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Media's Effect on the Body Image of Women and Children Essay

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Mass media is a part of society that helps connect people from all over the world. It does this through television, magazines, film and social media. These aspects of media, when used in the right way, can benefit society; however, mass media often shows a distorted view of the facts that people often take as the truth. This is often the case when it comes to the media’s effect on how women view their bodies. Since the media’s creation of the “ideal” body type, which is known to be tall and thin, body objectification has become a serious issue. Any women who do not fit the specific mold start to internalize their desire to change how they look in order to fit the thin ideal. Thin women are not only constantly shown in magazines and television shows, but have also made their way into children’s programing. This paper will look at how the media uses specific techniques in order to persuade people to critically examine their bodies in order to turn a profit. It will also look at the mental, emotional and physical abuse that women place upon themselves in order to achieve the media’s ideal image and how it is not only hurting the current generation but also future generations to come.

Critical Review
The first article, “Influence of Mass Media on Body Image and Eating Disordered Attitudes and Behaviors in Females: A Review of Effects and Processes” written by Gemma López-Guimerà, Michael P. Levine, David Sánchez-Carracedo and Jordi Fauquet, focuses on how women perceive themselves after being exposed to the media’s “ideal image”. Women are constantly bombarded with images of thin and beautiful women multiple times a day, and after a while, they start to accept the fact that this is reality (Lopez-Guimera, Levine, Carrac...


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...., Gokee-Larose, J., & Thompson, J. K. (2004). Beauty and thinness messages in children’s media: a content analysis. EatingDisorders, 12, 21-34. doi: 10.1080/10640260490267742
Jung, J., & Lennon, S. J. (2003). Body image, appearance self-schema, and media images. Family and Consumer Sciences Research Journal, 32, 27-5. doi: 10.1177/1077727x03255900
López-Guimerà, G., Levine, M. P., Sánchez-Carracedo, D., & Fauquet, J. (2010). Influence of mass media on body image and eating disordered attitudes and behaviors in females: a
review of effects and processes. Media Psychology, 13, 387-416. doi: 10.1080/15213269.2010.525737
Murnen, S. K., Smolak, L., Mills, J. A., & Good, L. (2003). Thin, sexy women and strong muscular men: grade-school children’s responses to objectified images of women and men. Sex Role, 49, 427-437. doi: 0360-0025/03/1100-0427/0



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