Eating Disorders And The Media Essay

3346 words - 13 pages

Eating Disorders and the Media

Question:
How does the media alter the perceptions of adolescents' body image? & How does this exposure to the "ideal body" lead adolescents to develop eating disorders?

Hypothesis:
Media exposure creates an ideal body image that is not easily maintained by most adolescents and causes adolescents to be dissatisfied with their bodies and leads to unhealthy diet habits and other more sever eating disorders.

Logic of Study:
What if the media was limited to adolescents, would they be less likely develop an eating disorder or would they just in fact have there own thoughts creating the "actual self". Adolescents tend to have their own perceptions of what they want their bodies to look like and with the media's influence the develop eating disorders. The media's functions include entertainment, sensation, and in many ways a good source to learn cultural and societal lifestyles that are lived by other boys and girls of their ages.
Today we see many adolescent boys and girls consumed in what they should look like. Media exposure such as, television, movies, magazines, advertisements, and beauty pageants use models that are very thin, in shape and are to what the media portrays the ideal bodies of an adolescent. The purpose of this study is to measure the media's influence on eating disorders. I will focus a great deal on adolescent's eating disorders in regards to the "actual self"(what is practical) and the "ideal self" (what should be) of the perfect body.
Method:
Using a questionnaire I will screen forty boys and girls from sixteen to about the age of twenty-one as potential participants for my study. I will ask questions about their bodies and who or what has given them reason to want to change or not change their bodies. The second part will be to depict an even amount of boys and girls for the study with at least two males and females to represent the ages I am using for the study.
The third part is to divide the chosen participants into two groups one the controlled group and the other the experimental group. Both groups will keep a journal of how their perceptions of themselves chance over the course of the experiment. There will also be group discussions on how we view our bodies with both groups separately. The group discussions will focus on what the adolescents feel their bodies are the actual self and what they ought to look like with very little influence from the media.
The control group will be given television shows to watch like, Baywatch and magazines like, Cosmopolitan and GQ to read this, will allow me to as they watch and read measure the discrepancies of their ideal self vs. their actual self. The discussions in this group will also include a hidden agenda bringing up talk of media influences with regards to the ought self and the ideal self."
In closing the study will end in a comparison of the data from both the experimental and control group. To measure how...

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