social media and body image

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Most people, particularly women, are worried about their body image. There is a lot of focus on how someone looks in terms of body weight and shape. Body image enhances trust and self-esteem, particularly in teens and young adults. Individuals' views of what makes a positive picture have been profoundly affected by social media. Most people, particularly adolescents, youth, and middle-aged adults, believe that a slim body and appearance are the desired definitions of a perfect picture, so they aspire to attain these factors. Magazines, books, websites, social media platforms like Instagram, as well as YouTube channels, offer tips on eating and exercise habits meant to achieve that body shape and glow desired. Individuals post photos of before and after workouts seeking commendations from their friends. For those who have bodies that do not fit the “ideal” definition, they feel inadequate and often lose confidence in themselves. This annotated bibliography will look into the issue of body image and social media.

Van den Berg, P., Paxton, S.J., Keery, H., Wall, M., Guo, J. and Neumark-Sztainer, D., 2007. Body dissatisfaction and body comparison with media images in males and females. Body Image, 4(3), pp.257-268.

The extent to which social media influences the body image of males and females differs. In most cases, females tend to be more affected than males, experiencing the pressure to be “perfect” more. This explains why the level of dissatisfaction is higher on females than on males. Besides influence from the media, pressure also emanates from peers. The comparison is made between what the media presents versus the real case scenario of their bodies. This source will aid in determining the factors that could result in the body dissatisfaction in males and what causes the difference in the effect for both genders.

Grabe, S., Ward, L. M., & Hyde, J. S. (2008). The role of the media in body image concerns among women: A meta-analysis of experimental and correlational studies. Psychological Bulletin, 134(3), 460-476.

Social media has been linked to causing body dissatisfaction in women. The media has presented the thin body as the ideal image and as a depiction for perfect. As such, most women, including teenagers are caught up in the hassle of striving to achieve that body. Images of lean models on media platforms, ads, and magazines are responsible for instilling this notion in women. As such, they engage in fits of exercise and dieting habits. This analysis will assist in understanding the extent of the relationship between the influence of the social media and the general body concerns of women.

López-Guimerà, G., Levine, M.P., Sánchez-Carracedo, D., and Fauquet, J., 2010. Influence of mass media on body image and eating disordered attitudes and behaviors in females: A review of effects and processes. Media Psychology, 13(4), pp.387-416.

Disorders in eating attitudes and behaviors have also been witnessed, which can be linked to exposure to the media. Information from various studies in the fields of eating disorders, health psychology, media psychology, and mass communication show that mass media as an important source of information and reinforcement to the nature of the thin beauty ideal and how to attain it. The pressures for the thin body attainment results in disordered eating behaviors especially in teenage girls and young women. This source will be of help in determining the positive media influence that can help solve the problem of eating disorders.

Hargreaves, D.A. and Tiggemann, M., 2009. Muscular ideal media images and men's body image: Social comparison processing and individual vulnerability. Psychology of Men & Masculinity, 10(2), p.109.

Although women are known to be influenced more by the media concerning their body image, men are not completely in the exception. However, for men, the emphasis is on the muscular-ideal male beauty. Television commercials portray masculinity as the ideal body image for men. This has been reported to lead to lower muscle satisfaction and the aspect of comparison with the muscular-ideal images. Some feel the need to hit the gym to build the muscles and attain the glorified image. This source will assist in determining the evidence for the role that the media plays in influencing body image for the males.

Dittmar, H., 2009. How do “body perfect” ideals in the media have a negative impact on body image and behaviors? Factors and processes related to self and identity. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 28(1), pp.1-8.

The issue of body image carries an important aspect to physical and mental well-being. The body image builds a positive or negative perception on oneself contributing to well-being. The perfect body ideals on social media, therefore, can pose as a risk factor for negative body image. This is particularly so for teenagers and young adults who are in the process of experiencing body changes at the same time attempting to blend with the society. They feel the need to be accepted and, therefore, feel the pressure to fit into the presented perfect ideals. This source will help link the impacts to the process of self-identification.

Bergstrom, R.L., Neighbors, C., and Malheim, J.E., 2009. Media comparisons and threats to body image: Seeking evidence of self-affirmation. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 28(2), pp.264-280.

The effects of social media on body media are not exclusively negative. There have been cases where individuals get remedy from social media in instances where their bodies pose a threat to their health and well-being. This is mostly for large bodies which could pose a risk as compared to thin bodies. By comparing oneself with images of other people on the media, one can acquire motivation to work out and on eating habits to achieve a healthy body. This analysis will assist in determining the potential of social media in inducing self-affirmation and prevention of body image disturbance witnessed among women.

Knobloch-Westerwick, S. and Romero, J.P., 2011. Body ideals in the media: Perceived attainability and social comparison choices. Media Psychology, 14(1), pp.27-48.

A positive comparison that leads to an upward attainment of a goal is a commendable thing. If the information in the social media is used for attaining progress, then that would be considered a positive influence which is encouraged. Social media offers numerous materials for body improvements. These are in the line of dieting, exercising, and others meant to keep one fit. Exposure to these materials would induce comparison choices which would help individuals keep themselves on the check. This material is important in offering a comparison of before, and after exposure to such materials and the effect they have on individuals.

Fardouly, J. and Vartanian, L.R., 2016. Social media and body image concerns: Current research and future directions. Current opinion in psychology, 9, pp.1-5.

The extent of the effect of social media on body image is dependent on the level of exposure to the social media platforms. Little exposure will result in minimal negative effect and vice versa. The site on the social media also determines the impact. For instance, Facebook and Instagram possess different influence considering the level of participation and provisions in these two media platforms. If one would spend less time on the information causing him or her negative impact, then the level of dissatisfaction as relates to media ideal images would reduce. This source will provide comparisons among the media platforms and their level of influence.

Bibliography

Bergstrom, R.L., Neighbors, C., and Malheim, J.E., 2009. Media comparisons and threats to body image: Seeking evidence of self-affirmation. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 28(2), pp.264-280.

Dittmar, H., 2009. How do “body perfect” ideals in the media have a negative impact on body image and behaviors? Factors and processes related to self and identity. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 28(1), pp.1-8.

Fardouly, J. and Vartanian, L.R., 2016. Social media and body image concerns: Current research and future directions. Current opinion in psychology, 9, pp.1-5.

Grabe, S., Ward, L. M., & Hyde, J. S. (2008). The role of the media in body image concerns among women: A meta-analysis of experimental and correlational studies. Psychological Bulletin, 134(3), 460-476.

Hargreaves, D.A. and Tiggemann, M., 2009. Muscular ideal media images and men's body image: Social comparison processing and individual vulnerability. Psychology of Men & Masculinity, 10(2), p.109.

Knobloch-Westerwick, S. and Romero, J.P., 2011. Body ideals in the media: Perceived attainability and social comparison choices. Media Psychology, 14(1), pp.27-48.

López-Guimerà, G., Levine, M.P., Sánchez-Carracedo, D., and Fauquet, J., 2010. Influence of mass media on body image and eating disordered attitudes and behaviors in females: A review of effects and processes. Media Psychology, 13(4), pp.387-416.

Van den Berg, P., Paxton, S.J., Keery, H., Wall, M., Guo, J. and Neumark-Sztainer, D., 2007. Body dissatisfaction and body comparison with media images in males and females. Body Image, 4(3), pp.257-268.

October 19, 2022
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