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The Media’s Influence On Body Image Essay

There is an obvious correlation between the media and the mass’ distorted views on body image and what beauty really is. This much is clear. Because everybody looks at celebrities, and judges how they look whether they are skinny girl or a ridiculously buff guy, and compare it to how other people and they look this has been going on for a quite some time. But the more important question is does the media’s depiction of the ideal lean/muscular body lead to the increased use of radically unhealthy tactics in order to change body image by the general public?

It is common knowledge that everybody strives to improve his or her body image because appearance is important; it is simply part of human nature to want to look better. But when striving for improvement becomes putting the body in danger trying to reach above and beyond for unrealistic bodies. People tend to drift towards radical, and unhealthy tactics because anorexia helps lose weight, and steroids helps stack muscle expediting the process that meets their goals of having the body of their dreams. Rather than pursuing less healthy, and more orthodox methods simply because they think these methods take too long.

Spettigue, Wendy, and Katherine A. Henderson. “Eating Disorders and the Role of the Media. ” The Canadian child and adolescent psychiatry review 13. 1 (2004): 16-19. Print. This article covers eating disorders as medical conditions and how the media can not only increase risk of developing and maintaining eating disorders, but also how it made a unhealthy drive for perfection not just okay, but a normality. Even though comparing ourselves to others is part of human nature, it is important to escape the media’s influence and be aware of what is realistic which leads to the development of eating disorders. ut more importantly how to and fight against the media’s unrealistic forms of perfection, and to safely strive for improvement.

In this, one of many articles written by Dr. Wendy Spettigue covers what role the media plays in eating disorders. How the media focuses on the importance of appearance for women, but also creates the epitome of beauty by portraying exaggerated features that beauty consists of. She also covers how media connects to the etiology (Medicine-the cause, set of causes, or manner of causation of a disease or condition) of eating disorders. And how it works to maintain eating disorders.

She has also authored 2 book chapters on psychopharmacology for the treatment of eating disorders (Cambridge Univ Press and Guilford Publications). Strasburger, Victor, and Marjorie Hogan. “Adolescent Medicine: State of the Art Reviews. ” Body Image, Eating Disorders, and the Media 19. 3 (2008): 521-46. Print. The central topic of this article is how we see body image, the tactics people use to improve it, and the influence of media. Appearance is very important especially to teens, how their body looks is a top priority. And many are unhappy with their body image.

Which leads to the use of extreme and unhealthy tactics in hopes of changing their appearance. Many teens feel like chopped liver when it comes to their appearance because of how others view them, but also by comparing himself or herself to J-Lo or The Rock, or some other unrealistically attractive celebrity. The word celebrity is important because this influence is from the media. Which teens are exposed to for many hours each day, in many different forms. All depicting perfect men as a largely muscular and defined, while women’s beauty is displayed as thinness. Victor C Strasburger, MD.

Is a recognized expert on children, adolescents, and media. Graduating from Harvard Med School, was then a Fellow in Adolescent Medicine at Harvard Medical Center, and currently a distinguished professor at the University of New Mexico school of medicine. While this particular article has been cited more than 40 times in other scholarly works. Macdonald, Rhonda. “Press: To Diet For. ” British Medical Journal 322. 7292 (2001): 1002. Jstor. org. British Medical Journal. Web. 19 Sept. 2015. http://www. jstor. org/stable/25466845 The Media causes profound dissatisfaction in the female population, but does not cause anorexia nervosa (1022).

While the debate begins with Katzman saying, “the media actively marketed the thin ideal as being associated with success and treated the body as a commodity” (1022). How losing weight has become so popular, practically a religion, and in this new age, the dieting market emerged. Advertising weight loss programs, appealing to the women’s’ urge to look thin, like models. While Nunn and Nicky Bryant who are part of the eating disorder association of the United Kingdom argue that Eating disorders are serious psychiatric conditions and are not to be taken lightly.

That”… eating disorders… nor were they self inflicted, but rather symptoms of much deeper issues”(1022). Suggesting that the media is not causing women to be anorexic, but instead is rationalizing eating disorders. Saying, “Don’t trivialize eating disorders. They are not the ‘glitz’ and ‘glamour’ gone wrong”(1022). Rhona MacDonald is currently working on assignments for the World Health Organization (WHO) and Public Library of Science (PLOS) Medicine.

She is a medical doctor with expertise in pediatrics, primary care and public health that has been affiliated with many humanitarian organizations, including Oxfam and Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors without Borders). Van Vonderen, Kristen E. , and William Kinnally. ““Media effects on body image: Examining media exposure in the broader context of internal and other social factors. ” American Communication Journal 14. 2 (2012): 41-57. The media uses attractive models and actresses to show products, creating illusions that the products will make you look better.

These models and actresses being thin which creates a “… norm for body image in present-day culture, and it’s characterized by bodies that are extremely thin”(42). And women look to these models as the epitome of beauty. “Consequently, women who are heavy viewers of thin-ideal media may develop the attitude that thinness is socially desirable”(42). Even though people may not notice, but over time things seen in media get compared to the real world. As one of the main media’s standards of beauty being “thinness often has a positive connotation, one that denotes success and social desirability”(42).

Of the 2 main authors of this American communication journal on the media effects on body image, communication professional Kristen E. Van Vonderen (M. A. , University of Central Florida, 2011) took lead due to her research focus being on the media’s effects more specifically on body image and eating disorders. While William Kinnally (Ph. D. , Florida State University, 2008) is an Assistant Professor in the Nicholson School of Communication at the University of Central Florida contributed with his research focusing on the field more generally under media psychology.

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