chapter  5
23 Pages

Media effects

This chapter investigates the impact of the media on body image. Many theorists have looked to the media in their efforts to understand the social pressures on men and women to be a particular shape and size. The role of the media in relation to the portrayal of the male and female body is widely debated. Most social commentators agree that the media reflects current social norms. Some have gone one stage further and suggested that media portrayal of slender body shapes can actually affect the ways that women and men feel about their body shape and size. Studying the content of media communications allows us to speculate about the role of the media in moulding and mirroring societal values around body image. Here we will investigate media portrayal of both the female and the male body, followed by an assessment of potential effects on the viewer’s body image.