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He effect mass media's Female beauty ideal on female adolescents' self-perception - Research Paper Example

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The Effects of the Mass Media’s Female Beauty Ideal on Female Adolescents’ Self-Perception: Trying to Attain the Unattainable Name: Institution: Introduction Society is the source in which people look to for developing their personal concept and standards of ideal female beauty (Polivy, Garner, &Garfinkel, 1986)…
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He effect mass medias Female beauty ideal on female adolescents self-perception
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He effect mass media's Female beauty ideal on female adolescents' self-perception

The media exemplifies female beauty based on thinness and flawlessness – unrealistic and unattainable physical attributes for anyone, even the featured model(s). These images can have negative affects on female adolescents’ self-perception. Body image is central to adolescent girls’ self-definition because they have been lead to believe that appearance is an important basis for self-evaluation and for public evaluation (Thompson, Heinberg, Altabe, &Tantleff-Dunn, 1999). Awareness of constant public evaluation and the internalization of the gaze of others lead young girls to self-monitor, and in turn judge their own appearance. (Advertising Educational Foundation Inc., 2003). Social comparison is another aspect that plays a significant role in female adolescents’ self-perception (Anderson et al., 2001). By comparing oneself to and attempting to fit such a stringent beauty ideal, female youth faces inevitable failure, resulting in body dissatisfaction, low self-esteem, and/or eating disorders (Heinberg, 1996; Rodin & Striegel-Moore, 1985; Thompson & Stice, 2001). Adolescents are vulnerable and easily influenced, and research demonstrates that adolescent females are directly affected by the stereotypes and thin images that depict female beauty in mainstream media. “Many adolescents are concerned with bodily characteristics and physical attractiveness, and the media is filled with people who exemplify a cultural ideal of beauty that is difficult for most adolescents to attain. For females, a critical part of this ideal is being thin” (Anderson et al., 2001). Exposure to these ideals and images has lead to distorted beliefs and definitions of beauty amongst young girls. One study shows female adolescents’ distorted description of the ideal girl, i.e., 5ft 7in., 100lb, size 5, with long blond hair and blue eyes (Nichter & Nichter, 1991). The problem with such a view is that adolescents often tend to relate themselves to it and attempt to change themselves accordingly. Previous studies have examined the negative effects that fashion magazines have on female adolescents. This study uses such literature to dive deeper into this problem, aiming to gather a better understanding of how time spent, repeated exposure, and both direct and indirect pressures from various media (TV, Internet, magazines) impacts self-perception amongst adolescent girls. Specifically focusing on girls’ ages 13-17, the goal of this study is to point out the effects the unrealistic female beauty ideal promoted by the mass media has on their self-esteem and body-esteem, given that adolescence is such an influential developmental stage. Literature Review Media or what is generally referred to as mass media is any form of communication that simultaneously reaches a large number of people, it is represented and not limited to TV, newspapers, magazines, films, books and billboards (Wimmer ). Given these multiple forms of media it has become possible to access a number of them at any given time. This explains why they have been so effective in influencing our culture, changing beliefs, tastes, interests and behavior (Biagi). It has become an important aspect in dictating what people consider as ideal. The most affected ... Read More
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