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Toxicity In The Media, A Measure Of Body Dissatisfaction

1952 words - 8 pages

Toxic
“Whoever controls the media, controls the mind,” (“Media Quotes”). The average American views between 2,000 and 5,000 advertisements in the media every day. These advertisements appear everywhere. The media controls the mind of society. What the media wants people to see, they ensure that topic is shoved into people’s faces. From the way the media has been presenting itself in recent years and throughout history, a toxic environment has gripped society. A toxic environment caused by the media has destroyed society’s views on body image, causing harmful effects, especially those from body dissatisfaction. The media is responsible for poor body image and body dissatisfaction with its unrealistic portrayal and expectations on society. This can lead to damaging effects, both physically and psychologically; like marred body image, eating disorders, self-injury, and depression. “Whoever controls the media, controls the mind” (“Media Quotes”). The mind of society is being controlled by the toxic environment the media has established. The minds of humanity are being poisoned by these artificial values in the media, creating disastrous results.
To start, even though the media plays a role in poor body image, there are some who actually do believe the media not to be a contributing factor in poisoned body image. For example, a study was conducted that analyzed the body image of very young children. From this study, it was discovered that external elements influenced a child’s desire for thinness, none of those being the media. It was found that the children witnessed their mother’s dieting attempts and interpreted how she would lose weight through a combination of diet and exercise. Upon witnessing the role model of their mother trying to lose weight to be ‘skinny,’ the children believe that this ‘skinny’ was a norm accepted in society. Also, the siblings of the children were an important factor, as the siblings would tend to see themselves as ‘fat’, or tease the children by calling them derogatory names including “fat.” From just this one study, it was found that the children did not mention the media directly for being a cause of body dissatisfaction. However, the media is very involved in the body image of these children. As part of the study, the children were shown a variety of images, each with a single model pictured. Ranging from one to nine, the body size of the models increased with number one being the thinnest model. The children were asked to choose their ideal image, the one they desired to look like the most. Most of the girls wanted to become the smallest size of image one. The children also commented on why they desired to look like the woman in image one. The responses consisted of remarks of how the model looked, that she had yellow hair and brown skin. One girl wanted to become Image one “because she is cute and because she is tiny.” Moreover, when the girls were asked to choose the image that resembled them the most in...

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