Blog recommendations

14 May

There are two blogs that are closely related to the topic of my blog :

The first one is blog made by Kate focusing on Media as an Influencing Factor in Developing Eating Disorders. This blog bring us information about anorexia, bulimia and obesity in relationship to media. Eating disorders are becoming more and more common among teenagers and we should treat them as serious ilnesses. Kate’s blog shows that also media negatively contributes to development of these disorders. Here is the link  http://mediaanddisasters.blogspot.com/2011/05/welcome-everybody-this-blog-was-created.html

The second blog related to my topic is Aneta’s blog about Media Beauty. This blog supports my opinion that media present distorted image of ideal and beauty and also highlights the fact that the media images are not the reflection of reality, which is something that we should keep in mind. Have a look at http://anetafromprague.blogspot.com/2011/04/hello.html

 Another blog which I find  interesting is Iva’s blog focusing on topic Science and Media.  We can find here very good articles about statistics and its significance in media. Iva suggests that we should be rather critical when it comes to statistical evidence and that we must be careful when interpreting results because sometimes statistics presented in particular way and also the word choice can be misleading and has a power to modify the message. I would really recommend to look at her blog http://ivavivian.blogspot.com/2011/05/first-post.html 

The next blog which I can suggest for visiting is Shahlo’s blog about Celebrities and Mass Media. She focuses on the fact, that media , and especially paparazzi, behave inapproprietly to celebrities when they are chasing them all the time with cameras and not giving them a minute of privacy. She believes that even though celebrities are public figures, they still have a right for a bit of normal life. Have a look at http://shakhlounyp.blogspot.com/2011/05/celebrities-and-media.html?showComment=1305379302735#c915828900370476032 

The last but not least is Anka’s blog about Facebook and its impact on society. By offering different articles Anka expresses her opinion about Facebook, as a social network, which has a huge power to influence people. There are both, negative as well as positive things about FB and we can choose how we will use it. Visit her blog here http://facebookmoredetailed.blogspot.com/2011/05/introductory-post.html

Advertisements

Media and Body Image

8 May

There is no doubt that media brings us inaccurate image of women’s beauty. We are completely surrounded by images of super-thin women; we can see them in magazines, TV commercials, music videos, billboards on the street and also on the Internet. Images of underweight women with no shapes have become the media’s prototype of beauty (“Media distortion of beauty”) .We already know how powerful media are and we know that we are influenced by what we see every day so it is very “difficult to escape and ignore the images with which the media bombards us in today’s society” (“Effect of Media Portrayal of Women”).

     The current portrayal of “perfect” woman with “ideal” body is that of size zero or even lower, which seems to be ridiculous in comparison with measurements of average woman. (“Effect of Media Portrayal of Women”). There is a myth created by the media that promotes the idea that the skinnier you are the more beautiful you will be. According to survey done in 2003 by Teen Magazine 35% of girls age six to twelve admitted to having once been on diet, 50-70% of healthy weight teenage girls are convinced that they need to lose some weight in order to meet the media’s thin ideal and only 7% of teenage girls are as thin as the average model who weighs 23% less than normal average woman. There we can see that women who look like models are minority but media portray them as the average (“Media distortion of beauty”). Therefore we should be aware of the fact that these images are not the norm even thought media and the “constant force of these images on society makes us believe they should be”(“Media Influence on Eating Disorders”).

     What is more, it has been already proven that media can influence the beginning of eating disorder in some people (Webster). Eating disorders, such as anorexia and bulimia, are nowadays very common among teenage girls and young women. Actually, one of every four college women is using unhealthy methods to lose weight, including vomiting, fasting, skipping meals, laxative use and excessive exercise. Obviously, teenage girls and young women really believe that their figures need to be perfected to the media’s ideal of beauty (“Media distortion of beauty”).By promoting these fake and unobtainable images of women’s bodies media contributes a lot to lowering self-esteem, developing body dissatisfaction and consequently eating disorders (Webster).

     To fight with this unhealthy trend it is important to educate girls and women on the truth of how the media works in terms of advertising and selling the products (Webster). It is clear that media and advertisers want women to be unsatisfied with their bodies because it will only force them to buy more cosmetic and diet products to improve their appearance (“Beauty and Body Image in the Media”). This is also the reason why media offer us unachievable ideal of women’s beauty because it will keep women in constant pressure that they need to be more thin and more beautiful and therefore they will still spend money for various types of beautifying products.

     It is obvious that media plays role in the growing number of young women struggling with eating disorders (“Effect of Media Portrayal of Women”). Media makes women feel uncomfortable with their bodies by showing them ultra-thin models as an ideal. Nowadays, some companies, such as Dove with its Campaign for Real Beauty, attempt to shift today’s distorted ideal of beauty by presenting beautiful healthy looking girls and women, but still we have a long way to go to change current concept of beauty and make people understand that skinny does not equal beautiful.

References:

“Beauty and Body Image in the Media.” Media Awareness Network | Réseau éducation Médias. Web. 07 May 2011. http://www.media-awareness.ca/english/issues/stereotyping/women_and_girls/women_beauty.cfm

 “Effect of Media Portrayal of Women.” Web. 8 May 2011. <http://www.mattbarton.net/tikiwiki/tiki-index.php?page=Effects+of+Media+portrayal+of+women&gt;.

“Media Distortion of Beauty.” Associated Content from Yahoo! – Associatedcontent.com. 08 Nov. 2006. Web. 08 May 2011. <http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/84381/media_distortion_of_beauty_pg2.html?cat=38&gt;.

“Media Influence on Eating Disorders.” Eating Disorders | Anorexia | Bulimia | Binge Eating Disorder | Compulsive Overeating | The Something Fishy Website on Eating Disorders. Web. 08 May 2011. <http://www.something-fishy.org/cultural/themedia.php&gt;.

Webster, Dr Irina. “Eating Disorders And Media.” Self Improvement from SelfGrowth.com. Web. 08 May 2011. <http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/Eating_disorders_and_media.html&gt;.

Watch:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DvdSBXgB9B0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u4GoHhnNhm4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r1An2lpb1RE&feature=fvwrel

Web pages recommendations

7 May

Since there is more than enough examples of articles, commercials, TV ads, and images from magazines and websites showing negative portrayal of women and especially women’s body I would like to rather offer you a recommendation to visit the following three websites whose mission is to promote positive body image and encourage girls and women to stay resistant to harmful media messages that affect their self-esteem.

These websites are full of very interesting articles promoting real beauty and giving tips how to learn to be satisfied with your body. We can find there a great amount of articles and pictures encouraging a healthy skepticism about media images and offering the readers opportunity to learn something more about the whole issue. These three websites also provides us links to another web pages, articles or videos and gives us opportunity to express our opinion about current ideal of beauty and share it with other readers of website.

In my view it is great that there exist such websites promoting real beauty and encouraging women to feel comfortable with their bodies. This is at least an effort to improve body image and make people realize that beauty is not limited by weight and size. Click on following links to see the websites:

About Face                             

 http://about-face.org/blog/

AdiosBarbie.com                   

 http://www.adiosbarbie.com/

The Dressing Room Project

 http://www.thedressingroomproject.org/index.html

Why do media present us unrealistic ideal of beauty?

7 May

Another interesting article is called “Beauty and Body Image in the Media” and you can find it on Media Awareness Network.  The main idea of the article is that media purposely present us unrealistic and for most of us unachievable ideal of beauty to make us feel uncomfortable with our bodies which makes us spend more money for cosmetic and diet products. Basically “by presenting an ideal difficult to achieve and maintain the cosmetic and diet product industries are assured of growth and profits. And it’s no accident that youth is increasingly promoted, along with thinness, as an essential criterion of beauty“ (“Beauty and Body Image in the Media”).

According to this article women that are not satisfied with their bodies are more likely to buy various types of beauty products, new clothes, diet pills and also magazines promoting diets and so on. Media activist Jean Kilbourne concludes that, “women are sold to the diet industry by the magazines we read and the television programs we watch, almost all of which make us feel anxious about our weight” (“Beauty and Body Image in the Media”).Nowadays we are completely overwhelmed by images picturing “painfully thin women“. Jean Kilbourne believes that this is a “real tragedy” that women tend to “judge themselves by the beauty industry’s standards” (“Beauty and Body Image in the Media”).

There we can see that media and especially advertisers purposely make us unsatisfied with our appearance to force us to buy their product that promises that we will look better, younger, thinner and more beautiful. That is the reason why media is full of pictures of skinny women. Normal women feel unattractive and they spend money to improve their appearance. Basically the low self-esteem sells. This is completely understandable because the concept of unsatisfied consumers who still want to buy new products is the basic idea of business but it would be great to find a way to sell the products without destroying women’s self-esteem and promoting unhealthy diets which could lead to eating disorders and other health and psychological problems.

You can the whole article in here: http://www.media-awareness.ca/english/issues/stereotyping/women_and_girls/women_beauty.cfm

References:

“Beauty and Body Image in the Media.” Media Awareness Network | Réseau éducation Médias. Web. 07 May 2011. http://www.media-awareness.ca/english/issues/stereotyping/women_and_girls/women_beauty.cfm

Lipodrene. Digital image. Google. Web. 07 May 2011. http://www.google.cz/imgres?imgurl=http://www.wholesalehealthdirect.com/v/vspfiles/templates/whd-black/images/WeightLoss/skinny-girl-wi

Media is fueling eating disorders, say psychiatrists

7 May

According to article published on BBC news website also psychiatrists are convinced that “media is fueling eating disorders” (BBC news). The Royal College of Psychiatrists states that media contribution to increase of eating disorders among teenagers and young people is crucial and that media should stop promoting images of underweight women. It calls for more diverse body shapes and end of use of unhealthy body images (BBC news).

 Dr Adrienne Key from the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ Eating Disorders Section said:

There is a growing body of research that shows the media plays a part in the development of eating disorder symptoms – particularly in adolescents and young people. Although biological and genetic factors play an important role in the development of these disorders, psychological and social factors are also significant. That’s why we are calling on the media to take greater responsibility for the messages it sends out.”

 

We can see that there is evidence that proves that media are really important influencing factor regarding body image, eating disorders and self-esteem and that is why media should stop promoting skinniness and start to focus on showing healthy looking normal women and rather promote exercise and healthy well-balanced lifestyle than diets.

 

Read the whole article in here: “BBC News – Media Is Fuelling Eating Disorders, Say Psychiatrists.” BBC News – Home. 22 Feb. 2010. Web. 07 May 2011. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/8528443.stm

References: BBC News – Media Is Fuelling Eating Disorders, Say Psychiatrists. Digital image. BBC News – Home. 22 Feb. 2010. Web. 07 May 2011. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/8528443.stm

Slovak moderator is too fat for TV

7 May

As another example of current event that supports my opinion that media provides us inaccurate image of women I would like to mention an article from Czech online tabloid Super Spy.  This article talks about Martina Csillagova (also known as Tina), Slovak singer and moderator of Cesko Slovenska SuperStar (Czechoslovak alternative of British show Pop Idol), who is reputedly too fat for being in television. According to this article Tina has few extra pounds and so that she is not the right person to be seen on TV. What is more, media still compares Tina with previous moderator of first edition of this competition, who was Slovak moderator and model Adela Banasova. Media states that Tina is fat in comparison with tall, ultra thin model Adela. 

 Fortunately, Tina does not take gossips about her body seriously.

“I am glad that I can show normal women that it is completely natural to have figure as I do and I don’t eat wool, I don’t starve and drink only water. I find it perverse that journalists see my figure as something newsworthy. However this is the world of show business“, says Tina.

In my opinion it is crazy that media calls someone fat just because not having body like a model. The most ridiculous thing about this whole issue is that Tina is absolutely normal woman and calling her fat is quite mean. She is very beautiful and attractive women. She has curves and she is sexy. The fact that woman that actually looks like woman, woman with breasts and curves are automatically marked as fat is really alarming. There is no need to compare this moderator with the previous in terms of their appearance and especially weight. They are moderators of talent show and not participants in a beauty contest. Media should rather evaluate their level of performance as moderators and not make judges about them based on their weight.

Tina :    

Adela:

References:

“Šok! Zpěvačka Tina Je Prý Na Obrazovku Moc Tmavá! | SuperSpy.cz.” SuperSpy.cz – Superšpion, Který Nikdy Nespí. 20 Apr. 2011. Web. 07 May 2011. http://www.superspy.cz/celebrity/nestastne-hvezdy/2177-sok-zpevacka-tina-je-pry-na-obrazovku-moc-tmava

Adéla Banášová. Digital image. Google. 10 June 2010. Web. 07 May 2011. http://www.google.cz/imgres?imgurl=http://img.aktualne.centrum.cz/256/29/2562926-party-cesko-slovenske-superstar-adela-banasova.jpg

Tina. Digital image. Google. Web. 07 May 2011. http://www.google.cz/imgres?imgurl=http://img.karaoketexty.cz/img/artists/3796/tina-81429.jpg 

Zpěvačka Tina. Digital image. SuperSpy.cz – Superšpion, Který Nikdy Nespí. 20 Apr. 2011. Web. 7 May 2011. <http://www.superspy.cz/celebrity/nestastne-hvezdy/2177-sok-zpevacka-tina-je-pry-na-obrazovku-moc-tmava&gt;.

DOVE Campaign for Real Beauty

6 May

 DOVE Campaign for Real Beauty

 Dove Campaign for the Real Beauty can be considered as quite current event related to the topic Portrayals of Women in Media. Campaign for Real Beauty is worldwide marketing campaign, launched in 2004, whose effort is to throw off today’s beauty stereotypes and celebrate the real beauty.

 (“Campaign for Real Beauty”)


Their mission can be easily demonstrated by following quote from Dove website:

“For too long, beauty has been defined by narrow and stifling stereotypes. Women have told us it’s time to change all that. Dove agrees. We believe real beauty comes in many shapes, sizes and ages.”

The Campaign includes various types of advertisements, videos, workshops and commercials all displaying real healthy looking women in underwear. The main idea of the whole campaign is showing real women- not professional models- of various shapes and sizes to arouse discussion and make people think about today’s definition and standards of beauty in society. This advertising campaign is not only about selling a product but it also tries to promote the new idea and new perspective of seeing women’s body. The principle of the campaign is to send the positive message to women and promote the self-esteem concept to make all the women feel comfortable and accept their body the way it is. The goal of this campaign is to celebrate femininity and break current portrayal of woman along with the belief that only super-thin women are attractive and beautiful. 

There we can see a shift and positive step in portraying women in media. Dove is the only cosmetic company having the campaign based on real beauty concept but there is a new growing trend of showing rather women with curves than unhealthy looking models so we can suppose that in future we will see more pictures of real women in media. It is great that there exist at least an effort to change the perception of what is beautiful. This campaign is still on and it is very successful because there is a broad target audience that can easily identify with the women on the images. In my opinion it is very bad that beauty has become the synonym of skinniness and women feel dissatisfied with their bodies just because they do not fit in current mad ideal of beauty. There should be more pictures like those that Dove presents in the media so that women can actually see that there is nothing wrong with them and it does not mean that they are not sexy and beautiful if they do not look like model or celebrity.

See:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ei6JvK0W60I

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IWzbIVwGd1E&feature=related

References:

“Campaign for Real Beauty.” Dove. 3 Sept. 2008. Web. 06 May 2011.

      http://www.dove.ca/en/

REAL Beauty. Digital image. 23 Apr. 2010. Web. 06 May 2011.

       http://melstepsthoughts.blogspot.com/2010/04/real-beauty.html

Howard, Theresa. Dove | Campaign for Real Beauty. Digital image. Dove Campaign For Real     Beauty. 08 July 2005. Web. 06 May 2011.

      http://www.campaignforrealbeauty.com.au/in-the-news/ad-campaign.asp