Media and Body Image in America

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Background Info


  • Looking Good: Male Body Image in Modern America.Full Text Available By: Hofmann, Mary. School Library Journal, Nov2005, Vol. 51 Issue 11, p60-60, 1/9p; (AN 18797458)
  • Morrison, Todd and Halton, Marie. "Buff, Tough, and Rough: Representations of Muscularity in Action Motion Pictures." Journal of Men's Studies, Winter2009, Vol. 17 Issue 1, p57-74, 18p, 2 charts; (AN 36641590)

The authors of this article explore the prevalence of constructing masculinity in motion pictures.A content analysis was conducted on a random sample of top-grossing action films from 1980 to 2006. Results demonstrate that actors in this genre have shown a parallel trend toward increasing leanness and muscularity over the last several decades. As well, in comparison to their less muscular counterparts, those with muscular physiques were more likely to be romantically involved, evidenced higher levels of aggression, experienced more positive outcomes, and were more likely to be objectified. (Ayaka Dohi)

  • Agliata, Daniel; Tantleff-Dunn, Stacey. "The Impact of Media Exposure on Males' Body Image." Journal of Social & Clinical Psychology, Feb2004, Vol. 23 Issue 1, p7-22, 16p, 2 charts; (AN 12526480)

The current experiment exposed 158 males to television advertisements containing either ideal male images or neutral images that were inserted between segments of a television program. Participants were blocked on dispositional body image and attitudes toward appearance variables to assess for moderating effects. Results indicated that participants exposed to ideal image advertisements became significantly more depressed and had higher levels of muscle dissatisfaction than those exposed to neutral ads. Inconsistent with past research, no dispositional effects were noted that would suggest the influence of schematicity on mood and body image changes. (Ayaka Dohi)

  • Leit, Richard A., James J. Gray, and Harrison G. Pope Jr. "The Media's Representation of the Ideal Male Body: A Cause for Muscle Dysmorphia?." International Journal of Eating Disorders 31.3 (2002): 334-338. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. 9 Nov. 2009.

Presents a study that examined the effects of media images on men's attitudes toward their body image and appearance. Review of related literature; Methodology used; Limitations of the study.


Abstract (Summary): The media have been criticized for depicting the thin woman as ideal. Some argue these images create unrealistic expectations for young women and cause body dissatisfaction and disordered eating. This study cumulates findings of empirical studies that examine the effects of media on body image. An estimate of overall effect size, trends in the research, and the influence of moderating variables are examined and reported. Results suggest depictions of thin women may have little to no effect on viewers. However, images of overweight women seem to have a positive effect on women's body image. Suggestions for future research are offered.

Shows info on media and body image//the whole page is on the media (Also has many sources that seem credible! :))

This primary research shows the involvement that cartoons have with children, how male and female children view each other based on these cartoons (media)

This article reviews research pertaining to mass media as a causal risk factor for negative body image and disordered eating in females. The specific purpose is to clarify the impact of mass media by applying seven criteria that extend those of Kraemer et al. (1997) and Stice (2002). Although media effects clearly meet a majority of the criteria, this analysis indicates that, currently, engagement with mass media is probably best considered a variable risk factor that might well be later shown to be a causal risk factor.


Lots of info for many searches on many primary sources


.com site, but its sources=credible? idk, but it has information on how idealized women on TV make girls feel bad (article title)

Abstract:Women with larger body types are underrepresented and presented negatively on television. Two experiments explored the possibility that program context, specifically the roles women play on television, may influence judgments about the realism of various women’s body types. Both experiments, one with 92 undergraduate students at a large university in the northeastern United States, and one with 69 mall patrons in the same area, found that while the body type of an actress had little effect in a domestic setting, larger women were perceived as less realistic and less likely to get a television role in a professional setting. The results have implications for how audiences judge body types and for how audiences make realism judgments.

  • WCL

Info on body image and women, i will check out later for more info

  • McEvey, Gail L. "A Program to Promote Positive Body Image: A 1-Year Follow-Up Evaluation." Journal of Early Adolescence. 22.1 (2002): 96. Print.

Abstract:The effectiveness of a program designed to promote body image satisfaction and prevent eating problems in young adolescent girls was evaluated over a 1-year period. A total of 263 girls in Grade 6, one-half of whom were in the control group, completed questionnaires that assessed body image satisfaction and eating problems before and 1 week after the prevention program, and 6 and 12 months later. The six-session prevention program was developed around two principal components:(a) media literacy about the dangers associated with the idealization of thinness and (b) the promotion of life skills, including self-esteem enhancement strategies, stress management techniques, and peer relations skills. There was no program effect. Instead, the findings revealed significant increases in body image satisfaction and decreases in eating problem scores over time for participants in both the prevention and control groups.

  • Want, Stephen, Kristin Vickers, and Jennifer Amos "The Influence of Television Programs on Appearance Satisfaction: Making and Mitigating Social Comparisons to “Friends”." Sex Roles 60.9/10 (2009): 642-655. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. 6 Nov. 2009.

Abstract:Studies of “media effects” on women’s appearance satisfaction have focused largely on images from fashion magazines and television commercials, and rarely on images from television programs. The present study reports on the effects of experimental exposure to a television situation-comedy depicting thin and highly physically-attractive characters on appearance satisfaction in Canadian undergraduate women ( N = 76) from a large, ethnically-diverse, metropolitan area. The results demonstrate a detrimental effect on participants’ satisfaction with their overall appearance, as measured on a Visual Analogue Scale (VAS). This result is interpreted in line with social comparison theory. In addition, exposure to written intervention material, designed to remove the basis for social comparison with television images, was shown to be effective in mitigating this effect.

Abstract: This article talks about how the ideal body image has gotten thinner over the years but isn't even real because of the media using photoshop. -Jenna Imes

Abstract: This article talks about how kids are influenced by the media and their parents. They became constant dieters in order to look like the bodys in the media. -Jenna Imes

Abstract: A study was done on high school seniors showing that girls were more preoccupied with their weight than boys due to dissatisfaction from the media. Especially white females. -Jenna Imes

Abstract: The media has a negative affect on adolescents and their body image leading to low self esteem and disordered eating. -Jenna Imes

Abstract:Ellen Goldstein calls her daughter Maya, a Rockville fifth- grader, a teen-mag maniac. "She has a year's worth" of Girls' Life magazine, says Goldstein. "When her friends come over, they pore over this magazine." What's Maya reading? There's "Get Gorgeous Skin by Tonight," "Crush Confidential: Seal the Deal with the Guy You Dig," and one of her mom's least faves: "Get a Fierce Body Fast."Some skeptics of the sexualization notion also argue that kids today are hardier and savvier than critics think. Isaac Larian, whose company makes the large-eyed, pouty-lipped Bratz dolls, says, "Kids are very smart and know right from wrong." What's more, his testing indicates that girls want Bratz "because they are fun, beautiful and inspirational," he wrote in an e-mail. "Not once have we ever heard one of our consumers call Bratz 'sexy.' " Some adults "have a twisted sense of what they see in the product," Larian says."It's a little scary being a young girl," [Genevieve McGahey] says. "The image of sexuality has been a lot more trumpeted in this era. . . . If you're not interested in [sexuality] in middle school, it seems a little intimidating." And unrealistic body ideals pile on extra pressure, McGahey says. At a time when their bodies and their body images are still developing, "girls are not really seeing people [in the media] who are beautiful but aren't stick-thin," she notes. "That really has an effect."

Abstract: The proliferation of sexualized images of girls and young women in advertising, merchandising, and media is harming girls' self-image and healthy development. This report explores the cognitive and emotional consequences, consequences for mental and physical health, and impact on development of a healthy sexual self-image.

  • Bergstom, Rochelle L.; Neighbors, Clayton; Malheim, Jeremy E.."Media Comparisons and Threats to Body Image: Seeking Evidence of Self-Affirmation." Journal of Social & Clinical Psychology, Feb2009, Vol. 28 Issue 2, p264-280, 17p, 2 charts, 3 graphs; (AN 36909409)

This article is a report on an observation of undergraduate females and how their body images were affect by mass media. They observed the effect of thin models on larger women. Results confirmed the idea that certain women engage in affirmation processes after a media-induced threat to self. (Ayaka Dohi)

  • Thompson, J. Kevin; Heinberg, Leslie J.. "The Media's Influence on Body Image Disturbance and Eating Disorders: We've Reviled Them, Now Can We Rehabilitate Them?" Journal of Social Issues, Summer99, Vol. 55 Issue 2, p339-353, 15p; (AN 2190321)

One specific individual difference variable, internalization of societal pressures regarding prevailing standards of attractiveness, appears to moderate or even mediate the media's effects on women body satisfaction and eating dysfunction. Problematic media messages inherent in existing media portrayals of eating disorders are apparent, leading researchers to pinpoint intervention strategies that might counteract such viewpoints. Social activism and social marketing approaches are suggested as methods for fighting negative media messages. The media itself is one potential vehicle for communicating productive, accurate, and deglamorized messages about eating and shape-related disorders. (Ayaka Dohi)

  • Derenne, Jennifer L., Beresin, Eugene V. "Body Image, Media, and Eating Disorders" Academic Psychiatry 2006 30: 257-261

The authors of this article attempt to explain the historical context of the problems caused my mass media and politics on peoples' body images (obesity and eating disorders) and explore potential avenues. "The authors review changes in ideal female body type throughout history, comment on current attitudes toward shape and weight in both men and women, and outline interventions aimed at increasing healthy habits and fostering self-esteem in youth for change."