Media and body image

A recent study reviewed all the research on the relationship between media and body image.  The study concluded what many had already suspected: The media does, in fact, have an effect on how girls’ think and feel about themselves and their body.  The research suggests that girls compare themselves to the “thin-ideal” woman on television, leading her to feel worse about herself and her body.  What’s more, since the TV is on a lot of the time in American homes, and since most women on TV are thinner than the average woman, girls rarely escape the message telling them that they need to be thinner.  Mothers, other research suggests, can have a strong impact on both how much girls watch TV and also how they react to the thin-ideal images.  Here is the citation for the recent study:  Levine, M.P, & Murnen, S.K. (2009).  “Everybody knows that mass media are/are not [pick one] a cause of eating disorders”: A critical review of evidence for a causal link between media, negative body image, and disordered eating in females. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 28(1), 9-42.

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Filed under Body image, TV

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