The Effect Of The Media On Adolescent Girls' Body Images

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The Effect of the Media on Adolescent Girls' Body Images In today's society adolescent girls are faced with constant pictures and advertisements in the media of tall, skinny, models and actresses with beautiful hair and seemingly nothing wrong with their bodies. However, this is not how most women look, and not how most adolescent girls will look like in the future. Thus, girls are getting idealistic views of how they want to look when they get older. Santrock (2007) claims, “As pubertal change proceeds, girls often become more dissatisfied with their bodies, probably because their body fat increases” (p. 73). When girls go through puberty and gain body fat, most of them will start to differ from the images burned in their heads by the media of the “perfect” body, causing them to develop negative body images and self-esteem issues. “The mass media has long been criticized for presenting unrealistic appearance ideals that contribute to the development of negative body image for many women and girls” (Hargreaves and Tiggemann, 2003, p. 539). So, even though advertisements may be seemingly innocent, they may be causing harmful implications that affect adolescent girls for the rest of their lives. How Do Television Advertisements Affect Body Image? In the course of a hour television show, how many times do networks run advertisements for diet pills or food that will magically cause viewers to lose weight and look as skinny as the people in the commercial? Most of the time, the answer is too many to count. Television advertisements emphasize that women needs to be thin, and that the easiest way to achieve this look is to use their product. Dohnt and Tiggemann (2006) found that girls as young as six are now starting to understand the concept of dieting and the desire to be thin” (p. 142). This is way too young of an age to

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