The Effect of Media Images on Women’s/Girls Self- Perceptions
People are more likely to judge the image of themselves by what they see in the media. The mass media surrounds us with images of the “thin ideal” for females, an ideal that has become increasingly thin since the 1950’s and thus increasingly unrealistic for most girls and women” (Stice, E. & Shaw, H.E., 1994). In the past and present, the mass media has been surrounding girls and women with the ideal thin image for females. This affects the majority of female’s self-esteem and confidence in a negative way.
Brief Review of Literature
Eyal and Te’eni-Harari (2013) studied the relationships between the extent of media exposure and early adolescents’ body image. For the adolescents, their favorite television characters serve as a character they idolize and this character determines the motivation for the adolescent to compare themselves with the character. This study examined two types of variables that were associated with the favorite characters: the parasocial relationship (PSR) and the incentive to compare themselves with the character (Eyal,K., & Te’eni-Harari, T, 2013). The method used to conduct this research were questionnaires that were distributed to 391 seventh and eighth graders in two different middle schools. The participants were asked to state the average number of hours that they spend watching television, using the internet, and playing video games. The study shows that exposure to media is related to motivations of self-compare which leads to a body shape inconsistency and a lower body image perceptions. “In relation to the study the favorite television character serves as an important comparison target – extending past research on more general social comparison tendencies” (p. 141). The results show that the adolescents chose thin and attractive characters as their favorite and the comparison between them and the character is due to negative feelings about their bodies. This study can help guide media interventions by highlighting the role of the characters and the different ways the young audiences relate and how the characters have impacted them.
Stice and Shaw (1994) literature about eating disorders and the role of the media is looking at “at 1) the role of the media in providing a social context within which eating disorders flourish, 2) the role of the media in the etiology of eating disorder symptoms, 3) the ways in which the media is used by patients to help maintain their illness and 4) the role that awareness of the media can play in the treatment and prevention of eating disorders” (p. 289) Stice and Shaw believe that magazine articles, television shows, and advertisements have created a context that can lead or contribute to body dissatisfaction and eating disorders in girls and women. In this experiment 219 adolescent females from two private high schools received a subscription to a 15-month fashion magazine. The aim of this experiment was to determine...