Social Influence On Body Image

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Grogan (2006) defines body image as to how a person perceives his or her body. It involves body size estimation, body attractiveness and your feelings associated with your own body (Muth and Cash, 1997). Most of the body dissatisfaction is seen as the wish to be thinner (Grogan, 1999). Less research has been done on body image issues of boys in comparison to girls (Tiggemann, 2004). Eating disorders in women have been at a rise and hence, it has been conditioned that body image dissatisfaction is only relevant to young women (Orbach, 1993). Body image has been defined differently in terms of perceptual, attitudinal and cognitive behavioral factors (Cash, 2002). Body Image can affect our attitude towards exercise or meditation or avoiding things…show more content…
It has been found that body image changes through social influence as there is a conflict between current shape and ideal body shape (Groetz, 2002). Social influence involves peer pressure, role of family and media stressing about body dissatisfaction (Thompson et al., 1999). We perceive our body depending on how someone is viewing us and how that person sends us cues especially in childhood as childhood experiences of body image are crucial in understanding social influences on body dissatisfaction. Research has found that having peer who are preoccupied with dieting and give high importance to weight and appearance may be at risk of high body dissatisfaction, bulimia, and lower self esteem in adolescent girls (Shroff and Thompson, 2004). While discussing about gender and body image, women have been pressurized to attain an unrealistically ideal body which leads to body dissatisfaction (Bordo, 1993). Research has found body image concern in girls from age five upwards and stays stable across life…show more content…
They talked about several themes such as, body shape ideas, self esteem, exercise, and diet. A common theme emerged out in all the discussions that being muscular is linked to being healthy and being fat is a weakness. Adolescents described peer pressure to be muscular, and two boys described experiences of teasing due to their body size. This was discussed in line to the Western culture which now says that men are becoming increasingly conscious about their body image. Seigel (1999) conducted a study to examine the impact of gender, racial-ethnic group, perceived pubertal timing and adolescent mental health on body image. 877 teens were taken as a sample from the age group 13-18 years with diverse social and demographic characteristics. Interviews were taken with emphasis on emotional distress, coping resources, and problematic behaviour. It was found that girls were more depressed than boys and had lower self esteem. Negative feelings about their own bodies contribute to depression and low self esteem and hence, they are at a greater risk of mental
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