Does the Media Influence Young Women's Body Image in Ireland Essay

878 Words Apr 24th, 2013 4 Pages
Does the media influence young women’s body image in Ireland?

The department of Health estimates that 200,000 people are affected by eating disorders every year in Ireland of which 80 people die as a result (www.dofc.ie). In a study on Irish girls 27.2% were found to exhibit clinical levels of bulimia, with 71.4% of Irish adolescents feel adversely affected by media portrayal of body weight and shape (www.onlinelibrary.wiley.com).
Self-image was the number one factor that affects the mental health of Irish teens (www.dcya.gov.ie).

In Ireland very often teenagers and young women compare themselves to the models they see in magazines and other forms of media such as television shows and billboards, in regards to their physical
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Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder; it is characterized by the restriction of food, and irrational fear of gaining weight and also a distorted self body image (Sandra, 2007).
Sociocultural studies have highlighted that the promotion of thinness as the ideal female body form in western nations through the media and advertising are directly linked to the development of eating disorders (rcpsych.ac.uk).

An example of this was conducted in a recent experiment in Fiji it show how the media influences body image in girls and provides very strong evidence to support the argument that the media doe sin fact play a major and significant role in the development of eating disorders and a dissatisfied body image. Until recent years Fiji was a mainly media free nation and had very little western media influence, in this study the attitudes and eating behaviors of the Fijian teenage girls were measured prior to the introduction of mass media and television and was measured again after prolonged exposure.

The results showed that the exposure to television in these girls exhibited a significant increase in eating disorders and attitudes towards eating, (Becker, Burwell, Herzog, Hamburg, & Gilman, 2002).

Both theories argue that the media does play a major role in influencing the way we see ourselves. The evidence is there to suggest that the media does in fact affect

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