Week #2: Media Impact

By Helen Dao

The development of eating disorders is an increasing problem among young audiences of most types of media. The media has a strong influence in a person’s body image and thus, self esteem. Oftentimes in movies, on TV, and in music, women are oversexualized and objectified. In fashion magazines women are photoshopped to appear more physically “perfect”. On the runway and in advertisements, underweight models are often employed and for those that appear unhealthy, they too are photoshopped and airbrushed to look less ill while still maintaining an extremely skinny figure.

In an article published by BBC News, research has shown that “[T]here is a growing body of research that shows the media plays a part in the development of eating disorder symptoms – particularly in adolescents and young people. Although biological and genetic factors play an important role in the development of these disorders, psychological and social factors are also significant.”

The editor of one of the best selling teen magazines argue that they are being ethical and are disheartened to hear such claims. She states that the magazine has tried to be a positive influence on body image and that photo manipulation is often used to brighten colors rather than to alter the looks of any of the girls.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/8528443.stm

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