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Influence Of Media In The Public

2460 words - 10 pages

Throughout history, the media has had a huge impact in influencing the public, whether it is positive like anti-cigarette commercials or negative such as certain propaganda ads. Recently, the media has been able to influence younger generations due to the widening of its scope. Although, some of it has been positive, much of the medias influence has negatively affected the youth of today. Body dissatisfaction for example, has unfortunately reached normative levels in society, to the degree that lack of dissatisfaction can be viewed as conceitedness. Research has been done which suggests the involvement of media, specifically the body image ideals set by the media, as a cause of the rise in body dissatisfaction. This relationship is cleared reviewed in the 5 articles explored by this paper. The focus of this paper states that the media has a negative impact on female body image and can, therefore cause emotional harm. The five studies that were reviewed all indicate that in order to change the myth of media set body ideals, female adolescents must be educated to improve their self-esteem and accept their bodies.
Although the articles all focused on the same issue, they all had a certain unique aspect to their studies. Some independent variables that differed between the studies included ethnicity, age etc. The articles also differed by the different forms of media analyzed within the study. All five articles are beneficial because they include a wide variety of different demographics and forms of media, which accurately represent the population. Article 1, Images of the Body from Popular Culture: Engaging Adolescent Girls in Critical Inquiry is unique in the sense that it critically addresses adolescent females with self-esteem issues and body dissatisfaction. Article 2, Does Media Type Matter? The Role of Identification in Adolescent Girls' Media Consumption and the Impact of Different Thin-Ideal Media on Body Image focuses on multiple forms of media and what impact each of the forms have on female adolescents. Article 3, “You Need a Makeover!” The Social Construction of Female Body Image in “A Makeover Story, What Not to Wear, and Extreme Makeover” mainly focuses on television as a form of media with a particular focus on makeover shows which are notorious for leading viewers to believe makeovers are both necessary and easy. Article 4, Real Women Have Curves: A Longitudinal Investigation of TV and the Body Image Development of Latina Adolescents also focuses on television, however the participants are all Latina. This is important because it represents a minority demographic. Finally, article 5, Beyond the Perfect Body: Women's Body Image Distortion in Fitness Magazine Discourse deals with magazines as its form of media, while also dealing with the attraction to the media’s set ideals of a “perfect” body.
In order to arrive to the conclusive answers of the media’s impact of female body image, the right questions must be asked. The central...

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