Sulaiman Almuharib




JohnC. Goshert



Effectsof Media on Body Image (Annotated Bibliography)

Differentpersonalities have different views regarding what beautiful is.However, they have not transferred this to how they view themselves.This is why some people are not happy with the way they look. Themain reason attributed to this is media. The modern media exposepeople to millions of images that they think beauty is. In return,these images have affected the society and the way they see beauty.It is good to note that most of these images are unrealistic, andthey send an unhealthy message to people on how they should look.With the modern day mass media, people have been subjected to a lotof pressure on how an ideal body should appear. The models oftenportrayed by media show skinny and toned bodies that are unachievablenaturally. Most people who are affected by these images are youngwomen. Once they are exposed to these images, young women developnegative attitudes towards their bodies, and they are unhappy.

  1. Holmstrom, Amanda J. &quotThe effects of the media on body image: A meta-analysis.&quot Journal of Broadcasting &amp Electronic Media 48.2 (2004): 196-217

Theauthor of this article argues that in the modern America, the numberof televisions in households has increased. Today, over 80% ofAmerica’s population watches television on a daily basis. Thequantity of television sets in America has tremendously risen overtime. This means that most Americans have access to attitudes andimages that mass media portrays to the viewers. This is a crucialsource for this study since it gives the highlights on the percentageof America who are accessing mass media. In addition, he notes thatmass media promote the ideal thin body. With the huge attention thatwomen and girls give to media, they are now striving to be like thewomen portrayed. Nevertheless, most of the female characters arethinner as compared to average women in America. Thus, striving to belike those women may prove to be very difficult. On the other hand,most of the overweight people that are shown on mass media tend to befunny and they make people laugh. In some incidents, they arepunch-line for other characters jokes and people are sorry for thefact that they have extra weight. This is an apparent show thatsociety admires the thin, attractive character than overweightpeople.

  1. Posavac, H. D., Posavac, S. S., &ampWeigel, R. G. (2001).Reducing the impact of media images on women at risk for body image disturbance: Three targeted interventions.Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 20(3), 324-340.

Theauthors argue that television is one of the major influences when itcomes to American culture. Television is a technological device thatis present in almost all homes in America, and it is one of thetypical recreational activities that people use. This device hasstrong influence to an extent that it can change how people think andact regarding other people, topics or places. The manner in whichmedia shows certain events can change the way people think and viewthem. Additionally, they note that many women and girls across theworld are spending a lot of time and money with the aim of achievingthe look they saw on media. This is another crucial source for thestudy since it contains relevant information regarding the study. Inaddition, the authors are of the opinion that consumers who have beengiven the wrong impression about given products through some mediaare the ones suffering. After the influence of TV, magazine orcommercial pictorials, people are willing to buy the product hopingthat once they use it they will have the same body they saw in media.However, the bitter truth is that this never happens. On a dailybasis, people who are not contented with their look wear sensualcolognes so as to gain confidence and walk around. Mentally, thiswill make them feel satisfied and confident, but in reality nothinghas shifted. When they realise this fact, their self-esteem goesdown. The pain of both physical and mental damage is something thatwill put them under stress. It can destroy their personality to anextent that some of them avoid taking part in social activities.

  1. Ata, R. N., Ludden, A. B., &amp Lally, M. M. (2007).The effects of gender and family, friend, and media influences on eating behaviors and body image during adolescence.Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 36(8), 1024-1037.

Theauthors argue that society values the media and the kind of people,places, and images it portrays. This is a clear show that the mediais a powerful tool that can bombard people with unattainable andextreme images of an ideal body. For this reason, the media handlesthe rising eating disorders among young women with the aim ofachieving an “ideal body.” The media gives messages that foolpeople from the reality. A flip through the television channels willmake one realise that most of the commercial are showing how peopleshould look. The appearances being shown are the one that have beenused to set standards when it comes to beauty. Whether they areteaching kids going to school or adults at their place of work, theyportray images of people looking perfect and flawless. A look at thecovers and contents of women magazines will make one realise thatthey are all telling their readers on how to have a perfect body, orthey are talking about diet pills. These ads market the pillsclaiming that they will help “fat” people to become thin.Besides, the media puts these ads in such a way that they seem to bethe ultimate solution to problems people are facing. Also, there aremany ads that are promoting cosmetic surgery. These are also sendingthe message that if one has a tiny waist or thighs, then they will befruitful and happy. These are shown as the quick way of getting anideal body.

Accordingto these authors, women and teen magazine shave endorsed standardsthat emphasize on beauty and thinness. These magazines featurearticles that give information on matters pertaining butt, tonedlegs, and flat stomach. In addition, this author notes that women’smagazines are the main contributor of eating disorders and body imagedisturbance. These publications have put emphasis on the externalappearance of women and girls. Young girls and women are obsessedwith ideal beauty, and they are relentlessly trying to alter the waythey look so that they can appear like the images they see in moviesand magazines. They have been colonized by the media exposure to havethe belief that ultra-skinny is a beauty. Owed to advance technology,body image has found itself everywhere on media. Every time one tunesto mass media, they are bombarded with women who have perfect facesand figures. The urge for women to find a way to have a perfect bodylike the actresses in the movies is something that has rubbed off onteenagers. However, what these young women and girls fail tounderstand is that these models have their breasts enlarged,elongates limbs, shrunk waists, and airbrushed bodies using plasticsurgery. It is a worthy source for the study since its informationrelated one-on-one with the study.

  1. Barlett, Christopher P., Christopher L. Vowels, and Donald A. Saucier.&quotMeta-analyses of the effects of media images on men`s body-image concerns.&quotJournal of social and clinical psychology 27.3 (2008): 279-310.

Theauthors are of the opinion that the modern media has set differentstandards regarding attractiveness. Most episodes of mass media aremade of pick out beauty, using famous and gorgeous celebrities. Whatthese programs are trying to say is that these are the ideal peoplewho have the best bodies, and they are successful, adorable andhappy. Many of the models being used in these programs have becomerole models for many young women. This has motivated the women to useeven dubious means to act and appear like the models shown on media.They further note that messages portrayed by media have put emphasison how desirable it is for women to look young and thin. The messageshave particularly influenced young women a time when they are underemotional stress as they strive to achieve independence from theirfamilies to compete with their friends and get their identity.

Further,they argue that as young females grow up, they are also trying tofind their identity and discover who they are. With the mediainfluence, these women think that the models being shown in media arethe ones they should copy. Girls are tempted to look at these bodiesand compare it with the girls they see on television. This is whyeating disorder comes in as girls adopt the diet to slim. Media hascorrupted young women to think that if people they see on mass mediaare looking gorgeous, then they can also look so. When these womenrealise that they cannot attain such body figure naturally, they optto starve themselves so as to get the desired results in the shortesttime possible. They argue that the images portrayed by mediaregarding the ideal beauty are causing harm to women who have highinterest in the way they look or those who negatively perceive theirbodies. Research done has shown that young women who are notsatisfied with their bodies have been affected by media negatively.Commercials for weight loss have been on the rise on TV and othermass media. What these commercials are trying to sell are productsthat will help women to achieve an ideal body. With the modernsociety valuing a perfect body, many young women use unscrapulousmeans such as thieving to acquire the money they need to make it.Thus, having commercials for such products means that women havefound an easy way to lose pounds of unwanted weight. However, manywomen with eating disorders have abused these products while aimingto achieve an “ideal body.” Some young women have chosen morethan one method of weight loss and this increase health risks forthem. Some of the methods they have copied from the mass mediainclude fad diets, self-triggered vomiting, striation, smoking, andlaxative abuse. For young women who have dissatisfaction with the waythey look, they can use any weight loss products being advertised onmedia to achieve their ideal body.

  1. Grabe, Shelly, L. Monique Ward, and Janet Shibley Hyde. &quotThe role of the media in body image concerns among women: a meta-analysis of experimental and correlational studies.&quot Psychological bulletin 134.3 (2008): 460.

Theresearch by these authors reveals that the extent to which girls andwomen have gone to have a perfect body has exposed them to manyhealth risks. This is what makes this source relevant for the study.They argue that the media has triggered the feeling ofdissatisfaction among them leading to the unethical procedure toachieve that desired body. While many women and girls are aware thatthe images they see on media have been retouched, they have failed torealise that the women they see in movies, TV, and music have beenretouched. With massive attention being directed to media and withmany television sets in the homes in America, many people are beingeducated by watching televisions and reading magazines. This hasexposed people to constant TV commercials on a daily basis. Most ofthe TV commercials use young, slim and attractive women to advertisethe products like soft drinks, cars, security investments, fast food,and computers. As a result, the message being passed to the audienceis that if people get to buy such product, they could also lookattractive. The one thing that these ads promote is good looks, tonedand slim body. In most TV soap operas and sitcoms, the maincharacters are shown as being thin and beautiful. This is whatattracts most people to watch these programs.

Tosum it up, the modern society is addicted to mass media and peopleare spending a lot of their time access information from mass media.TV and fashion magazines are information sources that have setstandards for body image. They are trying to promote slender beauty,something that has seen many females feel dissatisfied about theirbody image. They are unhappy about their shape and weight. When youngwomen feel bad about the way they look, they get the urge to dowhatever it takes to fix the flaws in their body. This is somethingthat has led to eating disorder, use of plastic surgery, use ofunethical technology, and use of chemicals with the aim of achievingan ideal body. This has all happened because of the way the body offemales has been portrayed and reflected in the media. The media hasshown the audience beautiful women who everyone will want and whatevery woman will want to resemble. The sources for this study wereselected based on their relevancy to the study.


Ata,R. N., Ludden, A. B., &amp Lally, M. M. (2007).The effects of genderand family, friend, and media influences on eating behaviors and bodyimage during adolescence.Journalof Youth and Adolescence,36(8),1024-1037.

Barlett,Christopher P., Christopher L. Vowels, and Donald A.Saucier.&quotMeta-analyses of the effects of media images on men`sbody-image concerns.&quotJournalof social and clinical psychology 27.3 (2008):279-310.

Grabe,Shelly, L. Monique Ward, and Janet Shibley Hyde. &quotThe role ofthe media in body image concerns among women: a meta-analysis ofexperimental and correlational studies.&quot Psychologicalbulletin 134.3 (2008):460.

Holmstrom,Amanda J. &quotThe effects of the media on body image: Ameta-analysis.&quot Journalof Broadcasting &amp Electronic Media 48.2 (2004):196-217.

Posavac,H. D., Posavac, S. S., &ampWeigel, R. G. (2001).Reducing the impactof media images on women at risk for body image disturbance: Threetargeted interventions.Journalof Social and Clinical Psychology,20(3),324-340.