Trends in Media and Body Dissatisfaction Essay

983 Words 4 Pages
A growing body of research suggests that media portrayal of the thin-ideal has negative effects on body satisfaction, but has this knowledge translated into practical solutions? First, this analysis will review literature describing the correlation between the media’s portrayal of thin-ideal and body dissatisfaction. Subsequently, a review of recent empirical studies about trends in media and body dissatisfaction will be presented. Finally, researchers’ recent implications of disparity in gender body dissatisfaction reporting will be summarized.
Many scholars find it problematic when the assumption is made that body image has worsened (and continues to worsen) for both genders over time. To have a clear understanding of the correlation
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Furthermore, women were found to be more satisfied with their bodies than men in 1966, and less-satisfied in 1996. Women’s psychological investment in their appearance is less pronounced than it was in early to mid-1990s. Other scholars argue that this may have served as a protective factor against a negative evaluative body image and its psychosocial consequences (Cash, Melnyk, & Hrabosky 2004).
Many studies have proposed that the concept of body comparison (i.e. the tendency of comparing one body with that of another) may be a potential mediator of sociocultural factors and body dissatisfactions in both genders (Berg, Paxton, Keery, Wall, Guo, & Neumark-Sztainer (2007). They contend that body comparison is based on the Social Comparison Theory (Festinger 1954) which represents the evaluative process that involves both seeking information and making judgments relative to others. It is important to note that the social comparison theory dictates that low body satisfaction is not necessarily caused by media portrayal, but rather by how we interpret what is portrayed. Thus, media portrayal of the thin-ideal does not produce the same effect in all individuals.
A study conducted by Knauss, Paxton, and Alsaker (2007) peruse the effect of sociocultural factors on

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