The media seems to have set the standards of thinness to be too thin. However, many interest groups insist that we are living in a society of largely overweight and obese individuals and that there is a need to set better standards of healthiness. These opposing arguments do not negate the role of the media in relation to the body. This paper shall consider the query: might the malleability of the body in media representations be positive? Is it encouraging and empowering individuals to live healthy lives? Both genders shall be considered by this paper, however, a focus on the male gender will be highlighted during this discussion. Conflict and consensus theories shall also be utilized for this discussion.
The body’s malleability basically refers to the concept coined by Markus and Kunda on the ‘malleable self’. The authors basically discuss about the malleable self wherein they highlight how people value self presentation and how they often act differently in varying situations based on social norms, situational factors, and cues (Seung, 2010). The malleable self and the malleable body depend on accessible traits, and physical qualities, as well as social roles. The physical aspect of the self is often relevant in the media’s body-image perception and self-representation in the avatar-based environment (Seung, 2010). There is a stark contrast between the self-image and the actual image and this self-image is often based on societal perceptions and interactions. These images portrayed in the media are often unrealistic as they are based on a superficial perception of the human body.
In general, body image has been defined as the image or picture of the body which a person forms in his mind, or the way a person’s body appears to a person (Reas, 2002). At present, there has been a growth of interest in the review of body image disturbance, bringing about a growing belief that