Body Images and Popular Culture in China

Topics: Body shape, Female body shape, Culture of China Pages: 5 (1611 words) Published: June 28, 2013
Chen clams that Chinese girls have stronger preferences for a thin ideal predict body dissatisfaction because it has been rooted in Chinese history for centuries as their traditional idea. However, I believe that this is not the case, because the mass media and western ideas have a strong impact on today’s China. Young Chinese women have often said like a habit, “I want to be skinny.” Why do Chinese do they desperately wish to be slim or prefer to be thinner? There are many popular and famous celebrities who are typically skinny in China. The mass media pervades the everyday lives of people living in Chinese society. It plays an important role in influencing their attitudes on how they view themselves in term of body image. Not only influencing them on styles, fashions, and makeups but body images dealing with society’s standard what is beautiful and cute. They are powerful conveyors of the sociocultural ideals, so they can illustrate people’s mind about body images. Especially Chinese women are engaged in a rational struggle to understand the significance of pubertal weight and shape changes in a culture and full of confusing messages about female sexuality and female desires.

The mass media and interpersonal influences on body image affect many young Chinese women. They create the body images as a message to the society, and the message spread among young Chinese women. Appearance pressure associates with body dissatisfaction. The message spread through typically TV, magazines, advertising, and films. In Dong’s “Who Is Afraid of Chinese Modern Girl,” she describes high class of modern Chinese girl’s qualities are appeared in the mass media. The figures are considered as good and respectable women figures in China. She states, “The magazine juxtaposed photos of real women with advertising images and fashion sketches and created a space for imaging the modern by blending reality, desire, and fantasy” (Dong 196). According to magazines’ surveys, majority of magazine readers are women and girls. For instant, there are many articles in fashion magazines how to dress and how to lose weight, which are targeted on young girls. Models in fashion magazines are pretty and beautiful in their eyes, and they believe that the models are considered what is beautiful in the society. The models are like a dream for many young girls. In Cash Pruzinsky’s book Body image, they discuss an important relationship between young girls and mass media. They explains, “In early adolescence, girls consider magazine articles and advertisements to be an important source of information for defining and obtaining the perfect body are more likely to be dissatisfied with their body. Many girls compare themselves to the slender, glamorous women in magazines and on TV” (Cash and Pruzinsky 79). In addition, girls are more likely than boys to feel pressure from the mass media and close interpersonal networks such as family and friends about their appearance because they generally have conversations about their appearance in more infrequency. Frequent appearance comparisons and discussions are important influences on body dissatisfaction. Cash and Pruzinsky argue that socializing and associating with others would send the media-based messages to others. They explain, “Socialization about the meaning of one’s body involves more than cultural and media-based messages. Expectations, opinions, and verbal and nonverbal communications are conveyed in interactions with family members, friends, other peers, and even strangers” (Cash and Pruzinsky 40). The female images represented by the mass media restrict women, and they are giving them a wrong message. This culture further prescribes the myriad body altering means of attaining societal expectations by dieting, exercising, using beauty and fashion products. For more advantages of Chinese companies, they would use mass media as a technique of advertising skills to sell their diet and cosmetic products...
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