Friday, October 30, 2009

Survey Update!

Eating disorders are on the rise. Many of these disorders are tied to ones body image. Concurrently, the amount of media has increased. There is more easy access to media than ever before.
The goal of this survey was to determine (1) the types of media a participant viewed, specifically focusing on magazines, television, and music, (2) a persons perception of their body image,(3) if there was a correlation between the type of media a participant viewed and there body image, (4) if a correlation is present, weather it is negative or positive.
An open survey was selected for the data collection strategy. This was done so that a wide range of the population sampled and their responses analyzed. Participants were recruited through three primary methods (1) using the CSU Fullerton Irvine Campus email network, (2) using social networking sites,and (3) conducting in person interviews at CSU Fullerton Irvine Campus. These methods of data collection were selected so as to avoid a biased sample. A sample of 50 participants were selected to take part in the survey. With the quota selected of twenty-five males and females.
The design of the survey consisted of fourteen questions. The first four questions focused to identify demographic groups. The demographic questions asked participants for there age, gender, ethnicity and race, and sexual orientation. Questions five through ten asked participants for the types of media, magazines, television shows, movies, music, and music videos that the participant is exposed too. The last three questions were to determine the participants body image. This was achieved by asking (1) how they would rate their body on a numerical scale 1-10, (2) how in a brief description how they felt about a body, and (3)what part they would change about their bodies. The last question asked participants how they would describe the bodies the have seen in mass media.
Data Collection and analysis still in progress.
While data analysis and collection is still in progress preliminary results suggest a slight correlation between unsatisfactory body image and viewership of magazines, television shows, and music where an unrealistic FEMALE body image was portrayed. While examination of the data shows that media influences male body image, in a negative manner, not enough of a male sample has been collected for meaningful analysis.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Video From CNN - Glamour Magazine: "Women Come in All Sizes"

Postpartum Bodies

Oct 28th class discussion:

Postpartum Bodes

Breaking News! Amazing Feat: Model Heidi Klum has returned to her pre-baby weight and hits the catwalk just 7 weeks after giving birth!!!
Today's media over glorifies the ability of celebrity mothers to lose baby weight quickly after giving birth, often painting them in a heroic light for the ability to do so. Unfortunately, for regular mothers who do not have the same resources at their disposal such as dietitians, personal trainers, child care, money, and time, are holding themselves to this impossible standard. Furthermore, even after the miraculous weight loss, the media still airbrushes what they consider to be the most minuscule of flaws. This provides an EVEN MORE unrealistic standard on regular moms that celebrities with such ample resources cannot even achieve.
Prospective mothers, pregnant women, and moms everywhere are constantly flooded with this unrealistic pressure to be thin after child birth, through television, magazines, and even in the midst of friendly conversations by the water cooler. These women already have to worry about the pressures and responsibilities of new motherhood, which in itself would cause a great deal of stress.
In fact, this could possibly be a contributing factor to the number of mothers who develop postpartum depression after child birth. According to the National Institute of Health, in April 2005, 10-15% of mothers will develop postpartum depression one month to one year after giving birth. It is too much to ask a woman who has just put a tremendous pressure on her body by giving birth to worry about getting rid of stretch marks and baby weight when they are already constantly feeling the anxiety of raising a newborn as well as maintaining current occupational, social, and personal responsibilities.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Melissa's updates as of 10/21/09

Here is are two time-lines of beauty standards dating back to the 15th century:

Also, I found an article from a Canadian online news source called Ontario Women's Directorate:

History of Body Image

Concepts of beauty change over time. Different societies have had diverse notions about beauty, demonstrating how ideals are socially constructed. Prior to the 20th century, Europeans and North Americans admired larger women because it was believed that they were better able to bear children. Pictures of Victorian women demonstrate the popularity of the curved figure, achieved by wearing a corset. Chinese foot-binding, where girls feet were bound to keep them small, demonstrates that a woman's beauty was valued more than her ability to walk. Despite the serious health consequences, this practice was encouraged and expected of women. Being larger, smaller, taller, shorter, darker, lighter, older or younger has been admired by different people in different times.

A preoccupation with body image is often socialized in girls from the time they are very young. Parents may describe their infant daughters as sweet and delicate, and their sons as strong and active. Through this type of socialization, children of both sexes learn that girls are valued for being beautiful and boys are valued for being strong.

Images of women are used to sell everything from food to cars. Popular film and television actors are typically tall, thin and fit. Magazines are full of ideas about dieting and "how to look good".

Media images of female beauty are unrealistic and unattainable for the majority of women. Sadly, the number of girls and women who seek a similarly underweight body is growing, and in that quest they can suffer devastating health consequences. Girls and women go to great lengths to change their body to reflect what they see on TV and in magazines. Chemical hair straightening/curling, cosmetic surgery, breast implants, liposuction, and hair removal products are just a few examples.

Messages about being thin, dieting, and beauty tell women that they are always in need of adjustment – and that the female body is an object to be perfected. The media often reinforces the importance of a thin body as a measure of a woman's worth.

Did you know...
Half of young Canadian women aged 14 to 18 believe they are too fat; approximately 44% of them are dieting. [Currie, C., Editor (1989). Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children. A WHO Cross-National Study.] More than 40% of nine-year-old girls have already dieted. At age 13, 42% of female students say they want to lose weight; at age 15, 48% want to lose weight [Currie, C., Editor (1989). Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children. A WHO Cross-National Study.]

I got a description of the history of beauty from Wikipedia:

History of beauty

There is evidence that a preference for beautiful faces emerges early in child development, and that the standards of attractiveness are similar across different genders and cultures.[4] Symmetry is also important because it suggests the absence of genetic or acquired defects. Although style and fashion vary widely, cross-cultural research has found a variety of commonalities in people's perception of beauty. The earliest Western theory of beauty can be found in the works of early Greek philosophers from the pre-Socratic period, such as Pythagoras. The Pythagorean school saw a strong connection between mathematics and beauty. In particular, they noted that objects proportioned according to the golden ratio seemed more attractive. Ancient Greek architecture is based on this view of symmetry and proportion.

Classical philosophy and sculptures of men and women produced according to these philosophers' tenets of ideal human beauty were rediscovered in Renaissance Europe, leading to a re-adoption of what became known as a "classical ideal". In terms of female human beauty, a woman whose appearance conforms to these tenets is still called a "classical beauty" or said to possess a "classical beauty", whilst the foundations laid by Greek and Roman artists have also supplied the standard for male beauty in western civilization.

Beauty ideals may contribute to racial oppression. For example, a prevailing idea in American culture has been that black features are less attractive or desirable than white features. The idea that blackness was ugly was highly damaging to the psyche of African Americans, manifesting itself as internalized racism.[5] The black is beautiful cultural movement sought to dispel this notion.[6] Conversely, beauty ideals may also promote racial unity. Mixed race children are often perceived to be more attractive than their parents because their genetic diversity protects them from the inherited errors of their individual parents.[7]

Here is a youtube documentary of a 16 year old girl with low self-esteem:

Surveys posted!

Part 1

Click Here to take survey

Part 2

Click Here to take survey

Kat's Update as of 10-21-09

Here is the list of readings I have selected for my lit review:

Tiggemann, M, & Slater, A. (2004). Thin Ideals in Music Television: A Source of Social Comparison and Body Dissatisfaction. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 35(1), 48-58.

Bell, M. (2004). There's Something About Barbie. JCT V. 20 No. 2 (Summer 2004) P. 53-64, 20(2), 53-64.

Parasecoli, F. (2007). Bootylicious: Food and the Female Body in Contemporary Black Pop Culture. Women's Studies Quarterly, 35(1/2), 110-125.

Cunningham, H. (2002). Prodigal Bodies: Pop Culture and Post-pregnancy. Michigan Quarterly Review V. 41 No. 3 (Summer 2002) P. 428-54, 41(3), 428-454.

Grabe, S., Hyde, J., Ward, L. , Hyde, J. , & Ward, L. (2008). The Role of the Media in Body Image Concerns Among Women: A Meta-Analysis of Experimental and Correlational Studies. Psychological Bulletin, 134(3), 460-476.

Agliata, D., & Tantleff-Dunn, S. (2004). The Impact of Media Exposure on Males' Body Image. Journal of Social & Clinical Psychology, 23(1), 7-22.

Owen, P., & Laurel-Seller, E. (2000). Weight and Shape Ideals: Thin is Dangerously in. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 30(5), 979-990.