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Effects Of Affiliation On Female Body Image Through A Sorority Perspective

2292 words - 10 pages

Negative implications surrounding the acceptance of body image has introduced an array of challenges and risks to the well being of female students within higher education. Grounded in the process of cognitive development, the pressures to “conform” to the “thin ideal” perceived through “sociocultural pressure” initiates dissonance within the self-acceptance of one’s own personal sense-of-belonging (Kopp& Zimmer-Gembeck, 2011, p.222). This disconnect can be suggested through influences such as autonomous persuasion captured among exterior interpretation, as well as, the prolonged ambition to assume a role within peer affiliation (Tylka & Subich, 2004, 314). Overall, such need for ...view middle of the document...

314 &324).
Research presents a substantial focus on women in relation to distress in body image. Fredrickson and Roberts (1997) introduced a relationship between negative body image and self-objectification. In definition, objectification theory “posits that girls and women are typically acculturated to internalize an observer’s perspective as a primary view of their physical selves” (p.173). This understanding promotes a “distortion in the views of the identity of the individual” and instills a longing to achieve an appearance that is unobtainable (Schrick & Sharp, 2012, p. 593; Fredrickson & Robinson, 1997, p.179).
Media is a prominent factor in the development of one’s body image and serves as an “interruption” within healthy “comparison”(Englen-Maddox, 2005, p.1117). A culture rich in criticism; women are programmed to “emphasize on a slender female physique and negative stereotyping of obese figures” (Lowery et al., 2005, p. 619). Women tend to absorb the images from print and media to construct the idea of how they should present perfection and beauty to those around them (Englen-Maddox, 2005). Further, “constant exposure to unrealistic “ideal” images through television, music videos, movies, and magazines seems to add to women’s struggles to be perfect and their dissatisfaction with their current bodies” (Lowery et al, 2005, p. 619). This association of imagery also presents the theoretical foundation within “Beauty Myth” and “perfectionism” (Schrick et al, 2012, p.592). Signifying a sense of parameters, “Beauty Myth” is “a set of normative guidelines for women’s beauty” and further “promotes hyper-focused awareness on physical perfection” (Schrick et al., 2012, p.592). From an early age, women are programmed to present a “feminine mystique” that is desirable by men and beautiful within society (Schrick et al, 2012, p.592; Tylka & Subich, 2004). This presentation also introduces a connection to the theory of symbolic interactionism. (Schrick et al, 2012). Through which, women “attach meaning to designated culture standards” and media images, thus, beginning to accept them as “societal norms” (Schrick et al, 2012, p.593). This promotes unhealthy admiration towards “beauty standards” that could be non-existent “leaving them feeling negatively towards their own appearance” (Englen-Maddox, 2005; Tylka & Subich, 2004, p.315).
In addition to media promotion, the bonds of association and acceptance among peers initiates a strong need of belonging within a group setting (Schrick et al, 2012; Baumeister & Leary, 1995). This need to belong can best be defined within the observation of self-determination theory where one’s psychological needs are acquired to be achieved (Ryan & Deci, 2000). Among these needs, the aspiration of relatedness is a fundamental foundation between the relationship of negative body image and group affiliation (Kopp & Zimmer-Gembeck, 2011; Baumeister & Leary, 1995). This need of acceptance can best be illustrated by...

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