I chose to read the book titled "Understanding the Causes of Negative Body Image" by Barbara Moe because I plan on focusing my research paper on how the media has strong control over women's development of self-esteem and body image. The message that the media is sending creates the context within which people learn to value size and shape of their body.
Moe's book focuses on how our culture is preoccupied with weight and appearance. She begins her book with the history of body image and how at different periods over centuries, fat and thin body types have both been considered "fashionable". From the late Middle Ages until the 1800s, the rounded figure of a women's body remained the prevailing image. The rounded figure was a sign of wealth, fertility, and prosperity. The thin "waif look" didn't enter our society until 1967 when Leslie Hornby, known as Twiggy, began showing up in the media.
Moe also discussed the emergence of the mass media which confronted people with many "ideal" bodies to look at and quickly, body image became a widespread obsession. The book did a great job of going into depth on how television and movies and magazines and newspapers are powerful promoters of the "be thin" message.
Moe concluded her book with ways people can re-create body images and learn to love their own bodies.
The environment in which people live influences body image concerns. Today, we live in an environment that is surrounded by the media. Advertisements, celebrities, magazines, television, etc. all have immense influences on women, defining a "perfect body". Seeing overly skinny models in the media does not enhance women's self-esteem, self-worth, or self-image. The degree of thinness exhibited by models is both unachievable and biologically inappropriate and provides unhelpful role model for women.
I liked the chapter of Moe's book where she discussed the history of women's body image. She...