Exploratory Analysis: How Does The Media Effect Male Body Image? Today in modern society, we are driven by social forces. Not only do we strive for human approval and companionship, we also thrive on social media. The media plays such a pivotal role in what we buy, eat, wear, etc. that we are conditioning ourselves to fit the mold for the “perfect” or “ideal” body type. This social construct has been a pressing issue for many years regarding the female physique, but not as much has been said on behalf of men. When confronted with appearance based advertisements, men are more likely to experience muscle dissatisfaction, weight disparities, and anger and/or anxiety toward showing their body in public. This paper will address these facets of the media’s effect on male body image as well as presenting what has been done to address this quietly debilitating issue. Everyone has dealt with body image at some point in their life. Personally, I was always the tall, skinny kid. I could not gain weight no matter how hard I tried. I never had a negative mindset about my body image, but I did want to alter it in order to look like the models on the Abercrombie & Fitch bags or the guys in the gym commercials. Other than personal reasons, this topic interests me because of the attention that females have received about changing body image stereotypes. This effects men as well, but it is not as prominent an issue. A Meta-Analyses of the Effects of Media Images on Men’s Body-Image
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Agliata, D., & Tantleff-Dunn, S., (2004). The Impact of Media Exposure on Males’ Body Image.
The encouragement to focus on physical appearance has been an all-time buzz in our society, and with it comes the possible significant increase in negative body image. While some of us think that ideal body image are only women's issues, men—turn out—have body image issues too! Just like women, men are bombarded with “perfection” blueprint as well. Media, advertisements, and professional sports create a compelling and toxic mix of messages, assaulting men with ideal body images of young, fit and muscular professional athletes and male models with bulging muscles and six-pack abs. Enough to make an average Joe feels like an average old and fat Joe. This dilemma is what men go through based on Ted Spiker's article, How Men Really Feel About Their Body.
“The pressure needs to go away, and girls’ self-esteem needs to go up; the vicious cycle needs to end.” (Moreau, “Is There Too Much Pressure”, The Comet) Body image is something that affects our everyday lives, especially for women. Television, advertisements, and photo shop all make women feel the need to look a certain way to be accepted by men and their peers.
I was only four years old when I started cheerleading, which fourteen years later I still do to this day. For 8 years I was what you call a flyer, the girl that gets thrown in the air. Being a flyer comes with many qualifications, all of which must be met each year, no exceptions. This includes one’s height, their weight and even shoe size. The summer of my tenth birthday, I hit a growth spurt and I shot up. I grew a couple inches, I gained a few pounds, and I went up three shoe sizes as well. As a result, they told me I would no longer be able to fly. I was told that I was “too big”, I would “Just look heavy in the air”, and that I should “look into getting a bigger uniform”. I was only ten years old, being told this by a group of adults.
This unrealistic ideal of masculinity that is presented to society through modern advertisements and television have several negative effect on how men perceive their own body images. For a long time, people have been talking about how women were affected by those ideals, and how they were having unhealthy habits to try to look like models and actresses, but is very rare to find people discussing how men are affected by those ideals. But surprisingly men are very worried about their body shape and appearance, and are very affected by this unrealistic ideals, sometimes more affected than women.
Modern society portrays good looking men to have broad shoulders, toned arms, six-pack abs, and a small waist while good looking women are viewed to have the characteristics of being slim and fit, having a small waist, lean hips, and perfect skin complexion. As a result, many people are affected by our own society's portrayals of good looking men and women that they feel pressured into doing whatever it takes and going through extreme measures, most of the time, spending countless hours in the gym trying to achieve that perfect body. Body image is evident in the gym, as the men are lifting weights they are frequently looking in the mirror examining every angle of their body making sure no area is lacking muscle. On the other hand, women tend to partake in the same behavior as men, showing a sense of insecurity about their own bodies, frequently making trips to the scale to keep track of their weight making sure to stay slim and fit. Society has a profound effect on many people, making them feel insecure about their own bodies. The mass media's use of such unrealistic images sends an implicit message to men and women that to be considered good looking they must partake in unhealthy diets, extreme exercises and unhealthy body modification enhancers, which in turn can have detrimental effects on one’s health. Such standards of beauty and appearance are almost completely unattainable for most men and women and most of the models displayed on television and in advertisements is
Ones body is a physical aspect that sets each individual apart from another.Body image is how one perceives their body visually, body image is determined by how one thinks and talks about their body along with how they feel others view their bodies. Body image is large part of society “74.4% of normal weight women stated that they thought about their weight or appearance “all the time” or “frequently.” Sociocultural standards of feminine beauty are presented in almost all forms of popular media, barraging women with images that portray what is considered to be the "ideal body." Such standards of beauty are almost completely unattainable for most women; a majority of the models displayed on television and in advertisements are well below what is considered healthy body weight.
The media representations of the female body images lead to the psychological problems of the young generation. Body image can be defined as two aspects of cognition and behaviors. The cognition of body image can capture social beliefs or standards in the media and internalize of it as a stereotype of the unattainable physical appearance. Because perception control behaviors, the cognition of the body image in the media lead to the comparison with others’ body images, and the stressful situation results in abnormal behaviors such as eating disorder, depression, and low self-esteem. Leahey emphasizes, “more than 80% of comparison made by women…including peers and models… [It] generally result[s] in negative outcomes, such as body dissatisfaction” (qtd. in Fitzsimmones 797). Indeed, the
How influential is the media today on society image? Media has made people believe that they need an unrealistic body shape and standard of beauty. There are two types of eating disorders one is called Anorexia Nervosa causing people to obsess about weight and what they digest. The other one is body image subjective or mental image of one’s self. Binge Eating are frequent episode of consuming very large amounts of food without actions to prevent weight gain by self vomiting. Media has disrupt the truly beauty of a person body and mind by having false pretense of beauty. School Christie Arthur is teaching their students about beauty and how media shapes the young eyes of children body concerns (Stayer Students Learn
Body image is how one views himself or herself when looking in the mirror, and the body image expectations put forth in our society today is ridiculous. Although many “plus-sized” models are starting to appear in advertisements, there is still a perceived body image for all women to be youthful, slender, and attractive, while males must be buff, tan, and handsome. These are only some of the many expectations men and women have to deal with on a daily basis in order to have the “perfect body”. But many of these images on billboards, magazines, TV, and movies are “unattainable because they were created through surgeries, eating disorders, and airbrushing on photographs” (Ballantine, Roberts, Korgen 299). The National Center for Health Statistics
The present study was designed to examine the extent to which the media influences the body image in males and females. While there was reliable research investigating how the media has been affecting man and women in confidence and the stereotyping their image. The study conducted was aiming towards males and females, and specifically like the media Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter, which are used to compare appearance or used for plain judgment. Therefore, the results of my study indicate minor significance in supporting my hypothesis.
Mass media is designed to reach large audiences through the use of technology. Its purpose is meant to give information we need to function as a society. Mass media is everywhere; there is no escaping from it. From the moment you wake until you fall asleep you are confronted with media. Almost every home in America has at least one television, access to the internet, and cell phones. Someone cannot drive down the highway without seeing billboard signs. Checking out at the grocery store can be tricky if trying to avoid magazines. The media portrays what is considered to be normal for how a female acts and looks, and therefore affects what women in society feel they should look and act like. The media's
After the informed consent form is obtained by the researcher, participants will receive three images of either men who are representative of the general population or three images of men who are not representative of the general population (e.g., bodybuilders, models, actors). The participants will then be asked to answer a questionnaire that assesses questions about their desire to be muscular and body satisfaction in general. The frequency of their desire to look a certain way will be on a 1-5 scale corresponding whether they agree or disagree about wanting to be lean and muscular. A response of one will be “strongly disagree”, a response of two will be “disagree”, a response of three will be “don’t know”, a response of four will be “agree” and a response of five will be “strongly agree”. Participants will be answering the Drive for Muscularity Attitudes Questionnaire (DMAQ, 2004), which was developed to measure the drive for muscularity, which is defined as the desire, typically found in males, to achieve a mesomorphic body. The DMAQ has demonstrated validity and reliability. The authors generated 41 items to assess individuals’ attitudes toward muscularity. The item-generation process was informed by a review of the available literature on male body image and inspection of the kinds of attitude statements. An
We are constantly affected by the media and sometimes even unconsciously. For example, as athletes, we mostly have more muscular bodies than normal people. But everyday, we see the way models or celebrities look through social media and this influence our perception of our body image. We want to have skinnier legs or less muscle in our arms. Because now days this is what we see as normal and beautiful. That is why we are curious of how the commercials or magazines influence our thoughts and our ideal body image.
Over the years a debate over who is to blame over the decline in how girls perceive themselves has arisen. With Photoshop being the societal norm concerning the media, it has become difficult for many to understand where the line between real and near impossible standards lies. Youths see an image edited to “perfection” and strive to reach the standards that they imagine due to the images displayed on magazines, television and social media. From Disney to magazines like Vogue the mass media bombards audiences with fake beauty that they, as normal people, will never be able to achieve. The mass media is responsible for causing the rise in the number of people with a poor body image, eating disorders, and cosmetic surgeries.