Media Messaging

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Media messaging has a negative effect on body image. In a recent study of fifth grade girls, the majority said that they were unhappy with their body image after watching a Britney Spears music video. If only one school of fifth grade girls thought this, could the rest of the middle school to high school students think the same? In modern day America, almost all icons on television, in movies, and also in the music industry, are all very skinny and well built. "It's partly because fashion, film and television have become so interdependent. Increasingly, it's actresses doing the big fashion advertising campaigns and now there's no distinction between actresses and models” (Garai). Eating disorders are complex and involve many factors such as physical, psychological, and social issues (ABIDE). The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that eating disorders affect more than five million Americans per year, more than anywhere else in the world. Media messages about body shape and size have created the “ideal image” or how people want themselves to be like. These messages help to provoke teens to be like their idol or favorite celebrity (PBS). This messaging towards teenagers is primarily seen through magazines and commercials. Teens also use methods such as laxative abuse. This occurs when a person wants to get rid of unwanted calories they have recently taken in. Rather than going to the gym and working out, people use laxatives as an easy way to get rid calories. However, Laxative abuse is dangerous and can result in numerous harmful penalties. Some magazines that promote body image include Shape, Body, and Women’s Health. These magazines inspire teens to perfect themselves by improperly eating to become these cover models. Most males change themselves to look as close to body builders as possible. Building an ideal body often leads to steroid use. Steroids have been known to be sold in locker rooms, gyms and through the mail from an online site. Any...
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