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Movie Icons Essay

1591 words - 6 pages

In the early 20th century, women idolized movie icons such as Marilyn Monroe and Camille Clifford. Around 1900s, Camille Clifford started the trend where the standards of beauty were set around 140 pounds, at 5’4” feet tall. Back then, the ideal female body is by having a smaller mid-section (e.g. hourglass ideal/corsets). Marilyn Monroe’s tiny waist and seemingly large bust line triggered female fans to start to engage more on physical activities. The outburst on slender-looking portrayal of body-image began in early 1960s (e.g. Fashion icon, Twiggy). Most western societies experience enormous pressures on individuals to conform and achieve the thin-ideal. This influence by mass-media affects just about anyone including males and females, adults, adolescents, and children.
The exposure to mass media’s depiction of the thin-ideal body may be linked to body image disturbance in women. Researchers Grabe, Hyde, and Ward (2008) conducted a meta-analysis which examined experimental and correlational studies focusing on media exposure’s relationship with women’s body dissatisfaction, eating behavior, and internalization of the thin ideal. Their findings from these analyses suggest that media exposure is strongly correlated with women’s body dissatisfaction. They assert that exposure to media impacts women’s body image negatively regardless of other variables (e.g. assessment technique, individual variability, age, etc.)
Many scholars find it indeterminate when the assumption is made that body image has worsened (and continues to worsen) for both genders over time. The essence of investigating whether the trend in body image has changed over recent decades is to get a better grasp regarding the correlation between body satisfaction and psychosocial functioning. Body-image dissatisfaction can have severe disturbances, such as eating disorders, depression, low self-esteem, and anxiety.

Historically, body image research primarily focused on the concerns of women; however, recent findings suggest that men are also experiencing high levels of dissatisfaction with their physical appearance. These findings suggest that men desire a body that is high in muscularity and/or low in body fat. The dissatisfaction that arises from the discrepancy between actual and ideal physiques is associated with a number of physical and psychological health problems, including the use of performance-enhancing substances, disordered eating, depression, and low

Early research suggested that the criteria used by men and women to evaluate their physical selves differed, with physical attractiveness determining women’s self-worth and instrumentality determining men’s self-worth. Many argue that the importance of physical attractiveness for women’s self-evaluations arose because of the salience of cultural ideals in the media that promote viewing women as objects. Although the cultural ideals of men have not historically focused on appearance (Franzoi, 1995), our premise is...

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