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Media and Body Image

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  • September 2011
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Media and Body Image
According to the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), 80 percent of women are unhappy with their appearance and approximately 45 percent are dieting on any given day (Chittom). These insecurities and so called solutions for them often begin at an early age. In a study conducted with fourth grade girls, 80 percent were found to be on some sort of a diet. While the impact is understated it is important to understand just how important the media portrays and affects the body image. Females of all ages are overwhelmed with images on a daily basis telling them what they should look like but the media they are exposed to portray woman in an unrealistic manner. It changes the way they look at themselves and has a huge effect on mental health. The media has a negative effect on body image due to the fact that it not only causes the development of various sorts of health problems such as Body Dysmorphia Disorder, but also psychological problems like anxiety and depression with its main target being adolescent girls.

The image may be thin muscular or just average, however people, with adolescents in particular, will go far to achieve this image. The extreme determination in adolescent females who wish to become thin can be blamed to Media’s portrayal of women. Simply turning on your television you can find shows that always promote people who are generally thin, sometimes more lanky than is healthy. Music videos also are filled with scandalous women dancing seductively which seems to be the only way to catch male attention. There is no denying that the media fails to promote enough healthy, realistic role models for young men and women. This could be one of the reasons why teenagers might want to change their body appearance but the reasons are not numbered. During their teenage years they may feel unsatisfied with their bodies and want to change how they look just to fit in. Fitting in gives young people a sense that they belong. The need...

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