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Relationship Between Mass Medias Portrayal of the Female Body and Eating Disorders: How Girls are Affected - A Multicultural Approach Presented by: Zaha.

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Presentation on theme: "Relationship Between Mass Medias Portrayal of the Female Body and Eating Disorders: How Girls are Affected - A Multicultural Approach Presented by: Zaha."— Presentation transcript:

1 Relationship Between Mass Medias Portrayal of the Female Body and Eating Disorders: How Girls are Affected - A Multicultural Approach Presented by: Zaha Alsuwailan Donna Carnduff Delanna Reed Ai-Lun Wu

2 Body Image is Shaped by Many Factors Judgments or comments from others Sexual and racial harassment Stigmatization Prevailing social values Physical changes in the body during puberty, menopause & pregnancy Socialization How the individual feels about him/herself Violence – verbal, physical or sexual abuse Actual conditions of the body – illness or disabilities Eating Disorders are used to overcome traumas such as sexual abuse, heterosexism, poverty, racism and class injuries.

3 Social Influences/Causes 1. Females are valued for their attractiveness Whatever their race, class or ethnicity, most women growing up in North America learn to dislike their appearance and place a high premium on the cultural ideals of beauty. 2. Parental influences produce gender stereotypes Parents describe infant daughters as beautiful, soft, and cute and rate their sons as stronger and hardier. Research shows strong correlation between parental dieting efforts and encouraging a child to diet.

4 Social Influences/Causes 3. Fat is stigmatized Western society promotes widespread hatred and fear of fat. Studies show that children as young as yrs. Old have developed extremely negative stereotypes about fat. Fat people have lower rates of acceptance to college, reduced likelihood of being hired for jobs and lower rates of pay 4. Media Image By high school, children have watched 15,000 hours of TV & spent 11,000 hours in school. They have seen 350,000 advertisements, half of which are selling food. Over half of these commercials stress the importance of being thin and beautiful. A study of three women's magazines reported that the percentage of thin female models rose from 3% in the 1950's to 46% in the 1980's.

5 Social Influences/Causes 5. Medical Profession In spite of the evidence to the contrary, many health professionals and most people believe that body fat causes medical problems, and interpret "overweight" as a physical and psychological disease. In reality, many large women, pregnant or not, are quite healthy. 6. Negative Self-Image and Low Self-Esteem The wide gap between the ideal of beauty for women and the reality that each woman must contend with leads many to think they have failed. Feelings of failure lead to body image problems and periodic dieting and weight preoccupation that, in turn, lead to greater feelings of failure. Twice as many young women as men do not feel good about themselves and young women's sense of self-esteem and self- confidence diminish as they grow older.

6 Poor Body Image Affects All Women A study of young Native American women (Chippewa) found that 74% were trying to lose weight (Rosen et al., 1988). In a recent study conducted through Essence Magazine, researchers found that black women engage in weight reduction behaviors as frequently or more frequently than white women. A study on the influence of sexual orientation on body dissatisfaction showed that both lesbian and heterosexual women had comparable levels of body dissatisfaction. A 10-year study of eating disorders in more than 2,000 girls (grades 4 through 12) found amongst 7th graders, more Hispanic girls reported frequent weight loss attempts over the previous year than did black or white girls.

7 The Power of Advertising Advertising is the most influential media in our culture It reflects our daydreams, affects what we eat, what we wear, how we look and play.

8 Perfection

9 Women in Advertising Media portrays women in debilitating, demeaning and inaccurate ways It presents women as flawless, decorative objects, dependent on men and it ignores the complexity of womens lives.

10 Women Dependent on Men Womens Place is at Home

11 Stereotypes Womens place is at home Women need to depend upon men Women do not make independent decision Women view themselves and are viewed as sex objects.

12 Women are Decorative/Sex Objects

13 Women are Shown… Women are shown as less authoritative, active, powerful, rational, decisive, and more concerned with youth and with their attractiveness. Women are depicted as less intelligent than men and tend to have subservient occupations.

14 Beauty Myth Models present a new melting pot of beauty ( all colors, all creeds, all ethnicity -and all still young, thin, and flawless). Advertising portray women as white with white standards of beauty derived from myths of whiteness.

15 Women are Flawless

16 Cultivating Images of Thinness In advertising, women receive more messages about slimness and staying in shape than men do, because thinness is associated with good health and attractiveness. In fact, images of thinness are a cause of the eating disorders of bulimia and anorexia.

17 Thin is Beautiful Thinness is Associated with Health

18 Ads and Articles in 48 Womens Vs. 48 Mens Magazines Alcoholic Bev Female: Green Male: Blue

19 Magazine Models 8/48hours/main shtml 8/48hours/main shtml

20 Factoids 32% of female TV network characters are underweight; 3% overweight 5% of females in U.S. are underweight; 25% overweight 90% of people with eating disorders are women According to Health magazine, Apr 2002

21 Factoids Depression & low self-esteem pervasive problem for American women Lower income women more likely to have low self-esteem Younger women more depressed than older 43% of women ages report severe depression in a given week National Survey of Womens Health

22 Magazine Images on Perfection

23 Factoids 80% of American women dissatisfied with body 42% 1 st -3 rd grade girls want to be thinner 81% 10 year olds are afraid of being fat 5-10 million girls and women struggling with eating disorders According to National Eating Disorders Association

24 Factoids MTV is the favorite TV show for girls age % of the top 100 music videos shown on MTV were directed by men Individuals who immigrate to the U.S. under the age of 17 are more predisposed to develop an eating disorder. Only 15 min of exposure to beauty advertisements cause girls to perceive that beauty is even more important to their popularity with boys.

25 Real or Not? RealNot

26 Factoids Adolescents Trying to Lose Weight 32.7% Asian-American 31.9% African-American 36.1% Hispanic/Latino-Americans 34.9% White-Americans

27 Ethnicity and Eating Disorders: A Multicultural Approach Factors considered: Socioeconomic Levels Cultural Beliefs (vs. culture change) Oppression Immigration

28 White Adolescents and Eating Disorders Historically upper-class, suburban, whites only diseases Depression brought on by low self-esteem directly linked to binge eating White teens relate to whiteness culture more than girls of color More opportunities in the workplace creates more pressure

29 Black Adolescents and Eating Disorders Socioeconomic level can determine type of eating disorder Acculturation to mainstream culture increases risk Struggle with self-identity & self-esteem Increasing trend of Black boys dating white girls Limited studies exist for Black teens and eating disorders Unrealistic media models (Halle Berry, Naomi Campbell)

30 Asian Adolescents and Eating Disorders Patriarchal culture attributes to loss of control Family harmony is often at the expense of women Traditional family support deeply ingrained Emotional control considered a mature trait Expectations to be petite and small

31 Hispanic/Latino Adolescents and Eating Disorders Clash of cultures may precipitate the development of an eating disorder. Strive to mirror unrealistic media models (J Lo, Penelope Cruz Depression caused by low self-esteem directly related to bulimia Increase in family and peer pressure to be thin Believe that large women not taken as serious in workplace.

32 Native Indian Adolescents and Eating Disorders Acculturation to mainstream culture is possible reason for increase of disease Teens who move from reservations are more susceptible High prevalence of obesity caused by unrealistic expectations

33 A Theoretical Background in Media & Culture The concept of ideology reproduces relations of the domination of media The hegemony theory emphasizes a wide array of cultural institutions function within social reproduction in the entertainment media. The critical theory suggest we study mass media in relation to the dominant social structure.

34 A Theoretical Background in Media & Culture Patriarchal Culture: Men form the dominant social group. Gender arrangement with respect to media Social representation of the female body

35 A Theoretical Background in Media & Culture Feminist Theories Humanist Feminists focus on the role the body plays as part of feminine nature Structuralist Feminists focus on how the body reflects the creation of her desires and attitudes towards herself

36 Synthesis of the Theories Power and hegemony Objectification as a form of oppression Women as media objects

37 Body Myths Myth #1: Overeating Causes Overweight Animal research suggests at least 51 causes of overweight, including genetic, metabolic and other environmental factors. Myth # 2: Dieting is Effective Clinical studies show that up to 95% of dieters regain the weight lost, usually within the first year. Myth #3: Dieting is Healthy In addition to inadequate nutrition, dieting has been implicated in the development of weakness, fatigue, binge eating, bulimia, weight gain and obesity. Myth # 4: Everyone Can Be Slim Many researchers are suggesting that the body has a "set point" or biological control for the amount fat in the body; weight is determined predominately by genetics and early nutrition.

38 What Teachers Can Do Encourage girls to take healthy, adventurous risks Create welcoming space for girls in the classroom Take sexual harassment seriously Encourage self-reliance Bring girls into classroom discussions Develop awareness of your own gender biases

39 Institute Beyond Dieting Programs Target pre-adolescent girls because they are not yet as concerned about body image and weight concerns as adolescents. Target young men to shift men's attitudes about female beauty Teachers and parents also need education in order to reinforce and support the in-school curriculum Wage a campaign to get your schools administration involved.

40 Resources Kilpatrick, Ohannessian, Bartholomew, 1999 Body Image by Sara Grogan Health Magazine, Apr 2002 Culture and Eating Disorders: A Historial and Cross-Cultural Review, Miller and Pumariega, Psychiatry 64(2) Summer 2001 Perry, T and Fraser J (1993) Freedoms Plow., Routledge, Chapter 12 Kincheloe,J and Steinberg,S (1997) Changing Multiculturalism, Philadelphia, Open University Press.

41 Resources Media Education Foundation, 1995 Durham M and Kellner,D (2001)Media and Cultural Studies, Massachusetts, Blackwell Publishers Inc. A Way Outta No Way Eating Problems Among African-American Women, Latinas and White Women by Becky Wangsgaard Thompson

42 Using the Media To Fight Media? Real Women Have Curves

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