Mass Media and Body Satisfaction in Young Women: An Exploration of Impacts
Marshall, Amy Kimberly
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The purpose of this study was to explore how the objectification of women’s bodies in mass media has impacted adolescent women’s body image, self-esteem, disordered eating, and social comparison in the hope that this exploration may assist in curbing this influence, as well to better support young women. The research questions were centered on the purpose: How does mass media impact body satisfaction in young women? How does internalization of media messages affect self-esteem and disordered eating patterns? What are the ways in which objectification of women’s bodies in the mass media impact body image and social comparison in young women? Aspects of objectification in advertisements in the history of mass media since the 1950’s to the present day are explored and social learning theory is presented. The ways in which exposure to mass media has affected women’s eating habits, negative body image, body dissatisfaction, and body dysmorphia are also explored. Implications for scholarly and professional action are offered. Scope and limitations of this study are also covered.