How does media today effect women?
Dove Real Beauty Campaign:
The video above is apart of the Dove Real Beauty Campaign, which purpose is “to help women everywhere develop a positive relationship with the way they look, helping them raise their self-esteem and realize their full potential” [Read Here]. This video in particular focuses on the way in which the media and advertisements today distort real images to create an unrealistic perception of beauty that is projected to women all over the world.
Dove’s global research shows:
- Only 4% of women around the world consider themselves beautiful, and anxiety about appearance begins at an early age.
- 6 out of 10 girls are so concerned with the way they look, that they actually opt out of participating fully in daily life – from going swimming and playing sports, to visiting the doctor, going to school or even just offering their opinions.
So, it is clear that the women of the world are facing a current crisis of self-acceptance and perception of beauty. As expressed in the video, advertisements play a huge role in generating this crisis- but what role does social media play in the way women perceive themselves?
Dr. Phillippa Diedrichs, of the University of West of England’s Centre for Appearance Research, told BBC News & Health that “The more time spent on Facebook, the more likely people are to self-objectify”. Another source mentioned in the article, Caroline Nokes- a member of a parliamentary group targeting attitudes about body image, explains in the article that the reason why social media has such a huge impact on body image is because it cannot be ignored. She also states that young people “can make decisions not to look at magazines and TV, but social media networks are the primary way they communicate and their main channel to the outside world”. But they are seeing the world through a filter, and that’s not healthy,” she says.
According to a TIME article, earlier this year, psychologists found robust cross-cultural evidence linking social media use to body image concerns, dieting, body surveillance, a drive for thinness and self-objectification in adolescents. Visual social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat allow teens to gain approval of their appearance and compare themselves to others. One study found that female college students who spend most of their time posting, commenting on, and comparing themselves to photos on Facebook were more likely to link their self-worth to their looks. So, social media is not only affecting young people’s body image and self-confidence, but shaping the self-worth of young women into simply being about looks.
Posts on Instagram and Twitter such as the ones posted above are just examples of how women are portrayed through social media. Girls are constantly checking their social media outlets and are exposed to content such as this which promote a certain body type. Then, they care about the way they look in comparison to what they see on social media and focus on the way they look, not who they are beyond that.