• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

To what extent does the Media affect body image in teens and their perception of beauty?

Extracts from this document...


´╗┐To what extent does the Media affect body image in teens and their perception of beauty? There is no question that the Media has a massive impact on how we perceive ourselves, particularly when it comes to our beauty. From my own experience, I have questioned my own body due to articles in magazines promoting a slimmer body type to various audiences. We shape our opinions through what the Media tells us is right and wrong. For instance, women and young girls are judged highly on their weight and appearance where as men are judged more on their masculinity and muscularity.[1] As the Media is a massive topic, I will focus on looking at magazines, in particular adverts, and how they portray beauty and how we then observe the Medias idea of ?perfection?. I will also be looking at the effects of exposure to these magazines and adverts to teenagers; one particular focus will be the influences of the Media on Anorexia. ?Low self-esteem contributes to a distorted body image, and the distorted body image can't be fully corrected until self-esteem issues are reconciled.?[2] If we don?t address the problem (the problem being the Media labelling a certain body type as perfect) then the issue of low self-esteem in women is never going to stop. Over 90% of people diagnosed with eating disorders are adolescent or young women,[3] so why do young women and adolescents feel the need to go to these drastic measures to stay skinny? While the Media is not the only factor that can be contributed to the rise in Anorexia, it is a significant aspect. It?s no surprise that teenagers are obsessed with thinness and weight loss because of the way Media promotes a skinny figure to women[4] through the constant images of celebrities? bodies and also articles that talk about bettering our lives through our appearance.[5] The Media promotes a skinny figure through constant articles in magazines on celebrities? figures, for example, Star magazine has shown the same ...read more.


I wanted to see if this type of advertising really does work. I carried out this experiment twice because I wanted to make sure I had clear and thorough results. I used a group of twenty students between the ages of 14 and 16 of which ten boys and ten were girls. The boys were given adverts targeted at males and the girls were given adverts targeted at females. Half of each gender was given adverts that feature models of the same sex and the other half were given adverts that featured only the products and no models. Each person that had the same booklet was all sat on a table and they would discuss the adverts. As I was walking around, I was listening to what they were asking each other about the adverts shown to them: “What is your opinion of the advert? What is the focal point for the advert? Whom is this advert targeted at?” I was surprised by the results I got from also the comments I got from both genders. All the girls that had models advertising the perfume in their adverts wanted to lose weight, and out of the 20 girls that took part, 90% overall wanted to lose weight. A lot of the girls described the models as “plain” and that “the majority of the models were skinny and blonde.” This was a popular opinion with all the girls and I wondered why even though they thought the models looked plain and they weren’t envious of the models, why did all the girls want to lose weight? One girl gave an interesting point that even though Emporio Armani used Beyoncé Knowles, who is African-American, to advertise their products; they thought that it was unclear of her skin colour and that they might have used a black and white image so that it would open up to a wider audience. ...read more.


Also, Diane Von Furstenberg claimed that ?To be a model, you have to be skinny.?[39] In conclusion, I have found that it?s clear that there are so many different opinions and that it?s hard to identify the general overview to this question without finding exceptions. I feel positive that I have found that the Media can affect teenagers and their perception of beauty but that it varies between person to person as my questionnaires have shown. However, if we are aware of the potential effects, then in theory, we can find solutions to these issues; surely that is the most important lesson we can take away from this? ________________ [1]http://scientopia.org/blogs/scicurious/2011/04/25/magazines-media-and-teen-body-image/ as accessed 13/01/2012 [2]http://www.eatingdisordershelpguide.com/self-esteem.html as accessed 28/02/2012 [3]http://www.s-cool.co.uk/a-level/psychology/psychological-abnormality/revise-it/eating-disorders as accessed 3/11/2011 [4]http://www.anorexia-reflections.com/causes-of-anorexia.html as accessed 24/11/2011 [5] See figures 1 and 2 in the appendix [6] http://www.latestbooks.org/entry/star-mag-reveals-the-best-and-the-worst-celebrity-bodies/ as accessed 15/03/2012 [7] Refer to figures 3 ? 9 in the appendix [8]http://www.something-fishy.org/cultural/themedia.php as accessed 28/11/2011 [9] Refer to figure 10 in the appendix [10] http://www.marketingmagazine.co.uk/news/900146/ as accessed 11/11/2011 [11] Refer to figure11 in the appendix [12] Refer to figure 12 in the appendix [13] Refer to figure 13 in the appendix [14] http://www.getmemedia.com/ideas/reach-young-women-with-glossy-weekly-fashion-and-celeb-mag-look/ipc-media-ltd.html?srch=1&m=8&dg=2&da=6&pg=1&df=&dt=&ay=0&useor=&kw as accessed 29/03/2012 [15] Refer to figures 14 and 15 in the appendix [16] Refer to figure 16 in the appendix [17] http://www.getmemedia.com/ideas/shout-the-award-winning-magazine-for-teenage-girls-aged-11-14/dc-thomson.html as accessed 27/03/2012 [18] http://www.getmemedia.com/ideas/target-the-teenage-beauty-market-in-shout-magazine/dc-thomson.html as accessed 27/03/2012 [19]Dittrich, L. ?About-Face facts on the MEDIA? as sited in: http://www.healthyplace.com/eating-disorders/articles/eating-disorders-body-image-and-advertising/as accessed 20/02/2012 [20] http://www.wisegeek.com/what-are-subliminal-messages.htm as assessed 13/03/2012 [21]http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505123_162-42744547/why-fashion-advertisers-should-ignore-women-who-complain-about-skinny-models/ as accessed 13/02/2012 [22] http://www2.canada.com/calgaryherald/news/reallife/story.html?id=ca7ae3a5-04b6-4a52-a2fd-4daae6536d74 as accessed 24/03/2012 [23]http://hls.uwe.ac.uk/research/Data/Sites/1/docs/CAR/Halliwell%20-%20Impact%20of%20Advertisements.pdf as accessed 17/11/2011 [24] http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/story/2006/11/15/thin-models.html as accessed 12/12/2011 [25] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karl_Lagerfeld as accessed 29/03/2012 [26] http://www.marieclaire.co.uk/news/health/400998/karl-lagerfeld-says-people-prefer-skinny-models.html as accessed 11/03/2012 [27] Refer to figure 17 in the appendix [28] http://www.marieclaire.co.uk/news/health/400998/karl-lagerfeld-says-people-prefer-skinny-models.html as accessed 11/03/2012 [29]Ibid as accessed 17/11/2011 [30] Refer to figure 18-20 in the appendix [31] Refer to figures 21 and 22 in the appendix [32] ?How to love the way you look,? Teen People, October 1999 as sited in: http://www.healthyplace.com/eating-disorders/articles/eating-disorders-body-image-and-advertising/ as accessed 12/02/2012 [33]http://www.something-fishy.org/isf/mentalhealth.php as accessed 3/11/2011 [34]http://www.s-cool.co.uk/a-level/psychology/psychological-abnormality/revise-it/causes-of-eating-disorders as accessed 3/11/2011 [35]Ibid as accessed 3/11/2011 [36] http://www.mindlab.org/images/d/DOC828.pdf as accessed 22/03/2012 [37]Ibid as accessed 3/11/2011 [38]Ibid as accessed 3/11/2011 [39] http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20062689,00.html as accessed 13/03/2012 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Media section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Media essays

  1. 'Society affects how people perceive themselves, Body Image awareness still exists in our society'.

    When faced with teenage magazines, which have the same affect and carry the same message as the world of fashion, spotty over-weight teenage girl or boy would feel inadequate about his or her body image.

  2. Assess the claim that 'The News is selected according to the demands of the ...

    However, this view can be criticized, mainly due to its deterministic nature- as not all media professionals believe in or are indoctrinated in the ruling ideology, and not all news which is reported backs the ruling ideology. Pluralists would also argue against the Neo-Marxist view, claiming instead that individuals through their market power control the news more than ideology.

  1. Moral Panic and media folk devils.

    The media influences the public by emphasising deviance and exaggerating to create a more interesting story. This creates a common enemy in the public eye and causes people to unite in ridding society of this. The government has to respond to this as they are elected and if they do

  2. To what extent do media representations of refugees and asylum seekers limit their integration ...

    seekers, unbalanced and inaccurate reporting, including the 'spinning' of figures, and the criticism of government asylum policies. It is argued that the use of derogatory language plays an important role in inciting racist attitudes because such language potentially alarms people (ICAR, 2004).

  1. Do the Media have the power to shape public opinion?

    must put up with what is offered.cocg cgr secgcgw orcg cgk incg focg cg; The autonomous individual is overwhelmed and de-individuated. Under the hands of the capitalists consumers continuously absorb the images and words they see before. They see the same things, products that the economists want you to see,

  2. How does the media represent female bodies?

    over weight are not only victims of prejudice in the workplace, but are actually paid less. It is this type of media coverage that motivates women into changing their appearances. However, it is important to reflect upon the unreliability of some media reporting.

  1. Outline the three main approaches to Audience Studies assessing the strengths and weaknesses.

    members do have a chose which television programmes and newspapers we view. Audiences have certain needs (or uses) that they seek to satisfy (or gratify)

  2. Media and The Sexualization of Young Girls

    We need to fix this problem from the ground up. 1. Media and its Effects ?todays children and young men and women have sexual identities that spiral around paper and celluloid phantoms? ?Naomi Wolf, the beauty myth Naomi is

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work