How Women’s Body Images are portrayed by the Media

Sample Term Paper

Words 1,749

Some researchers claim that media have an effect on young women’s body. Specifically, these researchers report that results from their studies indicate a relationship between media consumption and eating disorders, body dissatisfaction, or a number of other related outcomes. However, other researchers have come to contradictory conclusions. In fact, results of studies have indicated that rather than causing an increase in body dissatisfaction, media promote positive body attitudes in young women.

Other researchers like Cusumano, & Thompson claim that no relationship exists between media and body image. At this point, a meta-analysis is a useful step toward sorting out these conflicting results. Meta-analytic reviews are more systematic, explicit, and exhaustive than qualitative reviews. The number of variables included in this meta-analysis will allow for the examination of trends among studies including the use of different media types, media exposure lengths, outcome measures, comparison stimuli, and participant ages. Dittmar’s  Meta-analysis at this stage of research on the relationship between media and body image can offer a greater understanding of the consequences of the prevalence of thin images in the media, as well as provide direction for future studies.

The bodies idealized in the media usually are not typical of normal healthy women. Instead, the advertisements focus on thinness as the standard for female beauty Fashion models, who are portrayed as how women should aspire to look, weigh 23% less than the average woman. The reality is that a woman between the ages of 18-34 has a seven percent chance of being as thin as a catwalk model, and a one percent chance of being as slim as a so-called supermodel.

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