Dr. Patricia Kennedy
Self-Esteem and Body Image
Harter defines self-esteem as, “The level of global regard that one has for the self as a person” (Harter 3). And according to James, “Lack of success or competence in domains deemed unimportant to oneself will not adversely affect self-esteem.” This means self-esteem is a two way street and the self decides what affects self-esteem and what does not. The main stimulus of global self-esteem in males and females is physical attractiveness. Physical attractiveness is the degree to which a stimulus person is pleasing to observe (Patzer 27). A Martin and Kennedy study found:
“Ideal-body image commercials lowered body size overestimations and subjects’ depression levels, supporting the existence of “an elastic body image.” That is, a woman’s actual body size is in conflict with mediated ideal body image, resulting in an unstable self-perceived body image that is responsive to social cues (Martin & Kennedy).”
Richins’ results in a 1991 publication, “Social Comparison and the Idealized Images of Advertising,” showed the same truth as Martin and Kennedy’s’. Further the Martin and Kennedy study found women had great tendency to compare themselves to models, but the greater tendency did not lower their self-esteem or self perceptions more than males.
(See Appendix for Some Facts about Media’s Influence in Our Lives)
Media messages about body shape and size will affect the way we feel about ourselves and our bodies only if we let them. One of the ways we can protect our self-esteem and body image from the media’s often narrow definitions of beauty and acceptability is to become a critical viewer of media messages we are bombarded with each day. When we effectively recognize and analyze the media messages... [continues]
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(2011, 09). The Role of Marketing Communications in the Rise in Childhood Obesity. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 09, 2011, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/The-Role-Of-Marketing-Communications-In-770913.html
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