The Influence of Media on Body Image and Body Modification

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Introduction

According to Cash (2004) body image is actually the perception, feelings and behaviors of a person toward one’s own body. (Grab et al., 2008) investigates that media has the ability to pursue others in creating ideal body images and physical appearance and have been shown that print media to have a negative impact on perception of female about weight and figure It presents women figure size in very unrealistic manner. About two decades ago, social theorists Brozekowski & Bayer (2005) established that Western societies like the United States were undergoing a shift from industrial culture based on production to the culture informed by the consumption of products, ideas, and knowledge that is shift of modern to post modern. Transformation of the material base of society occurs, social institutions and cultural practices also faces transformation. One area in which this change is clearly identifiable is gender roles and gender identity. Sharder (2007) have found that the postindustrial shift is affecting women’s roles in society. For example, the increasing role of women in the formal economy, both as earners and also as consumers, has been well documented.

According to Lopez, Levine & Fauqet (2010) literature mainly focuses on the actors and models of TV shows and discussed its negative effects but a considerable amount of researches is found to work on the effects of advertisements in magazines. According to Hawkins (2004), says that exposure to popular fashion magazine expose a man toward messages focused on beauty and fashion, have been correlated with higher dissatisfaction in women and in a society people weigh themselves against superior individuals. McCabe et al (2007) stated a person imagines about his body goodness and badness is body image. Body dissatisfaction can be measured by using a series of depiction to judge the person satisfaction of their current body and ideal body shape and the rate of difference can be calculated as dissatisfaction level. The public as well as the researchers of the various fields are interested in the media representation of body and its impact on body image.

The major reason of constant state of body dissatisfaction and eating disorder is mass media and it is responsible for the fear of appearance and low self esteem in millions of people. According to Swami (2015) found that media produce ideal body images differently according to the gender constantly as women are portrayed as thin and tall and males are broad and muscular. Advertisements also present an important role in representing models and ultra thin athletesAnd the one who is not zero size is a kind of joke or fool character in that content. Researchers such as Manwaring (2011) observes a direct relationship between media consumption and body image dissatisfaction among women and girls and the research the growing dissatisfaction of body image to eating disorders, low self esteem and other physical and mental health issues. The media directly exploits the body types and put huge pressure on females regardless of any age. The major flaw is that an ideal body type is welcomed by society’s peers in fact accepted by all society. Suplee (2014) jot down that, most affected by poor body are adolescent’s girls and college women are and most attracted to diet and at the end suffer from anorexia nervosa. According to Cash (2004) body image is variable state influenced by specific background events and the major influence is media messages and images. According to Vonderan & Kinneley (2012) found that in US television programs 94% female characters are thinner than the average American women, with whom the media frequently associate happiness, desirability and success in life. The media clearly recommend people about how to attain thin bodies by exercise, dieting and body contouring surgery. Borzekowski (2005) encourage that one can attain thin bodies but the idealized of thinness is positively correlated to the body image of dissatisfaction. Cash & Pruzinsky (2002) argues that body image dissatisfaction is often go together with by social anxiety, depression, and eating disturbances and poor self esteem. According to Mc Cabe, Butler and Watt (2007) conduct a survey that over 60% of women are dieting in order to attain a perfect body and the rate of depression in womenis nearly double in females then man. Feminist scholars from different disciplinary backgroundsit are said that women learn from an early age that their looks matter (e.g., Bartky 1990; de Beauvoir 1952). Indeed, evaluations says that women are treated according to their physical appearance that how she is treated in day to day interactions which can shape their social and economic opportunities stated by Fredrickson and Roberts (1997). According to Bearman et al., (2006); Monteath.,(1997); body dissatisfaction is the phenomenon that has reached 50 % of girls and women are dissatisfied with their bodies.

Rationale of the Study

Most models have a BMI residing between 18.1-18.5 while according to WHO the normal BMI ranges from 18-25. This indicates that the girls we see in magazines are at border line of underweight. The female readers consider that low BMI as normal and undermine their own BMI if it is above 18 and become dissatisfied with their bodies. Many casualties have been recorded because of Anorexia Nervosa and the most recent case study of Swedish Singer Javeria Munoz died in January 2018 because of extreme struggle of Anorexia Nervosa. Thus the role of media in shaping perceptions about body image is very important from the academic point of view.

Problem Statement

Popular fashion magazines contain messages focused on beauty and fashion, and exposure to such magazines has been correlated with higher weight dissatisfaction in women (Hawkins, 2004). The intention of the present study is to investigate the growing body dissatisfaction among female fashion magazine readers

Objectives:

  • To study body image perception in Pakistani females.
  • To explore figure dissatisfaction level among women in Pakistan as a result of Fashion magazine exposure.

Significance of the Study

The study and its result will be useful in understanding the affect of fashion magazine on Pakistani female readers. Extensive studies have been conducted in foreign countries on this topic so the present study will provide an in-depth framework of weight consciousness and figure dissatisfaction with in context of Pakistan.

Literature Review

Mass media have generally focused on advertisement and television programming and fashion magazines exploitation. According to Harrison & Cantor (1997) a number of studies is available to show the significant relation between consumption of fashion magazines and dissatisfaction among women and struggle to attain a desired ideal thin body.

The focal point of Rockwood (2003) is on the roles of individual with respect to the gender and stereotyped special roles to specific genders. Findings from the studies focus on the gender roles as women is specifically associated with housewife’s the only professional one are those who is single or divorced / widow. And the professional women are extremely thin, and in search of meaningful relation with man. Female body display and attractiveness in print media generally focus on unpleasant posturing, sexual facial expression.

GreenBerg et al., 2003, argue about the negative effects of television on women and ignores the print media. Even the content women watching in TV, portrays thin images of women which is not the size of average women and can cause vague self impression, low self esteem and increase in depression. The media is dominated by thin body types of women. Thin bodies are internalized as norms because media doesn’t show the average body or media represents limited representation of average body types in media. Through objectification media influences the self perception Green Berg et al., 2003. The large exposure of TV shows and magazines images that are mostly sexually objectified is directly proportional to individual’s state of self objectification. Greenberg focuses on the domination of thin bodies on media however researcher Aubrey (2009) also added in research about the body images as well as about the functions of the body.

According to Aubery et al., 2009, asked his participants to write 20 statements about themselves after watching that idealized pictures of women. Participants describe themselves more negatively in terms of how the body looks are rather then the functions of the body. However media lack the diversity of body images shown in media and focus on body appearance rather than function and performance of the media, but individuals still look toward media for the guidance of how they should look and how they can achieve that looks. Malkin et al., argues that all forms of media reinforce the appearance of thin bodies as the most important trait of women. Schwartz et al., 1982; find out the reason of struggling to attain the ideal body.

Dieting among women show highly personal effects of mass media, which every other individual feel because of media portrayal of women. 45% of all U.S. households had someday dieting that year According to a survey in 1978. 56% were on regular dieting. 76% of all the women aged 24 to 54,is on dieting said that they did so for beauty reasons rather than health reasons (Schwartz, Thompson, & Johnson, 1982). Hogg and Fargue (2003) also work on ideal images created in media, worked in dimension of health.

The media is very immature in representing the body images with is very unrealistic. Advertisement has been always known for the stereotyping, exploiting and presenting unrealistic images of women. The media focuses on thin ideal bodies and encourages women to become like that and do struggle for that and influence men focus on a woman’s appearance and body shape. In some magazines it is found that cultural messages was found and suggested that women should spend time on them and engage in behaviors that will make them more physically attractive.

According to Pollack Seid (1989) the popular media also creates a stereotype against women that heavy women does not lead normal, successful social life. They are commonly objectified as things which are not fit for love, and cannot complete sexual desires. Media also represents that thin bodies of women are loveable and girls with heavy physique are unlovable. Cash & Pruzinsky (1990) found that slim women are seen as glamorous people leading glamorous lives and heavy people are seen as lazy, unhappy people not worthy or able to lead a Glamorous life.

According to Maloney 2017 all mediums as YouTube channels, reality shows, dramas, movies, and social media obesity is being ridicule everywhere. Weight bias in media is been documented by Maloney. And it is being noted that prime time TV shows target the healthy and obese female characters and often rejected and teased by female characters and considers as fool in content and a reason of mockery in that content. As the children content is being evaluated then children cartoons and movies communicate negative messages about overweight and positive messages about ideal images especially of women as Barbie Doll. It is found that overweight cartoon characters are typically describe as unattractive, unintelligent, unhappy and cruel. In children movies, at least one character with obesity is involves to make fun of that character and disliked about 40% of children content. And in about 50% of children movies overweight character is shown as the one who is always thinking about eating food. Body image is a huge topic which is divided into many subtopics. Make up influence, dressing styles. But here the focus of research is on zero size body size and the role of social media in promoting it. However Dittmar (2009) focuses on the self image of a person according to the portrayal of individuals in media.

Knauss et.al 2008, focus of research is between negative self images of media on men and women. Media is actually making the awareness of ideal bodies. Mental and physical well being has been raised as an important side of body image. The media relation to the dissatisfaction level is focused and reviewed to discover social media creation of body perfect ideals and communicated by all forms of media so that a child receives ideal body images types at his childhood level, so the desire to have a thin body type is remain same at young age after exposure. (Dittmar, 2009). Kaarhe et al., 2010 focuses on the same phenomenon the negative effects of ideal images given by media.

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Photographs that are portrayed in mass media spark off women to assess their own body photo towards the normative requirements. Self-objectification theories aid the inclinations of people to examine their own bodies as an item of observation in preference to a growing and healthful human body. Humans see themselves as incomparable to the splendor requirements set forth by using the media, human beings tend to imagine their body as an object wherein they experience body shame, look tension, and decreased self esteem and lower self confidence. (Krahe & Krause, 2010).

Look for ladies’s societal success the significance the socio cultural impacts that make offerings to eating disorders and different associated behaviors greatly affect the success of women. Socio cultural pressures and the mass media are the most powerful of these pressures. certainly, one examine found that ladies magazines contained ten and a half instances more classified ads promoting weight loss than in guys magazines. Other studies observed that women who were exposed to media that are promoted by thin fashions produced an growth in down in the dumps, pressure, guilt, shame, lack of confidence, and frame dissatisfaction. (Caterina, Helan & Elizabeth, 2017).

At some stage in early youngsters girls turn out to be greater centered on their appearance, weight, and form as key elements in their identities. Women come to be concerned approximately the difference among their growing our bodies and the societal exceptional for female thinness. Those influences leave many girls liable and feeling that they will no longer prevail if they are now not skinny (Choate, 2007). According to Evans (2010) argues that negative and unrealistic expectations of beauty based on the articles gathered, mass media platforms such as television, magazines, movies, and social media exposure.

Female youngsters have been found to be greater associated with the terrible effects of the media. Furthermore, ladies have a tendency to be the goal achievable of what they observe as they are portrayed to take extra drastic measures in try to achieve the skinny body best. Additionally, adult males are slowly being extra exposed to the judgments of attractiveness and face comparable difficulties in seeking to achieve the impossible. Media has an extraordinary impact on teenagers’ perceptions on what masculanity honestly is. (Pearson, 2012)

The age and gender of adolescents affect their interaction with the media and ultimately lead to potential body dissatisfaction, dangerous eating habits, and behaviors. Twentieth and twenty-first century beauty industry advertising developed as a response to Victorian standards for women. Advertisers took advantage of the changing culture. Women were breaking free from the cultural expectations established by the Victorian idea about women being feeble and meek, as well as quiet and reserved socially outside of the home. In the 1860s and 1870s, ladies made actions in schooling. At the equal time, the mass production of ladies’s magazines came about with the onset of The Queen and Harper’s Bazaar. Beauty photographs in magazines aimed towards women started out at this factor. However, mass amounts of advertising aimed toward girls did no longer surface until the turn of the century. 6 inside the 20th century, advertisers extended the usage of guilt as a tactic so as to influence purchasers (BELL, Ditmaar 2011).

According to Kimberly et al; (2016) stated that ads started to provoke girls to scrutinize their look with a view to turn out to be a imaginative and prescient of actual femininity. In the Nineteen Twenties, women professed signs and symptoms of despair while it got here to the priority that they had over their physical look. In her e book elevating consumers, Lisa Jacobson writes about a high college lady’s diary access. She writes, “the diaries of Yvonne Blue and Helen Laprovitz, both high college students within the Nineteen Twenties, revealed an obsessive situation with physical look, peer approval, and the photograph they projected to the sector.” She argues that those ladies skilled times of prolonged “self-scrutiny.” She attributes this to the upward thrust in movies, mass-market advertising and marketing and celebrity way of life, all of which exhibits a beauty conscious society.

Richard (2014) discovered that in the first half of the 20th the century, marketing aimed at girls tried to persuade by using virtuous appeal. The ads asked girls to be socially conscious, mainly with the country wide demands of worldwide warfare II. Commercials referred to as on ladies 7 to consume in methods that labored for the betterment in their country. The implication changed into it changed into their patriotic duty to buy the right kind of soap or the maximum moral form of shoes.

Swiatkowksi 2016) stated that girls’ magazines, in all likelihood more 11 than every other shape of mass media, were criticized as being advocates and promoters of the desirability of an unrealistic and dangerously skinny best in the 1950s, marketing aimed toward girls shifted to perpetuate the idea of the ideal housewife. The shift happened in reaction to the purchaser-pushed mentality in US publish World War II. Nowadays, women’s magazines have focused closely on splendor in preference to home tasks or moral virtues. Magazines strain that virtue and heroism for ladies is based on beauty and a female’s capacity to maintain up her seems. The best splendor that is present in advertising today portrays a female who is skinny, young and without imperfection. Magazines promise ladies that they’ll tell them what guys need and a way to acquire it.

Fayezah Ansari says that “Drug abuse is the biggest hassle within the Pakistani style global,” she says. “drugs are used to dehydrate the body and kill appetite.” She offers examples of certainly skinny ladies inside the enterprise and additionally of fashions like Iraj, Nadia Hussain and ZQ who maintain their figures with the aid of exercise and food plan control. Terrible body photograph is prominent in consuming problems, because many humans with eating issues location a excessive price on their body shape and weight while determining their very own self esteem. An evaluation of anorexia nervosa is additionally steady with a disturbance inside the manner one’s body weight or shape is experienced or an inability to understand the seriousness of the modern-day low frame weight.

According to Abbey Rose Malleney (2017) provide a objectification idea to provide an explanation for how Western way of life may additionally make contributions to women and ladies having a tough relationship with their body, as a result leading to mental health troubles. They posit that during Western societies, ladies are challenge to cultural and interpersonal reports wherein the woman body is construed typically as an object that exists for the delight and use of others, to be inspected and evaluated.

Tension consists of the eagerness of threats and fear approximately when and how one’s body may be evaluated. (Malloney,2017). In line with Abbey Rose Maloney (2017), Kardashian are promoted on social media, having million of fans that is identified for their sexy figures. And promote implanted surgeries to grow to be attractive and also sell 4th wave of feminism wherein there body positivity and intercourse positivity most of the target audience.

Hypothesis

Women more exposed to fashion magazines are more dissatisfied with their body shape and weight.

Theoretical Framework

Cultivation theory posits that the more TV a person watches, the more that man or woman will consider television life is ‘real life’ (Evans, 2010) People that follow cultivation idea gives a proof of the connection among media and body photo consider that skinny pictures in the media lead human beings to consider the thin form is each sensible and best. If humans do undertake the thin body best, researchers would expect a positive connection in survey studies among duration of media exposure and endorsement of the maximum widely wide-spread frame kind portrayed through the media, the skinny girl.

The social cognitive principle assumes that humans analyze and undertake the behaviors of others Brozekowski & Bayer 2005. Proponents of social cognitive concept posit that young women find thin models in the media appealing and try to imitate them through weight-reduction plan and, subsequently, the improvement of consuming disorders. If younger ladies do try and imitate the figures they see on television and in magazines, they might exhibit a extra diploma of consuming pathology.

Conceptualization

In this research fashion magazine is independent variable and body dissatisfaction depends on the viewing of fashion magazines. After watching fashion magazines every girl showing their body with zero size or with implanted surgeries enlarged hips & breast and other parts as extra thin. These fashion magazines are confined women to these two types and exclude all others. Exposure to fashion magazine can cause body image dissatisfaction. According to Cash et al., 2004; Grogan 2008; says that body image is a person’s perception, Thought and feeling about his or her body and the psychological importance they place on their appearance. A core aspect of body image is the evaluation of of their body known as body dissatisfaction. According to Swiatkowski, (2016). body dissatisfaction is closely associated with the desire to be thinner. The words ‘‘body’’ and ‘‘image’’ is actually in conflict. ‘‘Body’’ is definite and more objective, ‘‘the physical structure of an organism.’’ Most responses of the body are predictable, such as reactions to cold, pain, pleasure, and hunger. ‘Image,’’ on the other hand, is subjective, comprising ‘‘mental representation, idea, or conception. Images derive from perceptions that are influenced by personal and cultural factors. Merging the meaning of these terms leads to ‘‘body image’’ as the ‘‘internal representation of one’s own outer appearance’’, which reflects physical and perceptual dimensions. Psychologist Jeffrey Hunger, told Reuters, “Labeling young girls as ‘too fat’ will never encourage positive health behaviors; it is simply going to result in poor body image, unhealthy weight control practices, and disordered eating.

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