Body Image in the Media

Young people are strongly effected by the media message

Young people all around the world today are strongly influenced by the message the media gives to society about body image, which can lead to a positive or negative effect on the person depending on how they take the message being given...
Beyoncé - Pretty Hurts
The media item I chose was the music video, "Pretty Hurts," by Beyonce. This could be looked at by young people as a good representation of good or bad body image. If you only look at the video and don't listen to the lyrics it is portrayed as a bad body image, but if you listen to the words its telling people to not be like what the video shows.
Positive behaviors that could be associated with this can be: that "Miss 3rd Ward" realizes that being "pretty, hurts" and its not good for you. She recognises how unhappy she is and said that "her aspiration in life was to be happy."

It could also be affirming for people who look like that to think they are good enough to go in beauty pageants but, with that it could help anyone to realize how unhappy they are because they are trying to look like this "expectation" of beauty.

Negative behaviors include, the video showing girls with bulimia and anorexia, girls who dip cotton balls in water and swallow them to make themselves feel full.

Girls putting Vaseline on their teeth, in some scenes it also shows sexual poses and behaviors, showing how more sexualised the world is getting including girls in lingerie and girls sitting with their legs open in a sexual way.

Girls being bitchy to each other to try to beat them and girls wiping make-up on other peoples clothing, so it was then dirty.

It shows the attitude that the models feel they have to look like that because the people judging the pageant expect it. It's also a negative and sad attitude that all the models want to look like the stereotype (of a model). None of them want to be different.

These attitudes and behaviors can have effects on young people. As this video can be taken two different ways it could show young people that if you want to be beautiful you have to be like the girls in the video.

It can also show them to just be happy, be you. Don't try to look like the girls in the video because as Beyonce showed us, it makes you very unhappy and is not healthy physically or mentally and the stereotypical models in that video are unrealistic views of beautiful.

But if young people take it the first way and think that to be beautiful you have to look like that it could cause low self-esteem and poor body image, disordered eating, depression, anxiety and other mental health issues which can lead to physical health issues. stated that "Approximately 91% of women are unhappy with their bodies and only 5% of women naturally possess the body type portrayed in the media."

Between 70 and 76% of all Australian girl high school students choose a role model that this thinner than their own figure.

Over half of all high school girls try to lose weight.

A number of different statistic show that teenage girls dieting or trying to lose weight are over 50% more likely to develop depression or anxiety.

Young people can support their own health and the health of others by making sure everyone around them is informed consumers of TV and media-(including being aware after a shot is taken of a model that they are tweaked to the stage that its not even a real person anymore, its a computer animation.) and instead of trying to look like the stereotype of a model be happy instead!

If young people are feeling concerned about their body image, self-esteem or self image they need to talk to a trusted adult and make themselves clear about their concerns so they can be helped.

Everyone just needs to be informed about what they are seeing in the media and realise models are photo-shopped to the point they aren't even a person anymore

Possible stereotypes for this video could be that it shows the stereotype of a model; tall, skinny, straight bleached teeth, no skin imperfections(-blemishes, freckles or moles), curves, "blonder hair, flatter chest," - as the song lyrics suggest. The stereotypical "genetic make-up" of a model which, only 5% of all American women naturally have.

Stereotyping of this video can also include the way the models act and their behaviors. For example, their poise, how in all the models have either anorexia or, as "Miss 3rd Ward," bulimia.

Discrimination in this video could include, the sizes of the models used in the video, the races of models and the shapes of the models.

Gender-roles could include the "sex sells" image, models wearing lingerie in a beauty pagent. Are girls only looked upon as "beautiful" if they are wearing lingerie?

All the girls in the video speak in sugar coated high pitch voices, always act with grace and poise and dress in a "sexy" or "pretty" way.

Did you notice all these stereotypes, gender-roles and discrimination are all based a physical apperance?