Body image is how we perceive ourselves. We see ourselves a certain way, although we may be seen differently by the people surrounding us. You can’t help but notice that body image relates back to how people judge their own bodies. Almost everyone is focused on comparing themselves to other people. Media images are a major concept for many of these comparisons because people are exposed to so many media images. People find their bodies below standards because of these comparisons that they make. This results in serious depression, low self-esteem, and it may cause a feeling of shortcoming.
All of these have negative outcomes, and one of the most common results is developing eating disorders. Media also impacts people’s perception of sexual attractiveness. While most US citizens are on the heavier side, female models are portrayed as much thinner and male models are portrayed as more muscled. Many psychologists and sociologists have put together theories that explain the way that media impacts body image. Media is making it harder to find real beauty due to unnatural photos, that portray retouched images of people.
Body image even influences other aspects of people’s lives. Finding dissatisfaction in one’s body causes tangible and difficult challenges to overcome. It’s clear to see that the media tends to make society pressured about their body image, promoting unrealistic body shapes. Everyone is regularly exposed to hundreds of images that imitate an imaginary body concept that doesn’t relate to real body image. The idea of removing media’s body images from today’s people results in a negative consequence, which shows the unwillingness people have when it comes to accepting their imperfect bodies.
The bodies that are portrayed by the media appear to be much thinner, and that results in “prejudice through their life span” towards people who have slim, ideal bodies. Taking the issue of pressure about body image into consideration, this system has gone through multiple phases. Before the modern digital age, messages regarding body image were portrayed in books and newspapers. Now, present-day media has an economical investment in sustaining body dissatisfaction. Media revenues are dependent on drawing attention to the body industry. This connection between communication channels and the advertising of unreal body image formulates questions in what the final outcome of these consumer trends would be.
The influence of media on body image is obviously complicated. Individuals react differently to media images. Some react rapidly, while others are resistant. People who are more self-conscious, focus on their appearance, and deal with eating and mental disorders are much more likely to be affected by media images. These tactics are worsening the everyday lives of people who struggle with their weight. Many studies have given evidence proving that females consider media as the main reference to understand the societal obligation to follow the trend of desiring a thin body. Body comparison is based on social comparison interpretation, which focuses on a system that involves both looking for the message and making choices that involve other people. The social comparison theory demonstrates that body dissatisfaction is caused by the way people understand what is displayed on the media; it’s important to remember that the media’s portrayal of body image doesn’t affect all individuals in the same ways.
Researchers have found a link between the media’s promotion of the ideal thin body and body dissatisfaction. The results of these studies they’ve conducted make it clear that females’ body dissatisfaction has increased dramatically over the decades; this leaves us to the conclusion that this trend may be caused by media focusing on promoting an unreal body image. Women’s body satisfaction has increased over the past years while males’ body satisfaction has persisted to be nearly the same. The average body-mass index presents an increasing number, but it has been hypothesized that there might be more acceptance towards larger, “more real” body shapes.