Social Media's Influence On Body Image

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As children we are taught to love ourselves and that we are all beautiful. But with growth of social media and the influence it has on today’s image displayed, it has lead the children of today to believe that beauty consist of how much makeup you apply to your face, how little clothing it wore and what size body image is excepted. Images of female bodies are everywhere, with women and girls selling everything from food to clothing. Popular film and television actresses are becoming younger, taller and thinner. Women’s magazines are full of articles urging that if you can just lose those last twenty pounds, you will have the perfect body. Traditionally, most of the concerns about media and body image have revolved around women but more and…show more content…
A 2005 study found that media influence had the largest effect on whether middle-school boys were dissatisfied with their bodies (Smolak & Stein, 2006, p. 121-129). Eating disorders are also on the rise amongst boys, particularly athletes (Harding, 2009, p. 6). As well as the obsession for building a muscular physique which may take the form of fixation with exercise, abuse of anabolic steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs. While the desire to be more muscular has been the focus among boys, recent evidence suggests that rather than focusing on building muscle mass boys are most likely to focus on achieving and maintaining an average weight that is neither over or underweight, to avoid standing out from their peers (Austin, Haines, Veugelers, 2009, p. 9:313). Not all of the boys are influenced to become more masculine, some are, however, influenced to believe that wearing woman like clothing is okay. For example, the hip hop rapper “Young Thug” said in a recent interview with GQ Magazine that 90% of his clothes are women’s. And being that he is a popular rapper artist his influence has driven the youth to the same perspective. While other media may occupy a greater number of hours, it is most often from music that teenagers define their identities and draw cues about how to dress and to behave. So how do music videos influence the youth? For girls, the message is that they should be thin, attractive and sexual. Though boys receive a different message, with the heavily ripped physiques male hip hop, heavy metal and even country singers, teenage boys who watch these videos are at higher risk of becoming obsessed with bodybuilding. However there are exceptions, many genres of music present both male and female performers with much less emphasis on their appearance. Some even talk about body image issues in their music.
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