Male and Female Body Ideals and Image Essays

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Body image is defined as “the subjective image of one’s physical appearance established both by self-observation and observation by others” ("Body Image"). “Ideal” body image is constantly re-evaluated throughout the ages. Unfortunately, today, the ideal image is at its height in the American culture. Many factors, such as magazine articles, television shows, and even childhood toys are said to have an influence on body dissatisfaction. This negative self-image has caused many dangerous disorders in women and men of all ages. In the research of this topic, there are many questions of body image among cultures and stereotypes that are yet to be answered. Today, the ideal physical image is desperately sought after by Americans. Women seek…show more content…
In 2009, it was debated whether the Barbie doll was helping or hurting the ideal body perspectives of young children (Brady ).
The body dissatisfaction of much of the American population has led to extremely unhealthy habits in order to restore self-esteem. Children as young as 9 years-old say dieting makes them feel better about themselves (“Dissatisfaction”). Numerous mental and eating disorders, such as Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa, have become common. BN includes habits like vomiting, intense exercising, and fasting (“Dissatisfaction”). In 2006, America was ranked first in percentage of anorexic women and second in percentage of bulimia nervosa (Soh, Touyz, and Surgenor 54-65). Overall, the internalization of negative self-esteem causes anxiety, frustration, and depression.
I am very interested in conducting my first research study on the topic of body image. Although, according to Claire Sterk, I learned that asking for personal information and opinions from people is not as easy as it seems (Sterk 24-29). Sterk had to work on knowing her participants on a personal level in order to gain their trust. She had to allow them time to realize that she is professional and, as part of her research, she would keep their information confidential. This made me wonder whether friends or strangers would be best for me to interview. My friends already trust me, but would they take me as a professional? With strangers, I don’t believe I would
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