concept essay about social media models
Specific age groups and mostly women have been studied regarding media effects on body image. These studies did not test the external stimuli created by peer groups that have an impact on a person’s self-idealization. This study addressed individual age groups divided by gender in order to determine how much media effects body idealization and if gender peer group opinions impact self-idealization when viewing media models. Methods The methods used in this study incorporated individuals into groups
Modern people live media-saturated lives, even children as young as 6 years old, have had some type of media exposure. Extensive exposure to media outlets can lead to body image issues. Body image is defined as, the subjective picture or mental image of one’s own body (Smolak 2003). Body image is formed as people compare themselves to others. Because, people are exposed to countless media images; these images become the basis for such comparisons. These mental comparisons, have a strong influence
At the same time, though, Daley also discovered the surveyed women thought about their bodies more in general. In other words, body positivity-oriented posts could boost women’s self-esteem, but the content would also put women into a position of thinking about their physical appearance even more.
Whether we’d like to admit it or not, social media is shaping our concept of beauty. We are, for better or worse, constantly consuming images posted online. As a result, social media and body image – the way we perceive our own physical appearance – have become inextricably linked. Social media influences how we look at ourselves both positively and negatively, and it’s important that we understand the effects in order to limit their impact on our mental health.
Signs that a child might have the disorder, and other problems that may be confused with ADHD
- Take social media seriously. Don’t underestimate the role social media plays in the lives of teenagers, warns Dr. Wick. “The power of a visual image is so strong. It’s disorienting.” Many teens, she says, never knew a world where social media didn’t exist, and for them the things that happen online—slights, break-ups, likes, or negative comments—are very real. When you talk about social media make sure you’re really listening and be careful not to dismiss or minimize your teen’s experiences.
- Encourage them to think outside the (crop) box. When you talk to your child about social media, encourage her to explore it in a more critical way. A great way to start is to try asking her what she thinks has been cropped or edited out of her friends’ “perfect” pictures and why. That can lead to larger questions. Do you think your friends are really the people they appear to be online? Are you? What’s the purpose of posting a photo? What is it about getting “likes” that feels good? Does looking at social media affect your mood?
- Model a healthy response to failure. “Kids have to get the message that it is okay to fail,” says Dr. Wick. “And not only that it’s okay to fail, but that showing it is okay, too.” If parents hide their own failures, kids are less likely to be okay with anything less than success. “When things don’t work out as you’d planned or a project goes awry, show your child how to accept it with grace,” she adds. “Let kids know that failure is part of how we learn to succeed, that it’s nothing to be ashamed of and let them see you pick yourself up and try again.”
- Praise (and show) effort. “Effort is something to be proud of,” says Dr. Wick. “It can’t be said enough.” Parents should let kids know that showing their work is something to be praised, not hidden. When your child has worked hard on something, praise her efforts no matter what the outcome. It’s also helpful to examine how comfortable you are showing your own efforts, especially those that don’t end in success. Being proud and open about your own work sets a powerful example for your child.
- Go on a “social holiday.” If you’re worried that your child is getting too wrapped up in social media, try taking a social holiday. “This means everyone,” says Dr. Wick. If you’re asking your child to take a break, practice what you preach and pledge to stay off media as well. It can be every bit as hard for parents to unplug as kids.”
- Trust people, not pictures. Finally, don’t rely on social media to let you know how your child is really doing. She may post smiling selfies all day long, but if she seems unhappy or sounds unhappy on the phone, don’t let it go. Make sure she knows it’s safe to talk to you by encouraging her to share her feelings and supporting her when she does. Reassure her that you’re not disappointed, and let her know you’re proud of her for reaching out. “I’m so glad you called. It sounds like you’re feeling really overwhelmed, I’m here and I love you. Let’s talk this through together.”
All statistical analyses were conducted using IBM SPSS Statistics 22. We first investigated the effect of condition on the main dependent measure, by testing whether the viewing of women who had undergone cosmetic surgery (vs. control condition) leads participants to have an increased desire for cosmetic surgery. In order to control for the effect of negative mood, depression, anxiety, and age, an analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) was conducted. Results showed a marginally significant difference between the cosmetically enhanced image condition and the travel image condition, F(1, 88) = 3.67, p = .059, ηp 2 = .04. As such, participants who had viewed images of cosmetically enhanced females showed a tendency for an increased desire for cosmetic surgery (M = 21.16, SD = 9.33) compared to participants who saw images of travel (M = 17.59, SD = 8.96). There were no significant effects of negative mood F(1, 88) = 1.95, p = .166, ηp 2 = .02, depression F(1, 88) = 0.69, p = .409, ηp 2 = .01, or anxiety F(1, 88) = 1.31, p = .255, ηp 2 = .04, on participants’ desire for cosmetic surgery. As such, viewing images of females who had undergone cosmetic enhancement was unaffected by these personal trait variables.
The present results are in line with previous research by showing that those who use social media more (De Vries et al. 2014) and are dissatisfied with their appearance (Lee et al. 2009; Markey and Markey 2009) are more likely to consider cosmetic surgery. However, it should be noted that the desire for cosmetic surgery between participants in the cosmetic enhancement and travel condition was only marginally significant. Psychological movements placing an emphasis on the acceptance of one’s body, such as body compassion (Altman et al. 2017a) and the acceptance and commitment approach (Hayes et al. 2012) have gained popularity as treatments for body image dissatisfaction (Hill et al. 2015; Altman et al. 2017b). These movements encourage one to shift their view of the body from one of judgement and comparison to societal ideals, to one of openness and curiosity, embracing the appearance, state of health, and functioning of one’s body exactly as it is in the present (Altman et al. 2017b). Similarly, in popular culture there has been a rise in movements placing an emphasis on self-love and acceptance, such as the ‘body positive movement’ and campaigns seeing popular high-street fashion brands no longer digitally retouching photos of their models (The Independent 2017; Tan 2018). Young women are being encouraged to embrace and accept the way that they look, and in turn, this could make them less likely to want to undergo cosmetic procedures to change the way they look. For example, the number of cosmetic procedures conducted in 2016 fell 40% from a record-breaking high in 2015 (British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons 2017). In this way, the decreased societal pressure to conform to an idealized beauty standard may be encouraging women away from having cosmetic surgery (Henderson-King and Brooks 2009).
Lewallen, J., & Behm-Morawitz, E. (2016). Pinterest or thinterest?: Social comparison and body image on social media. Social Media+ Society, 2, 1-9.
Levine, M. P., & Murnen, S. K. (2009). “Everybody knows that mass media are/are not [pickone] a cause of eating disorders”: A critical review of evidence for a causal link between media, negative body image, and disordered eating in females. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 28, 9-42.