Mass Media Overrules Peers In Body Image Effects

1505 words - 7 pages

If you ask just about every female in society today if she finds something wrong with herself, she will most likely say there is. Maybe you are one of the women that say society has no effect on you. That is until you go home and watch your favorite tv show and a commercial for a new skin care product appears on the TV; all of a sudden you want to try it in hopes of finally receiving clear skin, at least that's what happened to me. “Researchers have called female's concerns with their physical appearance ‘normative discontent;’ implying that body dissatisfaction affects almost all women at some level,” says Serdar. The mass media seems to have thinner models, providing their belief on what a woman should look like, while the pant sizes of females continue to grow (Serdar). In the long run this can have a major effect on young adults and their eating behaviors. At the same time peers are pressuring women more and more because they have more model-like, society accepted features than they do causing them to feel bad about themselves and possibly even change the way they look. Based upon research and theories I have concluded that the mass media is the greater cause for concerns of body image than peers due to the fact that the mass media sends the overall message of what Serdar calls an “ideal image” and standard of what a women should look and be like.
In the article “Peers, Not TV, Influence Girls’” research was conducted by Texas A&M International University that consisted of 237 Hispanic girls ages 10 to 17 who were asked about 3 of their favorite TV shows and to rate the women in these TV shows based on how pretty they were. Rating the women’s beauty was to test their familiarity with the “Hollywood beauty ideal,” according to the article. The study then measures the girls’ height and body weight along with their social media use, peer competition and feelings in conflict to other girls, how they felt about themselves, and any symptoms of eating disorders. 6 months later 101 of the same girls were
tested again. The test concluded that the girls were more affected by their peers than the mass media and peers had a greater impact on the outcome of an eating disorder to occur. I think that having a test that included both the effects of mass media and peers is really effective in deciding which one has the greater impact between the two. It also allows the researcher to understand both results better because it was the same test that was issued to the same group of people. Not to mention peers can have a great effect on teenagers because they will feel the need to look like and be like their friends if they find their friends prettier or skinnier then they are. Peers can also cause their friends to change their eating habits, get them to wear makeup, or even dress differently just so that they can be like each other.
Although the research that was organized may have been readable and effective in results, there is no way of knowing for certain...

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