Women In American Culture Media

Powerful Essays
Media is a very strong and influential force on both people and their actions in many different parts of the world. Specifically, in American culture media is used to perpetuate and infiltrate the masses and project what the next expensive purchase will be and who the next popular celebrity will be that can promote those items to the public. It is a cycle that is continuously moving and evolving with the changing times, as media continues to update and consume larger portions of the human lifestyle. “According to the U.S. Census Bureau (2006), Americans will spend approximately 3,592 hours this year on media usage with 1,704 of those hours being watching television.” This number is only projected to have risen since the data was collected by…show more content…
Since this is this case young women traditionally look to media as a way to gauge how they should act, what they should be wear and what they should look like. Young women are aware of the fact that the images and videos that are seen through the media are often doctored and idealize thin body images; however because media is ever present adolescent girls tend to give into the thin-ideal as normative and realistic representations of the female body, resulting in negative effects of exposure and reinforcement of thin-ideal standards as frequently aired in Western media (Harrison, 2000; López-Guimerà et al., 2010). Some experts argue that many of the studies done on media are inconsistent because in certain instances the thin-body ideal that is present in advertisements could induce negative perceptions of the body and in other cases there is little to no effect on the individual. This is the case because there are a variety of different factors that can affect body image and self-esteem that make some individuals more susceptive to having issues such as age, body weight along with peer and parental support and interaction to name a few. The results of a study conducted by Mike Featherstone a sociologist and professor at the University of London have shown that “an individual’s susceptibility to having negative body image issues reflects the extent…show more content…
Many adolescents are dissatisfied with their appearance or body image because an ideal body size is consistently fed to them as soon as they start to consume media and interact with peers and other people in a social setting. The dissatisfaction typically stems from the discrepancy between the ideal body type and the actual body the individual has. Many studies have shown that a lack of social support from parents and peers has been associated with body dissatisfaction in young adolescents (Bearman et al. 2006; Helfert and Warschburger 2011). Research gathered from those studies also examines the role of family and peer relationships and the psychological effect they have on an individual as it relates to body dissatisfaction. Children that display characteristics of a secure attachment style meaning that they are raised in a home with a parent or parents that are attentive and caring in a loving manner along with being a fair but consistent disciplinarian with high expectations tend to be more secure in themselves and their body images than those that are raised in environments that are less nurturing and consistent. For example, research suggests that “parents who are critical and unsupportive (e.g., who express dissatisfaction with their own, or their children’s weight, or tease them about it) can have a negative impact on their children’s beliefs about themselves”
Get Access