The Importance Of Media And Self Perception

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The media serves as a key means of mass communication for the people all around the world. Traditional forms of media include the television, radio and newspapers etc. while new media, which has emerged in the past few decades, encompasses the Internet as well as social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. Considering our reliance on the media in our everyday lives, it does play a huge role in shaping our values, perceptions and mindsets, which determine our own identities. Since the media affects the values we inculcate, this not only influences our self-perception, but consequently our behavior from the type of mindsets we adopt. Despite so, the media is not all that molds us for there are other crucial factors such as culture…show more content…
Our self-perception is largely affected by the stereotypes and body images we see in the media. Over the years, strong correlations between media and self- body images have been developed, attributing the “widespread body dissatisfaction” among women and adolescents to the exposure to unhealthy media ideals. The excessive portrayals of ‘ideal’ images are constantly seen in advertisements, for instance thin models with big chests, slim waists and long legs, with the intention to draw on people’s insecurities in order to persuade them to buy a product (Ossola, "The Media's Effect on Women's Body Image"). Not only do these generalizations in the media show the acceptable standards of beauty, but they also emphasize on the importance of being physically attractive in today’s society. As we live in a media-saturated world, seeing these ‘ideal’ body images inevitably leads to unhealthy self-comparisons and “internalizations of these media messages” (Pritchard, Cramblitt “Media Influence on Drive for Thinness and Drive for Muscularity”). Setting unrealistic expectations for our own bodies in order to match up to media ideals results in lowered body satisfaction and self-esteem. For women, the consequences of body dissatisfaction are often seen through the strong desire for cosmetic procedures, or through the increase in eating disorders and depression in women and female…show more content…
Messages from the media play a part in influencing our decisions to act or behave in a certain way, sometimes in negative ways. The effect of violence in the media on consumers, especially youths, has constantly been researched and debated on ever since the 1950s. Violence in the media is never-ending. Action-packed television shows, movies and films especially in the American media tend to associate noble heroic acts with the use of violence and this may suggest to people that the use of violence is reasonable and justified in order to ‘save the world’ and bring peace. Furthermore, the use of weapon is often normalized by the media and sometimes glorifying the act of violence. Increased exposure to such acts of violence can result in an acceptance of violence as a suitable and appropriate means to reach our goals. (Media Violence, American Academy Of Pediatrics) An example of how media violence affects our behavior is the more recent 2012 Aurora theatre shooting. A mass shooting had occurred inside a movie theatre in Aurora, Colorado during the screening of the movie The Dark Night Rises at midnight, killing about twelve people and wounding fifty-eight people. (CNN.com) The suspect, twenty-four year-old James Holmes, was arrested shortly in the car park after the shooting. This deadly massacre has triggered the debate on the effects of violence

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