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It is an unarguable fact that the media makes a significant impact on our life. The companies use it to promote their brands through advertising. The images of the perfect body, which they try to maintain in our minds, are aimed at creating the demand for their products.
The aim of this paper is to review the academic articles on the problem of the media influence on the body image.
The article The Media’s Influence on Body Image Disturbance and Eating Disorders: We’ve Reviled Them, How Can We Rehabilitate Them? By J. Kevin Thompson and Leslie J. Heinberg deals with the problem of eating and shape-related disorders from the standpoint of the influence of media on people’s food preferences and lifestyle.
The article presents the results of the research of many scholars who prove the negative influence of the media on people health. The authors of the article argue that social marketing campaigns can be used to reverse the trend of the negative impact of media on people. They emphasize the importance of the activist approaches in this respect.
“These approaches offer hope for a paradigm shift away from media that model and promote body image disparagement and eating-disordered behaviors to those that espouse realistic appearance values and nondysfunctional eating patterns” (Thompson & Heinberg, 1999, p. 172).
The article touches upon the urgent problem nowadays. In my view, the ideas presented by the authors can be applied in practice. However, the article lacks the explanation of social marketing strategies, which can be used to cope with the problem.
Media Effects on Body Image: Examining Media Exposure in the Broader Context of Internal and Other Social Factors is the article by Kristen E. Van Vonderen and William Kinnally. The main point of the work is the media influence on body dissatisfaction and self-esteem (Van Vonderen & Kinnally, 2012).
The authors used the method of the survey to obtain the responses of the female undergraduates on the impact of media on their perception of the beauty and perfect body.
The application of the regression analysis allowed concluding that there was a strong correlation between the media and the perception of the perfect body (Van Vonderen & Kinnally, 2012). The authors emphasized the necessity of the social initiatives aimed at the prevention of negative media influence.
The article is useful for the understanding of the influence of media on the body image. The quantitative methods applied by the authors prove their hypothesis. In my view, the results of their study can be used for further research.
Impact of today’s media on university student’s body image in Pakistan: a conservative, developing country’s perspective is the article by Amad N. Khan, Salema Khalid, Hussain I. Khan, and Mehnaz Jabeen.
The authors touched upon the problem of the impact of mass media on the body image. The results of the survey initiated by the authors showed that the “individuals with a high media exposure had a higher statistically significant prevalence of negative body image dissatisfaction” (Khan et al., 2011, p.7).
The article is rather informative. The methods used by the authors prove the negative impact of media on the body image. Besides, the detailed description of the research is provided.
In summary, it should be said that the problem of media influence on the body image is the subject of study of many scholars. The articles reviewed are primarily focused on the concepts of the body dissatisfaction, mental, and eating disorders caused by the media.
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Khan, A. N., Khalid, S., Khan, I. H. & Jabeen, M. (2011). Impact of today’s media on university student’s body image in Pakistan: a conservative, developing country’s perspective. Retrieved from http://www.biomedcentral.com/content/pdf/1471-2458-11-379.pdf
Thompson, K. J., & Heinberg, L. J. (1999). The Media’s Influence on Body Image Disturbance and Eating Disorders: We’ve Reviled Them, How Can We Rehabilitate Them? Journal of Social Issues, 55(2), 339-353.
Van Vonderen, K. E., & Kinnally, W. (2012). Media Effects on Body Image: Examining Media Exposure in the Broader Context of Internal and Other Social Factors. American Communication Journal, 14(2), 41-57.