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Media's Destructive Influence on Women Essay

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Everywhere you turn society is being presented with images of perfection, beauty, or sexuality. Some of these images represent unrealistic or unreachable expectations and can be truly harmful. It is common to see women exploited in reality TV shows and music videos. Young women are also influenced by the images that they see in commercials, billboards, internet sites, and movies. These images serve to harm a woman’s self confidence and also are affecting their overall health. Today’s mass media messages are having a negative effect on how women perceive themselves. I would like to propose a project which involves analyzing several women, of many different age groups, across their lifespan while testing how much the media affects their lives. In the paragraphs below, I am going to summarize three research articles concerning this topic.

The first article is titled: The Effects of the Media on Body Image by Amanda J. Holmstrom. This article proposes the theory that the media’s depiction of a thin body image can lead woman to believe they should meet this ideal goal. She explains in detail three theories that make a positive correlation to the affects of media on body image. The first and the most common of the three theories is Festinger’s social comparison theory. Festinger states that people evaluate themselves through comparison with others and are more likely to compare with people similar to them. The comparison motivates a woman to improve on her image if it seems to be lacking. An average woman might be discouraged by the difference between her body and the body the media portrays as ideal. This can lead to body dissatisfaction. The second theory is called Gerbner’s cultivation theory. This theory implies that the more...


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...alyzing woman throughout their lifespan, I would be able to record and hypothesize the effects of their everyday influences. I would also take field notes of woman from all around the world to see if some cultures differ from others.




Works Cited

Amanda J. Holmstrom , AJH. (2004). The effects of the media on body image: a meta-analysis . Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 48(2), 196-217.
(Amanda J. Holmstrom , 2004)

Marika Tiggemann , MT, & Jessica Miller , JM. (2010). The internet and adolescent girls’ weight satisfaction and drive for thinness. Sex Roles, 63, 79-90.
(Marika Tiggemann , & Jessica Miller , 2010)

Marika Tiggemann , MT, & Julie Slevec, JS. (2010). Attitudes toward cosmetic surgery in middle-aged women: body image, aging anxiety, and the media.Psychology of Women Quarterly, 34(1), 65-74.
(Marika Tiggemann , & Julie Slevec, 2010)


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