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The Media and Women's Body Image


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This is a presentation I gave at a workshop for local high school girls. The presentation was based off the research I did for my college thesis on women\’s body image and the media\’s impact.

Published in: Health & Medicine
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The Media and Women's Body Image

  1. 1. The Media and Women’s Body Image
  2. 2. How many advertisements does the average American see each day? <ul><li>A. 3,000 </li></ul><ul><li>B. 200 </li></ul><ul><li>C. 2,500 </li></ul><ul><li>D. 1,900 </li></ul><ul><li>(Kilbourne 1999) </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>3,000 advertisements </li></ul>
  4. 4. How many years does the average American spend watching television commercials? <ul><li>A. 10 </li></ul><ul><li>B. 1 </li></ul><ul><li>C. ½ a year </li></ul><ul><li>D. 3 </li></ul><ul><li>(Kilbourne 1999) </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>3 years </li></ul>
  6. 6. In one year, how much money is spent by Americans on diet and diet related products? <ul><li>A. 33 Billion dollars </li></ul><ul><li>B. 100 Million dollars </li></ul><ul><li>C. 12 Billion dollars </li></ul><ul><li>(Cavanaugh and Lemberg 1999) </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>33 Billion dollars </li></ul>
  8. 8. What percentage of American women are on a diet? <ul><li>A. 25% </li></ul><ul><li>B. 62% </li></ul><ul><li>C. 50% </li></ul><ul><li>D. 44% </li></ul><ul><li>(Costin 1999) </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>50% </li></ul>
  10. 10. What percentage of fourth grade girls are on a diet? <ul><li>A. 15% </li></ul><ul><li>B. 75% </li></ul><ul><li>C. 44% </li></ul><ul><li>D. 80% </li></ul><ul><li>(Costin 1999) </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>80% </li></ul>
  12. 12. Twenty years ago, the average model weighed how much less than the average woman? <ul><li>A. 2% </li></ul><ul><li>B. .5% </li></ul><ul><li>C. 5% </li></ul><ul><li>D. 8% </li></ul><ul><li>(Kilbourne 1999) </li></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>8% </li></ul>
  14. 14. Today, the average model weighs how much less than the average woman? <ul><li>A. 23% </li></ul><ul><li>B. 12% </li></ul><ul><li>C. 10% </li></ul><ul><li>D. 20% </li></ul><ul><li>(Kilbourne 1999) </li></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><li>23% </li></ul>
  16. 16. What size was Marilyn Monroe? <ul><li>A. 4 </li></ul><ul><li>B. 12 </li></ul><ul><li>C. 6 </li></ul><ul><li>D. 8 </li></ul><ul><li>(Wooley and Wooley 1986) </li></ul>(
  17. 17. <ul><li>Size 12 </li></ul>
  18. 18. What percentage of women report being unhappy with their bodies? <ul><li>A. 22% </li></ul><ul><li>B. 55% </li></ul><ul><li>C. 95% </li></ul><ul><li>D. 80% </li></ul><ul><li>(Costin 1999) </li></ul>
  19. 19. <ul><li>95% </li></ul>
  20. 20. Approximately, how many women in the U.S. are anorexic or bulimic? <ul><li>A. 5 Million </li></ul><ul><li>B. 600,000 </li></ul><ul><li>C. 10 Million </li></ul><ul><li>D. 1 Million </li></ul><ul><li>(National Eating Disorders Association 2002) </li></ul>
  21. 21. <ul><li>10 Million </li></ul>
  22. 22. The number of reported cases of bulimia in women increased by how much between 1988 and 1993? <ul><li>A. 62% </li></ul><ul><li>B. 300% (tripled) </li></ul><ul><li>C. 200% (doubled) </li></ul><ul><li>(National Eating Disorder Association 2002) </li></ul>
  23. 23. <ul><li>300%, it tripled </li></ul>
  24. 24. Body Image <ul><li>Body ideal in magazines has become less curvaceous, taller, and thinner over time </li></ul><ul><li>In 1985: 30% of women had poor appearance evaluation scores </li></ul><ul><li>In 1993: 48% had poor appearance evaluation scores </li></ul><ul><li>Cornell study of female college students: most normal-weight wanted to lose weight; ½ of underweight wanted to lose more weight or maintain their weight </li></ul><ul><li>(Guillen and Barr 1994) </li></ul><ul><li>(Cash and Henry 1993) </li></ul><ul><li>(Cornell University Communications 2007) </li></ul>
  25. 25. Eating Disorders <ul><li>Eating disorders are the third leading chronic illness among women </li></ul><ul><li>90% of both anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa cases are female </li></ul><ul><li>Only 6% of people with bulimia nervosa and 33% of people with anorexia nervosa receive mental health care </li></ul><ul><li>(Vaschenko 2005) </li></ul><ul><li>(National Eating Disorders Association 2002) </li></ul>
  26. 26. Normalization of Negative Body Image <ul><li>Exposure to images of unrealistically thin bodies can cause internalization of social beauty standards </li></ul><ul><li>Internalization can affect body satisfaction, eating behaviors, self-esteem, weight-concern </li></ul><ul><li>Study of girls in grades 5 through 12: 69% claimed magazine images influence their idea of a perfect body shape </li></ul><ul><ul><li>47% wanted to lose weight because of the images </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Now “normal” for women to be dissatisfied with their bodies </li></ul><ul><li>(Field 2000) </li></ul><ul><li>(Cusumano and Thompson 1997) </li></ul><ul><li>(Cash and Henry 1993) </li></ul>
  27. 27. References <ul><li>American Psychiatric Association. 2000. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders: DSM-IV-TR, 4th ed., text revision. Washington D.C.: American Psychiatric Association. </li></ul><ul><li>Cash, Thomas F., and Henry, Patricia E. 1995. “Women’s body images: The results of a national survey in the U.S.A.” Sex Roles 33 (1/2): 19-27. </li></ul><ul><li>Cavanaugh, Carolyn J and Lemberg, Raymond. 1999. “What We Know About Eating Disorders: Facts and Statistics.” Pp. 7 in Eating Disorders: A Reference Sourcebook by Raymond Lemberg. Phoenix, Arizona: Oryx Press. </li></ul><ul><li>Cornell University Communications. 2007. “Most College Students Wish They Were Thinner, Study Shows.” FirstScience . November 20. Retrieved December 5, 2007 <> </li></ul><ul><li>Costin, Carolyn. 1999. The Eating Disorders Sourcebook: A Comprehensive Guide to the Causes, Treatments, and Prevention of Eating Disorders . Los Angeles, California: NTC Contemporary. </li></ul><ul><li>Cusumano, Dale L., and Thompson, J. Kevin. 1997. “Body Image and Body Shape Ideals in Magazines: Exposure, Awareness, and Internalization.” Sex Roles 37(9/10): 701-721. </li></ul><ul><li>Field, Alison E. 2000. “Media Influence on Self-image: The Real Fashion Emergency.” Healthy Weight Journal 14(6): 88, 95. Retrieved September 24, 2007 Available: Academic Search Premier. </li></ul><ul><li>Guillen, Eileen O., and Barr, Susan I. 1994. “Nutrition, Dieting, and Fitness Messages in a Magazine for Adolescent Women, 1970-1990.” Journal of Adolescent Health 15: 464-472. </li></ul><ul><li>Kilbourne, Jean. 1999. Can’t Buy My Love: How Advertising Changes the Way We Think and Feel . New York: Simon & Schuster. </li></ul><ul><li>National Eating Disorders Association. 2002. “Statistics: Eating Disorders and Their Precursors.” National Eating Disorders Association. Retrieved January 26, 2008. <> </li></ul><ul><li>Smolak, Linda and Striegel-Moore, Ruth. 2001. “Body Image Concerns.” Pp. 201 in Encyclopedia of Women and Gender: Sex Similarities and Differences and the Impact of Society on Gender edited by Judith Worell. Boston: Academic Press. </li></ul><ul><li>Vaschenko, Maryna. 2005. “Eating Disorders in Adolescent Girls: What Educators Should Know.” The Delta Kappa Gamma Bulletin , 71(2): 18-21. Retrieved September 24, 2007 Available: Academic Search Premier. </li></ul><ul><li>Wooley, O.W., and Wooley, E. (1984). “Feeling Fat in a Thin Society.” Glamour : 198-252. </li></ul>