Relationship Between Mass Media’s Portrayal of the Female Body and Eating Disorders: How Girls are Affected - A Multicultural Approach. Presented by: Zaha Alsuwailan Donna Carnduff Delanna Reed Ai-Lun Wu. Judgments or comments from others Sexual and racial harassment Stigmatization
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Judgments or comments from others
Sexual and racial harassment
Prevailing social values
Physical changes in the body during puberty, menopause & pregnancy
How the individual feels about him/herself
Violence – verbal, physical or sexual abuse
Actual conditions of the body – illness or disabilities
Eating Disorders are used to overcome traumas such as sexual abuse, heterosexism, poverty, racism and class injuries.
1. Females are valued for their attractiveness
Whatever their race, class or ethnicity, most women growing up in North America learn to dislike their appearance and place a high premium on the cultural ideals of beauty.
2. Parental influences produce gender stereotypes
Parents describe infant daughters as beautiful, soft, and cute and rate their sons as stronger and hardier.
Research shows strong correlation between parental dieting efforts and encouraging a child to diet.
3. Fat is stigmatized
Western society promotes widespread hatred and fear of fat.
Studies show that children as young as 4 - 5 yrs. Old have developed extremely negative stereotypes about fat.
Fat people have lower rates of acceptance to college, reduced likelihood of being hired for jobs and lower rates of pay
4. Media Image
By high school, children have watched 15,000 hours of TV & spent 11,000 hours in school.
They have seen 350,000 advertisements, half of which are selling food. Over half of these commercials stress the importance of being thin and beautiful.
A study of three women's magazines reported that the percentage of thin female models rose from 3% in the 1950's to 46% in the 1980's.
5. Medical Profession
In spite of the evidence to the contrary, many health professionals and most people believe that body fat causes medical problems, and interpret "overweight" as a physical and psychological disease. In reality, many large women, pregnant or not, are quite healthy.
6. Negative Self-Image and Low Self-Esteem
The wide gap between the ideal of beauty for women and the reality that each woman must contend with leads many to think they have failed.
Feelings of failure lead to body image problems and periodic dieting and weight preoccupation that, in turn, lead to greater feelings of failure.
Twice as many young women as men do not feel good about themselves and young women's sense of self-esteem and self-confidence diminish as they grow older.
A study of young Native American women (Chippewa) found that 74% were trying to lose weight (Rosen et al., 1988).
In a recent study conducted through Essence Magazine, researchers found that black women engage in weight reduction behaviors as frequently or more frequently than white women.
A study on the influence of sexual orientation on body dissatisfaction showed that both lesbian and heterosexual women had comparable levels of body dissatisfaction.
A 10-year study of eating disorders in more than 2,000 girls (grades 4 through 12) found amongst 7th graders, more Hispanic girls reported frequent weight loss attempts over the previous year than did black or white girls.
Advertising is the most influential media in our culture
It reflects our daydreams, affects what we eat, what we wear, how we look and play.
In advertising, women receive more messages about slimness and staying in shape than men do, because thinness is associated with good health and attractiveness. In fact, images of thinness are a cause of the eating disorders of bulimia and anorexia.
According to Health magazine, Apr 2002
The concept of ideology reproduces relations of the domination of media
The hegemony theory emphasizes a wide array of cultural institution’s function within social reproduction in the entertainment media.
The critical theory suggest we study mass media in relation to the dominant social structure.
Patriarchal Culture: Men form the dominant social group.
Gender arrangement with respect to media
Social representation of the female body
Humanist Feminists’ focus on the role the body plays as part of feminine nature
Structuralist Feminists’ focus on how the body reflects the creation of her desires and attitudes towards herself
Myth #1: Overeating Causes Overweight
Animal research suggests at least 51 causes of overweight, including genetic, metabolic and other environmental factors.
Myth # 2: Dieting is Effective
Clinical studies show that up to 95% of dieters regain the weight lost, usually within the first year.
Myth #3: Dieting is Healthy
In addition to inadequate nutrition, dieting has been implicated in the development of weakness, fatigue, binge eating, bulimia, weight gain and obesity.
Myth # 4: Everyone Can Be Slim
Many researchers are suggesting that the body has a "set point" or biological control for the amount fat in the body; weight is determined predominately by genetics and early nutrition.