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Influences of Media and Public Entities on the Body Image (Essay Sample)

Body image should be a very personal concept, yet in today\'s society it can be influenced strongly by public entities. Often this influence brings negative outcomes rather than positive. I need to write a paper addressing the concept of the body image, and how it has been affected negatively by the media and other public entities. source..
Influences of Media and Public Entities on the Body Image
Body image can be defined as the perception, both unconscious and conscious, of one`s own physical dimensions or body. It is the person`s perception of sexual attractiveness and aesthetics of their body. This physical appearance is perceived in relation to some cultural ideal or others. Researchers have pointed out that exposure to certain ideas can distort and shape our perceptions of reality. The media and other public entities, including the society, have driven a culture where one`s views of what men and women should look like have been warped.
The mass media has in the recent past hugely profiled ‘body perfect` ideals which are biologically and artificially inappropriate. Advertisements often depict ultra-thin women models and muscular media models. This has been linked with unhealthy eating habits and body dissatisfaction in men and women. There is also evidence of the negative effects of unrealistically sized toys and dolls, which are presented as role models to the children (such as action heroes and Barbie dolls). Women are more affected than men in this context of body image. Before the existence of mass media, people`s ideas about the body image were limited to their own communities. It is until 1839, the advent of photography, that people began to be exposed to images of bodies and faces.
Most of the media portrayal of body images is altered in many aspects so as to give a false picture. Body features are enhanced by lighting angles, props, and computer techniques. Blemish, wrinkles and any unwanted features are edited. This has created a message that one should try hard enough, suffer enough and spend enough, so that as to have the ‘model` look. This is has created a falsehood that shaping of the body will bring happiness and success and hence people have gone to all limits to make this happen.
The media is therefore a precursor to a wide array of unhealthy body related practices and behavior. These include; clinical eating disorders, problematic and unhealthy dieting regimes and behavior, extreme exercising, cosmetic surgery and unhealthy muscle enhancing practices in men (such us the use of steroids and supplements). The media portrayal of body image has also been linked with anxiety, low self-esteem and sexual dissatisfaction. All these pose a significant risk for mental health, physical health, and thus the well being of a person.
These detrimental eff...
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