Women's Self Image Affected By The Media

5330 words - 22 pages

AbstractIn this study the relationship between women in the media and young women's self-esteem was studied. The thesis of this study is that women's self-images are lowered by exposure to women in the media. To study this, 30 young females from John Abbott College were given a questionnaire. The results were compared to Health Canada's statistics of the average female's body proportions. The results anticipated was that the participants would have a higher average for breasts, smaller for waist and hips, taller for height and lighter for weight than Health Canada's statistics.IntroductionExposure to ideal, perfect, Barbie-like women, in advertisements influences a women's self image. ...view middle of the document...

Everyone was created differently and for that reason nobody is perfect. Society is fixated on pressuring women into becoming the ideal "Barbie figure" which is extremely unfair and is a mentality that must be changed. It's important to do research on this topic because we must come to a conclusion on why women feel as if they need to be perfect, to feel accepted.Literature ReviewPsychologyPsychology lets us understand the complexities of human behaviour. One's self image is very psychological because it is people's concept of themselves. Each individual has a personal self-image, but women's self-image is more vulnerable. It is proven; in the case of adolescent girls, they have a lower self-image and emotional self-efficacy than boys (Bacchini & Magliulo, 2003). From a psychological perspective, the results may be seen as the media influencing one's psychological disposition. Many diseases such as anorexia and bulimia, which deal partially with one's self-image, are psychological. A psychologist therefore may look at this study showing that the media has a psychological influence on young women (Stice, Schupak-Neuberg, Shaw & Stein, 1994). According to Hausenblas, Janelle, Gardner and Hagan (2002), ones' self perception can affect a number of psychological factors, such as self confidence. Therefore a positive self image may provide one with a sense of confidence, happiness and well being. Each person's perception of the ideal body image as well as the concept of perfection is inimitable. This may be a factor that affects one's self image, which can range from high to low. Women tend to accept that these idealised women are actually the feminine type, what women "should" look like (Crane, 1999).SociologyFrom a sociological point of view, gender is socially constructed and it is only the media who shows women as thin, petite and beautiful. In reality this is not necessarily true and therefore it is only the media that is influencing young women (Crane, 1999). While examining ideal body proportions of women, women wanted a smaller waist than they had, as well as smaller hips. They also wanted a medium sized bust instead of a larger one because it results in an all over smaller figure (Harrison, 2003). The media has defined the ideal female as being thinner than that of an actual healthy woman, but it has also defined the ideal female as being young. As a result, there is now a tendency to devalue older women. This tendency is most leading in advanced industrial societies where women have made the most progress, because it is in these societies that the media and advertising industries are very large, and the media sends a message that only young women are beautiful (Inglehart, 2002). Social comparison is a major factor that influences one's body image. Social comparison means the judgements that people form about their own attributes compared to the attributes of others. The relationship between social comparison and body image for college...

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