The Power of the Media with Body Image

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CHC Poll Question: Does the media make you feel inclined to change yourself? 20% of people said no 80% of people said yes

The idea of body image is very controversial within the media. Several people were interviewed on the way the media affects the way they view themselves and others.

Nadia Norman (20’) finds herself becoming self-conscious due to images she views on the media. She stated that “when I saw a photo of a dancer, I was immediately jealous of how fit she was.” This caused her to want to begin living a healthier lifestyle and potentially become more fit. If she could change the way that women were portrayed in the media, she would want more diverse models so that everyone can find someone that looks similar to them. It saddens her that because of the media there is a specific definition of “perfection” that most people want to achieve. 

Caroline Dixon (20’) has noticed during her time spent on social media that many women resort to photoshopping their photos and setting unrealistic images of themselves. For example, many women photoshop themselves to make clearer skin, a skinnier figure, or even more curves and features. She tries to not allow these photos to incline her to change herself and her appearance. If she was able to change the way women are portrayed within the media, she would reduce the amount of criticism women are receiving and allow women of all shapes and sizes to be represented within the media. She feels that the idealistic “perfect” image of women, displayed in the media, is a flat stomach, thin waist, large breasts, and clear skin. 

Madeline Ripa (20’) finds herself becoming self-conscious in the Summer when she is on social media due to the women posting pictures in bikinis. After seeing several “bikini body” photos she feels inclined to work out and become thinner, however, she never pursues it. She hopes the variation in sizes of models will one day increase and there will be less “perfect” models. 

Mrs. Stone has had to restrain from reading Women’s magazines because she believes that all they talk about is the things that you are not doing well, such as being a bad mother or a bad wife, instead of being positive and encouraging. However, reading these magazines somewhat made her change the way she looks at herself. She feels that it allowed her to be more forgiving and accepting of who she is. She believes that although the way that women are portrayed in the media is getting better (more diverse women of all shapes and sizes), there is still a stereotype that exists. The idea of women needing to wear makeup constantly and having a superficial image of “beautiful,” causes many women to become self-conscious. 

Mrs. Johnson, agreeing with many, hopes to one day notice more of a representation of all body types and more of a realistic look for women. Mrs. Johnson believes that everyone is perfect in their own way and the media should do a better job of demonstrating that.