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HIGH SCHOOL DEPARTMENT

SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL

HOW THE MEDIA AFFECTS THE BODY IMAGE OF YOUNG


WOMEN

A Research Paper
Presented to the
High School Department - Senior High School
Ste. Anne de Beaupré School

In Partial of Fulfillment of
the Requirements in
Practical Research 1

Julia Dominique Yancha

Szania Leila Francisco

Sheena Damo

Victor Vince Tagle

March 2019

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Chapter 1

The Problem and Its Background

1.1 Introduction

In general, the word “media” may refer to various forms of mass communication

such as broadcasting, publishing, and the internet. Different forms of media have been

available to the general public through magazines, television, movies, video games, etc.

and our exposure to this has been even more prevalent in recent years due to the arise of

the internet and social media.

Plenty of these social media forms include models whose pictures are digitally

manipulated to look a certain way through the use of a computer editing software, thus

setting an unrealistic standard to follow. Media entertainment that includes fashion

models and the like affects body image negatively. Based on a survey conducted by

Psychology Today, 56% of women are dissatisfied with their bodies, and an

overwhelming 86% stated that they would like to lose weight. Similarly, those who have

been diagnosed by an eating disorder have reported that they have been highly influenced

by fashion models. It is estimated that 1%-3% of the population have an eating disorder

with women suffering from this 9 times more than men.

BID (Body Image Dissatisfaction) is most likely to affect young women who are

easily influenced by the unrealistic standards that the society set for the media which can

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harm them emotionally because are going through a critical developmental stage in their

life.

Due to the fact that these forms of media are easily accessible, anyone can view

this, including young women. According to an article by Cell Press, adolescence is a

sensitive period of brain development. Because of this, the researchers chose to conduct a

qualitative research young women specifically and learn about the different ways the

media affects them.

1.2 Theoretical Framework

Figure 1: Theoretical Framework Diagram

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The theories used to form the theoretical framework of our study is as follows:

Cultivation theory - a theory composed originally by G. Gerbner and later

expanded upon by Gerbner & Gross (1976 – Living with television: The violence

profile. Journal of Communication, 26, 76.) This theory suggests that television is

responsible for shaping, or ‘cultivating’ viewers’ conceptions of social reality. The

combined effect of massive television exposure by viewers over time subtly shapes

the perception of social reality for individuals and, ultimately, for our culture as a

whole.

Thin Ideal Internalization - the extent a person absorbs the thin-ideal

content showcased by media and integrates to his/her personal beliefs (Tiggemann,

2011)

Social comparison - the process whereby people compare themselves to the

idealized and normatized beauty patterns showcased by media (Tiggemann, 2011,

p.17). It also applies to comparison to peers or any other person.

Social learning/modeling - states that people learn how to behave based on

the explicit instructions provided by mass media. In this case, for example, learn what

is the ideal body, how to behave in order to achieve it, etc. (Levine & Harrison,

2009).

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Based on the figure shown (Figure 1) there are three sociocultural factors that are

shown that heavily influences individuals over ideals regarding body image: family,

peers, and media. Media is mentioned as the most prevalent among the three factors

mentioned.

What is generally shown in the media includes thin, white, and young women.

How the traditional media and its effects over BID (Body Image Dissatisfaction) have

been studied comprehensively studied and proven.

Women and adolescence are shown to be affected the most by BID when they are

exposed to the media. Comparing themselves to what the beauty ideals may cause

negative effects to how they physically perceive their physical selves.

It is important to notice that the media does not directly affect these individuals,

as stated by the Social Cognitive Theory (Bandura, 2009; Levine and Harrison, 2009) as

it says that individuals do not have to learn something directly to learn from it, their

behavior can be determined by cognitive factors, environmental factors, and behavioral

factors.

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1.3 Conceptual Framework

Beauty Ideals: Media Forms: Actions done to Effects:


meet the beauty
-Thin -Social Media -BID (Body
ideals:
Image
-Light Skinned -Magazines
Young - Dieting Dissatisfaction)
Women -Tall -Television - Cosmetic
-Eating
Surgery
-Films disorders

-Video Games -Depression

The conceptual framework of the researches showcases how beauty ideals shown in

media forms affect the behaviors of the participants and the overall effect it leaves on

them.

1.4.1 Statement of the Problem

There are other sociocultural factors that affect an individual’s body image such

as family and peers, but it is evident that the media poses a greater effect to the people in

developing BID (Body Image Dissatisfaction.) BID is closely linked to eating disorders

such as anorexia nervosa. Based on the several surveys and studies related to our topic,

what is shown in the media has greatly influenced how an individual see themselves and

that it has affected them negatively. Hence, the researchers would like to find out how the

media has affected the participants.

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1.4.2 General Objective

The general intent of this study is to determine the effects the media brings to

young women and how it affects how they perceive themselves.

1.4.3 Specific Questions

-What are the influences of the Media displaying the standard body image of young

women?

-How do they cope with the effects of having BID and/or an eating disorder?

-What are the similar occurrences that the respondents have when using difference forms

of media?

1.5 Scope and Delimitation

The general intent of this study is to learn about the ways media influences the

participant’s self-perception and what BID does to them; how it affects them emotionally

with the focus on student’s mental health and wellness.

This study will be conducted on female students of Ste. Anne de Beaupre School,

high school department who are exposed to different media forms and has confronted/are

confronting different problems related to body image.

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1.6 Significance of the Study

The purpose of this study is to raise the awareness of the effects of constant media

exposure to young women. To learn about the topic of body image is important because it

is something that is relevant in our society today. Problems such as eating disorders or

body image dissatisfaction affects millions of people, and to research about how it affects

them will bring us a step closer to learning more about these problems.

 The Media - this study may inform the media the importance of being responsible

in portraying women to help lessen the numbers of people dealing with these issues by

being more diverse and inclusive.

 Parents - this study may help parents be more aware and educated about body

image and how to help their child dealing with any possible issues.

 Young Women - this study may help women suffering from issues regarding body

image and understand how what is shown on different media forms may affect them. At

the end of this study, they will learn that what is portrayed in the media is not at all

realistic and is not something they should aim for.

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1.7 Definition of Terms

Anorexia Nervosa - an emotional disorder characterized by an obsessive desire to lose

weight by refusing to eat.

BID (Body Image Dissatisfaction) - the negative perceptions and feelings a person has

about their body and is influenced by factors such as body shape and appearance,

attitudes towards weight gain, and cultural norms in relation to an ideal body. (Peat,

Peyerl, & Muehlenkamp, 2008; Phillips & de Man, 2010; Slade, 1994; Slevec &

Tiggemann, 2011a).

Cultivation theory - a theory composed originally by G. Gerbner and later expanded

upon by Gerbner & Gross (1976 – Living with television: The violence profile. Journal of

Communication, 26, 76.) This theory suggests that television is responsible for shaping,

or ‘cultivating’ viewers’ conceptions of social reality. The combined effect of massive

television exposure by viewers over time subtly shapes the perception of social reality for

individuals and, ultimately, for our culture as a whole.

Media - refers to various means of communication. For example, television, radio, and

the newspaper are different types of media.

Social comparison - the process whereby people compare themselves to the idealized

and normatized beauty patterns showcased by media (Tiggemann, 2011, p.17). It also

applies to comparison to peers or any other person.

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Social learning/modeling - states that people learn how to behave based on the explicit

instructions provided by mass media. In this case, for example, learn what is the ideal

body, how to behave in order to achieve it, etc. (Levine & Harrison, 2009).

Social Media - Social media is a collection of Internet-based communities that allow

users to interact with each other online. However, the term is most often used to describe

popular social networking websites, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.

Thin Ideal Internalization - the extent a person absorbs the thin-ideal content

showcased by media and integrates to his/her personal beliefs (Tiggemann, 2011)

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Chapter II

Review of Related Literatures and Studies

2.1 Review of Related Literatures

2.1.1 It is suggested that social networking sites play an important role between the

connection between media and eating disorders.

Makwana et al. (2018) stated that social media affect adolescent girls adversely

because of its impact on their self-confidence and body satisfaction. Having a negative

perception on one’s self if more likely to be found in young women because, statistically,

they use image-based social media platforms more than boys. Based on the studies

conducted by different researchers, the mass media can impact young women directly or

indirectly. A study conducted by Becker et al. (2011) suggests that social networking

sites plays a vital role in the link between media and eating disorders and that it may

range up to the connection between media and body dissatisfaction.

2.1.2 Based on the social comparison theory, people will compare themselves to the

images they see on the media and will drive them to meet those goals.

Celebre & Denton (2014) speaks about the social comparison theory that states

that people will unconsciously differ and contrast between people and images that they

perceive to be realistic enough to achieve and to be driven to achieve those goals. This

means that when women see similarities between themselves and a model in an

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advertising campaign, they feel better about themselves rather than when they see little to

no similar traits.

2.1.3 The media focuses primarily on women’s body rather than the face

Bernard et al. (2014) states that the media focuses mostly on the body parts rather

than the face when portraying women, also referred to as “face-ism bias,” while this is

usually not found when males are depicted in different media forms.

2.1.4 Learning about body image will help in learning about how television affects

body image

Using the social comparison theory and critical viewing Botta (1999) collected

data from 214 girls in high school to learn about body image disturbance and thin ideal

endorsement in adolescents. The results of the study propose that processing body image

is the key to learning about how television affect’s young girls regarding body image.

2.1.5 Negative body image is associated with depression, anxiety, and becoming

suicidal.

Teenagers who suffer from having negative perceptions on their body image are

more likely to develop depression, anxiety, and become suicidal than those who have

little to no feeling of dissatisfaction over their physical appearance, even if they are

compared to teens with other psychiatric illnesses. This is according to a study conducted

by the researchers at Bradley Hospital, Butler Hospital, and Brown Medical School

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2.2 Review of Related Studies

2.2.1 There is a connection between body image concerns and media images in

women, studies show.

The aim of the study conducted by Grabe et al. (2008) is to discover how images

presented in the media affects the body image though a meta-analysis of 77 studies. The

findings show that there is a link between body image concerns in women and media

images.

2.2.2. Research suggests that the internalization of societal ‘thin ideals’ seems to be

the central mediator on body image.

The aim of the study conducted by Afri et al. (2005) is to explore the relationship

between awareness of a thin ideal, internalization of the thin ideal, and perceived

pressures to be thin, and body image. The study also has the aim to evaluate the relation

of these factors to age and ethnicity. The results of the study show that all of the three

sociocultural factors had significant connections with body mage statistically. Awareness

did not have a significantly stronger relationship to body image compared to

internalization and perceived pressure. The age or ethnicity of the participants was not a

statistically significant mediator of the links between awareness and body image or that

between internalization and body image. The internalization of societal ‘thin ideals’

seems to be the central mediator on body image.

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2.2.3 How adolescent males and females perceive their weight and appearance is

connected to unhealthy weight loss habits.

Flament et al. (2012) investigated the connection between weight esteem and

appearance esteem with ‘internalization of the ideal body figure’ and unhealthy weight

loss habits using the survey data among 810 adolescent males and 1137 adolescent

females. The study has shown that there is a relationship between weight esteem and

appearance esteem and unhealthy weight loss behaviors among both boys and girls.

2.2.4 Girls are more likely to be pressured to meet body ideals.

Knauss et al. (2007) studied about the connection between the internalization of

media body ideals, perceived pressure to meet these ideals, and body dissatisfaction in

adolescents. A total of 1610 adolescents (male and female) completed measures of

internalization of body ideals, perceived pressure, body mass index (BMI), and body

dissatisfaction. The results of this study showcased that girls reported higher body

dissatisfaction, internalization, and pressure to meet ideals than boys. Although both boys

and girls have reported body dissatisfaction, sociocultural factors potentially affect boys

and girls differently.

2.2.5 The media are one of the most influential factors on body image.

Thatcher & Rhea (2003) studied about the connection between what is believed to

primarily influence body image (media, family, and peers) and behaviors done in order to

achieve weight loss (dieting, exercise, laxatives) among the participants, both black and

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white, regarding their own body image. The results of the study showcased that more

than 40% of the participants reported concerns about their weight and reported weight

control behaviors. The study also showed that the most influential factors on body image

are the media and the family.

2.3 Synthesis

There is a connection between media images on body image concerns in women,

in fact, according to Thatcher and Rhea (2003), the media is one of the most influential

factors on body image and that social networking sites link the media with eating

disorders (Makwana, et al. 2018). Thin ideals are what primarily affect body image (Afri

et al., 2005) since it focuses more on portraying female bodies rather than faces (Bernard

et al., 2004). Girls are more likely to be pressured to meet certain rather than their male

counterparts (Knauss et al., 2007) and have the tendency to compare themselves to

images shown in the media and will try to see it as a goal to reach (Celebre and Denton,

2014.) Someone who is dissatisfied with their body are subject to developing depression,

anxiety, and being suicidal (Lifespan, 2006.)

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Chapter III

Methodology

3.1 Research Design

The researchers choose phenomenology as the study’s research design.

Phenomenology is an approach that concentrates on the study of consciousness and the

objects of direct experience (Oxford Dictionaries, 2019). Phenomenology because they

are searching for similar experiences between people who use difference forms of media

involving the concept of body image. Based on the researcher’s RRLAS, it is suggested

that women who use different media forms are likely to develop BID, and the researchers

ought to learn if this occurs within the scope of our study. Therefore, the researchers

would interview respondents to get more insights and to know the perspectives and

opinions regarding the matter.

3.2 Research Locus

The researchers conducted the survey in the high school building of Ste. Anne de

Beaupré School located at 80 Road 3, Project 6, Quezon City, Philippines. The

researchers selected a specific set of high school students to take the survey as

respondents of the research.

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3.3 Sample/Selection

The researchers choose purposive sampling as their sampling technique in the

research. A purposive sampling is a non-probability sample that is selected based on the

characteristics of a population and the objective of the study (Crossman, 2018). Purposive

sampling because the researchers aim to look for people who are fit to the criteria that is

related to the researcher’s study. Therefore, the researchers would only choose selected

students that are related to the study ‘How the Media Affects the Body Image of Young

Women.’

3.4 Data Gathering Instrument

The researchers formulated a set of questions for the respondents in which they

will answer via personal interview. These questions created for this study were created

through various online researches. The researchers gathered information through reliable

internet sources and articles. The interview will be performed on carefully selected

students of the students of Ste. Anne de Beaupre School in the high school department.

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