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Media's Influences on the Development of a Woman's Self-Esteem Essay example

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Media's Influences on the Development of a Woman's Self-Esteem


As young women grow up it is a time for learning. This time can be easier to handle by some than others. For some it can be a revelation of new experiences and ideas, but for other it can also be a difficult, stressful time for those trying to discover themselves. This can affect themselves as well as those around them. During this time, young women are likely to identify with those around them, their peers. Identifying with peers can help young women along by giving them the opportunity to see how others deal with problems similar to their own and by offering their own advice to those who need it. Along with this, young women are liable to worry about their body image, and may want to conform to those who have achieved the 'desired' image. This image may be thin, muscular, or just average. This can be attributed to the media's portrayal of women (Body Image & Advertising). The majority of women in ads; television, movies, and magazines are thin and are seen as attractive because of this. Young women will see these women and may want their image as their own, and some will go to any lengths to acquire this (Harrison, K). This in turn could lead to the idea that during this process of change and growing up, young women are often concerned about their physical image, which is influenced by the media (ibid).

Young women may want to change their body image for a number of reasons. When women compare themselves to models and pictures of people in advertisements, they believe the only way they will get noticed is if they also appear the in the same image of the models (Henderson-King & Henderson-King). During adolescence, they may feel unsatisfied with their bodies and want to change how they look just to fit in (Beauty and Body Image in the Media). Also, young women look up to a number of people, namely celebrities, and try to adopt their style as their own in hopes of being able to fit in. Many celebrities are thin (Henderson-King & Henderson-King.

The media widely popularizes the female figure as very thin. This all has its roots to 1959 and the introduction of the Barbie Doll and then in 1967 the ?waif look? entered our society when Leslie Hornby, known as Twiggy, began showing up in the media. The majority of actresses throughout the history of media have been thin (Beauty and Body...


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...ffects on Women?s body esteem: social and individual difference factors. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 27, 399. Retrieved from InfoTrac, Web database.

Media exposure drives how satisfied women and girls are about body image. Pharma Business Week, 1, 13. Retrieved from InfoTrac Web database.

Rabak-Wagener, J., Eickhoff-Shemek, J., & Kelly-Vance, L., (2004). Participation in a media analysis program helped young women change their beliefs about body image, but their behaviors stayed similar. Journal of American College Health, 47, 29. Retrieved from RDS database.

Simplistic explanations regarding women and body image neglect other factors. Mental Health Weekly Digest, 1, 16. Retrieved September 18, 2004, from InfoTrac Web database.
Spaeth Cherry, s., (2004). Parents Can Help Prevent Eating Disorders. Opposing Viewpoints: Eating Disorders, 1, 1. Retrieved from Opposing Viewpoints Resource center.

TV food ads: thin actors make then thin on reality. Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter, 19, 2. Retrieved from InfoTrac Web database.

Walling, A., (1990). Teenagers and Television. American Family Physician, 42, 638. Retrieved from InfoTrac Web database.


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