Does Media Influence Adolescent Girls Into Having Negative Body Images

2580 Words Jan 16th, 2011 11 Pages
October 24,2010

Does the Media Cause Individuals to Develop Negative Body Images?
The influence the media has upon all of society can have positive and negative effects on the public. The effect the media has on adolescent girls in regard to body image has had negative impacts, such as an obsession with body weight and what the society views as the “perfect body”. The media can be seen as partly responsible for the pressure adolescent females’ face in consideration to body issues. These pressures could be responsible for adolescent girls developing serious eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa, which are two serious eating disorders which are affecting adolescent girls. A child, (Body image problems, eating
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83).
In one major American survey of over 500 adolescent girls aged 9-16, nearly 70% believed magazine pictures influenced their idea of the ideal body shape, and 47% of the same example wished to lose weight as a result (Clay, Vignoles & Dittmal, 2005). Harrison and Hefner undertook a study in 2006 which looked at “The media exposure, current and future body ideals and disordered eating among preadolescent girls” and believe an internalization of the thin body is to blame for eating disorders among women and adolescent girls, and is beginning to affect preadolescent girls (Harrison & Hefner, 2006). They define internalization as ‘the extent to which an individual cognitively accepts the thin societal standard of attractiveness as her own personal standard and engages in behavior designed to help her meet that standard’. As implicated by Thompson et al (as cited by Harrison & Hefner, 2011) a critical risk factor in the development of disordered eating. Extreme dieting and exercising aimed at weight loss are done in the service of an internalized thin body ideal that has been learned via exposure to social sources exposing that ideal, one of which according to Harrison and Hefner is the
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