Media Influence on Adolescent Body Image

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Media Influence on Adolescent Body Image

By | August 2013
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Media Influence on Adolescent Body Image

There is no question that media plays a large role in how adolescents perceive themselves, particularly in terms of physical attractiveness. Magazines, television, music, billboard ads and social media sites all influence adolescents and their perception of themselves. Everywhere you look young beautiful people are staring back at you. Although most adolescents believe that the images are not typical of the general population or of the people they know, they still want to have the perfect body; more muscle,(without muscles you won’t get the girls), bigger breasts, smaller waist, firmer butt, whiter smile and don’t forget, no pimples. The constant barrage of media’s perfect body reinforces the type of imagery that has a negative effect on adolescents.

When young men and women are constantly seeing skinny, tall, tan, big breasted women and tone, muscular, tan, tough men, they are brainwashed that those images are the ideal, acceptable and attractive body types. These images effectively manipulate their sense of self, especially in regard to physical appearance. Since these images are airbrushed or “photo-shopped”, and there is no way that anyone can naturally look like these images, a negative self-image is fostered in adolescents that strive but never attain the “perfect body”. This anxiety about body image is one reason for poor nutrition among teenagers (The Developing Person pg. 390). In addition, young people think intensely about themselves and about what others think about them (adolescent egocentrism) (The Developing Person pg. 408) which makes them think they are noticed by everyone and in turn more self-conscience. A poor body image can negatively affect your overall self-image and cause depression. The negative body image can alter your view of your personality, abilities and future, creating feelings of shame and hopelessness. The consequences of the decisions made due to negative body image can also...

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