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Self-Esteem, Body Image, And Media

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Female college students are overall impacted by certain media advantages and influences. In a study shown by Swami, Özgen, Gökçen, and Petrides (2015), only 42% of Turkish female university students admitted that their body had some good qualities. Meaning that not even half of this population of female students tested at the university believed that their body was good enough. This research is just a snippet of information that will be provided about how female college students feel and how their feelings might influence their everyday mindset. Even females from different countries that migrate to America tend to adapt the values of how important everyday appearances start to become (Swami et al. , 2015). Many college female students of all different ethnic groups feel the pressure of body image and self-esteem which could lead to one trying to robustly alter their appearance. Eating disorders play a huge factor in these altercations such as Bulimia nervosa and Anorexia nervosa which are both ways to harmfully control your weight by binge eating and then throwing everything up or not eating very much at all according to Kim and Lennon (2007). Women in college give the impression that they are overweight in their heads because they are actually dissatisfied with their bodies but in reality they are not overweight at all (Kim et al. , 2007).

Considering this information a bunch of female students that are displeased with their exterior look may lead to higher risk of certain eating disorders (Kim et al. , 2007). Not to mention the influence and social comparison that the media has on everyone with firm images of how a women’s body is supposed to look stated by Ridolfi, Myers, Crowther and Ciesla (2011). Social comparison is quite common among women and can have long term effects on a person’s future (Ridolfi et al. , 2011). Additionally, Joshi, Herman and Polivy (2004) proved that all women of some sort are impacted by the media exposure of thin type women in magazines, videos and different advertisements that could trigger their mood. In some way female college students have many diverse ideas of the perfect person involving their body and feelings you can’t help but wonder if self-esteem, body image, and the media are all related. The purpose of this study was to prove that media exposure will negatively affect the self-esteem and body images of female college students.

The Medias’ Effect on Self-Esteem

Self-esteem can be defined in several altered ways, but what we all know is that it’s how we feeling on the inside and on the outside. A study was conducted by (Joshi et al. , 2004) that proved that restrained eaters and unrestrained eaters were not much effected by thin-body images. This surprises me being that in the same article before the actual study was conducted he stated that women are more likely to place themselves on a higher pedestal when presented with the thin body image pictures (Joshi et al. , 2004). Mass media of body images are not just spread in the United States but also in Korea, these images target the females’ self-esteem by having her re-evaluate her body shape, body size, level of attractiveness and positive body acceptation causing negative perception of one’s body agreeing to (Lee, Lee, Choi, Kim and Han, 2014). In this study shown it was confirmed that although Americans use social media a lot more than Koreans social media still has a negatively association on the females self-esteem no matter the amounts used it is still negatively causing the psychological wellbeing of one’s mind (lee et al. , 2014)

Self-esteem comes through in most things that we see in life especially in the clothing industries; the statement that one size fits all is not true there are beauties of all different cultured sized women (Capodilupo, 2015). Black women take the a role of being the ideal image for a lot of media and it seems as if they are not effected much by the need of wanting to be as thin as the average ideal white women (Capodilupo, 2015). Why is that? Culturally the ideal black women has different perceptions of the prefect mentality or body and overall it’s not skinny, so their feeling of wanting to fit in to that category was never a problem (Capodilupo, 2015). Speaking on different cultures ideal image of the women’s body it appears that the experience of global beauty and self-esteem correlate with how fixated a female is on her own appearance (Balcetis, Cole, Chelberg and Alicke, 2013). Overall self-esteem can be spread through a females mind fast regardless of the standards that she partakes in regarding her body size and shape she will always be aware of the ideal standards of her own body (Balcetis, 2013).

The Medias’ Effect on Body Image

It is factual that media expose causes women to crave a subliminal perfect body that could possibly be unrealistic to their body type (Haas, Pawlow, Pettibone, and Segrist, 2012). The media loves to promote pictures of women with the perfect body, hair, and tan but in reality all that has been altered by technology to make the picture look perfect (Haas et al. , 2012). For some females to look at pictures like so can cause multiple effects to the extent of one trying to alter their body in idealistic ways according to (Myers, and Rosen, 1999). A study was done involving obesity stating that obese people require great coping mechanisms (Myers, and Rosen, 1999). This only makes me think well what type of coping mechanisms may averages sized females use while being presented with the image of a body type that they hope and wish to have one day. These contrivances are not good for the body or mind of a female and some could be monitoring their BMI, weight, esteem, physical attractiveness which all are variables that female college student think about (Haas et al. , 2012).

Research suggests that young African American women have been misrepresented when it comes to body image and social pressures; it’s presumed that black women are under protection when it comes to negative body image which lead them to have high self-esteem (Poran, 2006). Our personal body conceptions might wonder in our heads from time to time but what causes it to actually influence someone’s mind? A theory was made about the black culture that confirmed that most black women take pride in their body image and have varies norms from the average woman (Poran, 2006). But when it comes to the results of the study it appears that women see their bodies to be in competition with one another instead of just experiencing and accepting the beauties of all different types of women (Poran, 2006).

Referring back to (Swami et al. , 2015) a women’s body image can impact the prevalence of a women worldwide and it presents some type of relationship between the mind and the effect of the matter. Image satisfaction for females are presented and majority underweight, unhealthy, or impractical which is putting unbearable pressure on the females that want to possible achieve that image (Swami et al. , 2015). Come to find out that different patterns in ideal image can be effected by your subjective culture that distresses different pictures of one’s body (Swami et al. , 2015). This isn’t surprising information but it does explain how not just one specific body image may fascinate another women to the point of her wanting to achieve that body; different cultures different images. Media’s different types of effects According to (Kim, 2007) body image and self-esteem can run across the same barrier but both of them can be influenced by the media; the media is the cause of many issues and it doesn’t help that it causes people, females, to continually re-evaluate the way they look in a bad way. Media provides the world with an image that may not be truthful but its ideal in someone’s eyes and it becomes a standard that many cannot and will not even reach, this level of media exposure shows the standards of our peers and ideal body reference worldwide (Balcetis, 2013). Even in a world of altered cultures media will have a foundation to stand on when it comes to changing the way a female looks at her body; for example many women in this generation want bigger buttocks, hips and thighs because that’s the preference of a lot of men (Poran, 2006). In the Five Most Frequently Listed Traits table shown by (Capodilupo, 2015) a high percentage of women wanted longer hair, toned bodies, flat stomachs, clear skin and bigger buts; each one craving something that they do not have to hit the perfect body representation.

Present Study

The media’s impact on many female college students correspond with their body image and self-esteem which can vary from culture to culture seems to be overall negatively affecting different parts of each women. While reviewing these articles I’ve came to the conclusion that media does effect the self-esteem and body image of females in a negative way. One of the most influential ways that caught my eye was the eating disorders. For a female to be completely unhappy with the way that they look they can take measures into their own hands and develop eating disorders that gives them the satisfaction of becoming what they see in the magazines, on the television and in worldwide advertisements (Kim, and Lennon 2007).

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