, research, and clinical practice. New York: The Guilford Press. Field, A. E., Austin, S. B., Camargo, C. A., Taylor, C. B., Striegel-Moore, R. H., Loud, K. J.,& Colditz, G. A. (2005). Exposure to the mass media, body shape concerns, and use of supplements to improve weight and shape among male and female adolescents. Pediatrics, 116, 214-220. Field, A. E., Cheung, L., Wolf, A. M., Herzog, D.B., Gortmaker, S. L., Colditz, G. A. (1999). Exposure to the mass media and weight concerns among girls. Pediatrics, 103:3, e36. Gale, T. (1998). Body image. In Gale encyclopedia of childhood and adolescence. Detroit: Gale Research. Klein, H., & Shiffman, K. S. (2006). Messages about physical attractiveness in animated cartoons. Body Image, 123:4, 353-363.