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Literature Review

1483 words - 6 pages

Rationale
Today’s culture has placed women across the globe in a position where they are constantly flooded with idealistic images that depict what the media perceives as the “perfect body.” Quite often, young university-attending females, those who are involved in social identity formation, are exposed to numerous forms of media that fabricate various experiences relative to body image. In the past, researchers have surveyed women who are exposed to body-related standards using multiple forms of mass media as a unified entity, which has caused for limitations since each means -such as magazine advertisements- differs in relation to how a thin idealistic image is portrayed. In light of prior research, Harper and Tiggman established that about 94% of North American women magazines implemented images of thin-idealized models on the cover; this lack of diversity exhibited the media’s support for slenderness as a norm for women (Harper & Tiggemann, 2009). Similarily, Murnen et al. not only uncovered that magazines were the most popular amongst females and was strongly associated with body discontent as compared to other mass media, but also that women often compared themselves to those seen in the images (Bell & Dittmar, 2011). Despite these numerous studies, the mechanism behind if and how women are affected negatively by such imagery is still unclear (Ferreday, 2011). This report’s research question resolves to uncover any parallels and causal impacts that may exist between university-aged females’ body perception and short-term exposure to idealistic body-related images within beauty related magazine ads. Based on the stated preceding studies, it is easy to hypothesize that female students may exhibit meager body images. However, if this perception is due to exposure to specific magazine ads or not, has yet to be answered. This analysis will challenge this proposition to see if a relationship, positive or negative, exists within university-aged females through the implementation of the Photographic Figure Rating Scale and structured qualitative interviews (Swami et al., 2008). It will focus on two correlates of body dissatisfaction: social comparison and objectification theory.

Literature Review
Accompanying unrealistic images of women, the media spends billions of dollars yearly to advertise the various techniques that eliminate body discontents such as dieting pills and exercising machines, and exploits female magazine reader’s insecurities. Whether magazine advertisements aid in the gradual depletion of body image or fail to impact it at all will be the purpose of this investigation, supplemented by a literature review and organized by a theoretical framework, to support a firm analysis.
Today’s culture has accredited women to focusing on their bodies as a strategy that sanctions them to determine how well others will treat them (Knoblock-Westerwick & Crane, 2012). A meta-analysis conducted by Festinger and Botta, discussed social comparison...

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