Media Likes To Eat Away At You
“If you have no other comparison then your own, you have all you need to succeed.“
I'm going to thoughtfully just start off by saying, I have nothing against dieting, exercise, getting healthy and shape. But I do believe that in today's society we have put such an overemphasis on that, instead of the emphasis on the self-image, mental health, and subsequent relationships of our more recent generations.
Candidly I hear more and more young men and women suffering from poor body image, this Self Esteem Issue is in contrast to some opinion due to many Different Causes.
there are many people who we encounter on a Daily basis who despite our contrast in body types, looks, and more we compare and they compare, And we continue the cycle of Body Shaming, and worse self destruction.
I Ran Across This While Researching the subject.
Info From - positivepsychologyprogram.com
Positive Body Image & Affirmations: A Good Idea?
Many people have found affirmations to be effective for addressing or managing a wide variety of issues, and PBI is no different. Positive, healthy affirmations can help you build a better body image, enhance your self-esteem, and boost your love, compassion, and respect for yourself.
example affirmations include:
My body deserves love.
I feed my body healthy nourishing food and give it healthy nourishing exercise because it deserves to be taken care of.
As long as I am good, kind, and hold myself with integrity, it doesn’t matter what other people think of me.
When I compare myself to others, I destroy myself, I don’t want to destroy myself so I’ll just continue on my journey, not worrying about other people’s journeys.
Just because someone looks perfect on the outside, doesn’t mean they have a perfect life. No one has a perfect life, we all struggle. That’s just what being human is.
I choose health and healing over diets and punishing myself.
Being skinny doesn’t make me good. Being fat doesn’t make me bad.
My body is a vessel for my awesomeness.
I deserve to be treated with love and respect and so do you. I choose to do and say kind things for and about myself and for and about others.
If none of these hit the spot for you, feel free to make up some of your own, personal affirmations. As long as they’re positive and rooted in the present, they’ll do!
Info Quoted From - https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov & Other Online Articles
What Is Body image?
Your body image is how you perceive, think and feel about your body. This may have no bearing at all on your actual appearance. For instance, it is ordinary in Western nations for women to believe they are larger and fatter than they really are.
Only one in five women are satisfied with their body weight. Nearly half of all normal weight women overestimate their size and shape. A distorted body image can lead to self-destructive behavior, like dieting or binge eating. Close to nine out of 10 adolescent women have dieted at least once in their lives.
Body image and self-destructive behavior
A poor body image can promote an unhealthy lifestyle. The urge to diet or use other potentially dangerous weight loss methods (such as fasting, smoking or laxatives) is almost always prompted by feeling unhappy with body shape or size.
It is well documented that even ‘moderate’ dieting increases the risk of developing an eating disorder among girls. If a woman feels self-conscious about her appearance, she may avoid exercising because it might mean exposing her body shape to the public eye. Alternatively, she might over exercise in a bid to lose weight quickly. Some studies indicate that a young woman’s body image is the single largest influence on her self-esteem. If she thinks she looks unattractive or fat, her self-confidence drops and this can impact on other areas of her life.
Causes of negative body image
Some of the factors that contribute to a negative body image include:
being teased about appearance in childhood
growing up with dieting parents, or one who was unhappy with their body shape
a cultural tendency to judge people by their appearance
peer pressure among teenage girls to be slim, go on diets and compare themselves with others
media and advertising images promoting thinness as the ideal
a tendency in women’s media to push fad diets and weight loss programs
well-meaning public health campaigns that urge people to lose weight.
Improving your body image
A negative body image develops over the course of your life, so changing it can take time and effort. Suggestions for improving your body image include:
Reflect on your experiences and try to unravel the development of your body image from childhood.
Talk about feelings and experiences with other women who have similar concerns.
Make a pact with yourself to treat your body with respect, which includes giving it enough food and rest.
Give yourself a break from women’s magazines and the mass media for a while.
Try some form of physical activity purely for the fun of it, not as a means of weight loss.
Stop weighing yourself.
Change your goal from weight loss to improving your health.
Get informed by reading up on body image issues.
Get help for improving your body image
If you feel depressed about your body, or if you start bingeing or fasting, then professional help is a good idea. There are counselors and psychologists trained in the area of body image who can guide you in changing negative beliefs and behaviors. If you are a chronic crash dieter you might need assistance from a dietitian or psychologist to introduce healthier ways of eating and of relating to and caring for your body.
the studies of body image — how people perceive their bodies and how these opinions develop — was pioneered by Paul Schilder in the 1920's. His working definition of body image was "the picture of our own body which we form in our mind, that is to say, the way in which the body appears to ourselves" (as quoted in Grogan 2008, p. 3). Many contemporary researchers feel that this definition downplays the complexity of the field since body image can refer to a variety of concepts from judgments about weight, size, appearance, and normality, to satisfaction with these areas. The term "body image" includes both how people perceive their bodies cognitively and also how they feel about their bodies. Studies of body image show that it influences many other aspects of life. People live their lives in bodies, and understanding how they experience embodiment is crucial to understanding their quality of life (Pruzinsky & Cash, 2002). Dissatisfaction with one's body image can lead to many problems, ranging from depression to low self-esteem and eating disorders.
People feel increasingly pressured by the media about their bodies. The average person is exposed to thousands of beautiful images weekly, and these images reflect an unreal body image that becomes more and more removed from the reality of contemporary people, who on average weigh more and exercise less than people did decades ago. At the same time, bodies depicted by the media have become thinner and fitter. Pressure about body image is not new, and even in the days before the electronic mass media expanded to its current size and speed, messages about body image were carried in magazines, books, newspapers, and — looking back even further — in paintings and drawings. Modern-day media do have a financial investment in promoting body dissatisfaction. Advertising revenues from the body industry contribute a great deal to media profits. This connection means that the link between media and body image is a health issue but also raises questions about the end results of consumer culture.
Changing Body Norms In The Media
The ideal body presented by the media has become thinner since the 1960's, particularly for women. At the same time, Americans have become much heavier. Since the 1980’s, the percentage of overweight and obese children has doubled and that of overweight and obese teenagers has tripled. Adults show similar trends; over thirty percent of adult Americans are obese (Ogden et al., 2012). The trend toward thinner and thinner models has developed slowly since the early 1900’s. In the 1920's through magazines and in the new medium of film, a thinner, almost androgynous female form was promoted, epitomized in the flat-chested flapper. The ideal female form became curvier during the hard times of the Great Depression in the 1930's, although it remained relatively slender through World War II. The postwar revival of domesticity led to the media hyping heavier, ultra-feminine images such as Marilyn Monroe, with larger breasts and hips but small waists. This was only a temporary interruption of the century's trend toward increasingly thin bodies as the ideal. Models shrank more throughout the 1980's and 1990's. In these latter decades, models also became fitter, adding muscles and tone to the preferred image. Images of men have followed the same pattern since the 1980's with male models displaying slightly less fat, much more muscled bodies. A study comparing the changing body-mass index of Miss America contestants, Playboy and Playgirl centerfolds, and average Americans and Canadians since the 1960's found that especially during the 1980's and 1990’s, the female centerfolds became dangerously thin, while male models increased in size, and average people gained weight (Spitzer & Henderson, 1999). Through changing norms of beautiful images, women are told to be thin; men are told to have little body fat and sculpted muscles (Grogan, 2008; Hesse-Biber, 2007; Soulliere & Blair, 2006).
Modern people live media-saturated lives. Studies suggest that over 80% of women and girls read fashion magazines, most people watch 3 or 4 hours of television a day, and people are exposed to countless images while walking down the street, glancing through the newspaper, and browsing online. This constant exposure affects viewers. Studies suggest that the effect is felt in several areas. People compare themselves to images, internalize these idealized images as the norm, and absorb the message that they should judge themselves based on their appearance. This process of comparison, internalization, and acceptance leads to other effects: distortion of accurate body perception (for example, girls who are normal weight may think they are overweight), negative emotional effects, a tendency to overemphasize messages about appearance, and changes in eating and exercise habits (Tiggemann, 2002).
Psychological Theories On How Media Affects Body Image
The effect of media on body image is complex; it is not simply the equation that exposure makes people feel worse about their own bodies. For one thing, people are not affected equally by exposure to media images. Some react quickly and strongly to beauty images and others are resistant. Some of the difference in reactions to media images has to do with people's individual traits. People who are more self-conscious, who place more importance on appearance, who are heavier, and who have symptoms of eating disorders are more swayed by these images (Tiggemann, 2002).
Three psychological theories are particularly useful in understanding how media images affect people differently:
Social comparison theory was developed by Leon Festinger in the 1950's. Festinger theorized that to evaluate themselves, people compare themselves to others. Psychologists have expanded this theory and suggested that people compare themselves not only to others in face-to-face interactions but also to media images.
Self-schema theory says that people develop a sense of self by considering what makes them unique and valuable and arranging these into schemas, which are used to process social encounters. Some people prioritize appearance in their self-schemas; these people are more likely to place more importance on media images and messages about body image.
Self-discrepancy theory says that people carry an idealized image of the person they want to be; discrepancies between this ideal and their perceptions of themselves can cause them unhappiness and stress. Media images can contribute to the formation of the idealized image (Grogan, 2008).
Studies have shown that women identify the media as the major source of the perceived social pressure to maintain a thin body image. Thin models are a major source of this pressure; in one study women who viewed images of heavier models were less likely to judge their own bodies negatively (Posavac, Posavac & Weigel, 2001).
Cusumano and Thompson (2001) developed the Multidimensional Media Influence Scale (MMIS) to measure media effects on body image in children. Their research indicated that media effects occur in three distinct areas: awareness, internalization, and pressure. These areas capture the extent to which children are aware that the media promote thinness as an ideal, the extent to which they internalize this ideal as applying to themselves, and the extent to which they feel pressured by the media to conform to the idealized image. Interestingly enough, Cusumano and Thompson found that these three items vary independently; that is, it is possible to be aware of media images without internalizing them. Children who internalized media images were most likely to feel dissatisfied with their own bodies.
Thank You For Reading
~ James Knox