The Effects of Media on the Body-Image of Preadolescent Girls

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The Effects of Media on the Body-Image of Preadolescent Girls Media is infamous for having a tremendous effect on teenage girls. The mass media have long been criticized for presenting unrealistic appearance ideals that contribute to the development of negative body image for many women and girls (Harrison & Hefner, 2006). Whether it’s the influence on their choice of friends, school, or their self image, media has played an important role in affecting those decisions. A growing number of experimental studies have demonstrated a causal link between acute exposure to "thin-ideal" images (i.e., images of impossibly thin and attractive female beauty) and increased body dissatisfaction (Hargreaves & Tiggemann, 2003). It has recently been…show more content…
The indirect influence comes from the conversations that the young girls have with their friends about the thin celebrities (McCabeLina & Ridge, 2006). According to Dohnt and Tiggemann (2006a), young girls may engage in conversations with their friends about pop stars or models, thereby reinforcing media-presented societal messages of the thin ideal. Unfortunately, today’s society promotes that being thin will insure bliss in one’s everyday life. The National Eating Disorder Association stated that “The average woman wears a size 10; the average model a size 2.” Many people think of body image as only a physical opinion of good looks and splendor. Body image is so much more than that. The body image of a person is related to their emotions, and if it is not a positive body image it can negatively affect their self-esteem (Nation Eating Disorder Association, 2006). An appropriate definition for body image is that it is what an individual sees when they look in the mirror. Body image can be influenced positively or negatively (Nation Eating Disorder Association, 2006). In a study conducted by Harrison and Hefner (2006), they found that media influences on body image tend to develop earlier then adolescence. In this study they found that girls at age six were aware of dieting techniques, were dissatisfied with their bodies and wished to be thinner. The implied theoretical process is
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