How Does The Media Influence Body Image

Words: 1788
Pages: 8

Luis Cerna
Today’s Media Influence on Body Image

The media today comes in many forms. For example, we have magazines, newspapers, television, radio, and the internet. Having all these elements at one’s disposal is a great asset, but it can also be a manipulator that could blindside consumers. The media has shaped society’s idea of what perfect is and it has definitely changed our idea of what perfect looks like. Exposure to thin female models and muscular built males on a daily basis has created an entirely new culture for the new generations. Having a perfect body not only means being healthy and achieving the perfect physical imagine. Now it also means power, fame, money and most of all attention. Today media
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Her self-esteem could go down after she sees the same dress on a commercial sported by an underweight model.
According to Cohen, the social comparison theory explains why individuals feel the need to be accepted comparing themselves to others .Individuals have a tendency to rate and evaluate themselves through comparisons with others. Social comparison theory differentiates between two types of comparisons: downward and upward (Cohen). A downward comparison is when the individual compares himself to someone that is viewed as “worse off”; in this situation, the person has a higher self-esteem. An upward comparison is comparing oneself to a superior character, which leads to low self-esteem. Upwards comparisons are made when we see beautiful models or celebrities every day. We start to compare our bodies and lives to what the media personifies and want that body image to achieve happiness. Comparisons like this also lead to eating disorders and body dissatisfaction.
Another factor that needs to be taken in is that with all these images the media shows us they also have opened up the market to diet pills. An unstable individual thinking that he or she is fat could begin to take this intense weight loss pills and end up committing more harm than good. Many individuals turn to using, and eventually abusing, diet pills in their pursuit