Negative Influence of Media on Body Esteem

by alexiac321 on February 17, 2014 - 8:11pm

Alexia Codrington                                                                                 February 16th, 2014

                                Negative Influence of Media on Body Esteem

  Perfection is in and advertising and the media are making sure to let women know what they’re lacking. Stereotypical representations of women are common in magazine and product advertisements. Society brainwashes the audience in to believing that women are supposed to look and act a certain way. Growing up, I remember flipping through the pages of teen magazines and noticing how every image was of a tall, thin, and attractive white model. I often compared myself to those seemingly perfect models and wondered why I didn’t look like them. Media exposure often skews our perception of the typical female body which can lead to low self-esteem in women.

        After analyzing the article, “An Intervention for the Negative Influence of Media on Body Esteem,” I learned that media pressure to be thin causes individuals to have negative feelings about their appearances. This research aimed to test whether exposing college students to common stereotypes about female images in the media may be part of a solution to have a healthy body image. Research has shown that media exposure to unachievable physical perfection could be detrimental to women. Researchers conducted a study using college women to evaluate the extent to which women believed the views of the media. The results indicated that women who were exposed to “thin and beautiful media images” became self-conscious and were negatively affected by the images. Within the past few decades advertising has become more about models and celebrities and less about the needs of the people. Perfection is in; will you give in to the stereotypes?


I fully agree with you that the media has been pressuring an image of what they call “perfection” which gives people negative feeling about their appearances. I like that you give the example of being influence very young by this image of an ideal that is very much impossible. I find it frightening how easy people are manipulated by the media to change their appearance as to be closer to the stereotypical Barbie doll.
However, there are some companies trying to rebel against these stereotypes. Dove’s Self Esteem Program which “encourages girls [...] to embrace their unique beauty” is an example of this. Hopefully in someday everyone will be able to accept themselves for who they are without having to succumb to the negative influences.

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