Perception of beauty in the eyes of the media

Topics: Mass media, Body shape, Advertising Pages: 5 (1727 words) Published: October 10, 2013
Introduction
This is a research based on the perception of beauty that has been portrayed by the media and whether or not it is right. In this proposal, the different views and opinions of different experts will be argued and the media’s idea of “perfection” will be questioned.

Another issue that would be touched on would be whether or not images of “perfection” is healthy to the mass audience who is on the end of receiving and how these images affects many people from adults to teenagers and even young kids of age 5-7.

1.Personal experiences and perspective
The reason I chose this topic to write on is because this is a problem that has been around for a long time and I believe many of us are faced with the same issue of whether or not those images we have been made to believe are “ perfect”, is really perfect.

As a young girl myself, I have been faced with the same questions that many girls out there faces. It has been hard to accept how I look and the size I am because of the images the media has been feeding me with. Fitting into size S from a size L is no longer enough to keep me satisfied, I yearn to fit into clothes which are marked XS or size 2/4.

As a researcher, this topic has always been on the top of my list. I had always had a keen interest on why people are the way we are. Why we get so affected by the images we are shown and why we aim to be “picture perfect” when we are not. That is why I picked this topic to write and research about.

2.Research topic and field
My research topic is: The perception of beauty in the eyes of the media.

And the field that I am researching on is: Communications and media.

3.Locating research literature
My emphasis is based on past studies regarding similar issues. I did my research on past journals and newspaper articles on this issue. What I did mainly was content analysis on media and communication based mostly on the stereotype of the “ideal image” that has been portrayed. It has been more of qualitative texts that I have gone through in the process of coming up with this research.

4.Literature review
The perception of beauty through the eyes of the media
Men and women these days face a lot of pressure to look good due to the images portrayed by the media. It has been found by Kirkwood (2005) that our culture has become so obsessed with “the image”, so much that if “the image” is right, reality does not matter.

The media has stereotyped “the image” of perfection by portraying images of men and women whose pictures have been edited to look flawless. Women who look like they are of size 0, or men who look like they have been living in a gym all their life. Stereotyping of “the image” has been caused by the media’s belief in the myths of how a person is supposed to look. It has been shown through the countless advertisements on television and magazines that perfection is only when one is able to look like the stars or models that are on the covers.

Swinson (2006) examined the image of beauty that has been shown to us by the media and advertisements. She presented a portfolio of 172 studies to the Advertising Standards Authority. Many of her studies showed that over a long run, viewing pictures of these "perfect" bodies would leads to severe pressures in adults and even children. One of her studies reported on girls aged 5 to 7 who, when exposed to images of thin dolls like Barbie, said they wanted to look thinner compared with those who saw dolls with a healthier body shape.

Regarding people who are unable to achieve “the image” due to time constrains or lack of motivation, they turn to unhealthy measures to try and attain these “desirable” bodies, which we beg to ask, is it the right way? Mcferran, Dahl, Fitzsimons and Morales (2010) examined how the body type of consumers actually affects the consumption of food of the people around them. They have found that consumers base the quantity of food they order on...
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