The Impact of Media on Body Image and Self-Esteem
The media has been playing a significant role in defining our culture for many years. Unfortunately, media outlets have adopted standards of beauty that many people struggle to live up to. As a result, media can have a strong influence on body image and self-esteem.
The Standards of Beauty in the Media
The media often presents an unrealistic standard of beauty that is impossible to achieve. This ideal is often focused on ultra-thin body types, and the encouragement of eating disorders. Additionally, people of color, who are often excluded or under-represented in the media, may feel excluded or ashamed of their physical appearance.
The Impact on Body Image
When people view images of unattainable standards of beauty, it can have a negative impact on their body image. This can lead to feelings of inadequacy, low self-esteem and depression. Additionally, people may become focused on attaining an impossible level of physical perfection and may even harm themselves to try and achieve it.
The Impact on Self-Esteem
The media-driven culture of unattainable standards of beauty can also have a negative effect on self-esteem. People may judge their own physical attributes against those seen in the media, and this can leave them feeling inadequate and unhappy with their appearance.
How to Combat the Media’s Impact
It is important that we recognize the influence of media and strive to protect our own self-esteem and body image. Here are some tips for dealing with the media’s standards of beauty:
- Seek out positive representation in the media. Look for images that represent a range of shapes, sizes and skin tones.
- Stop comparing yourself to others. It is impossible to look like the people in the media, so remember that these are unrealistic standards of beauty.
- Focus on the things you like about yourself. Take time to recognize the qualities that make you unique and special.
- Surround yourself with people who have a healthy view of their bodies. Choose to spend time with people who recognize their own personal beauty.
- Be conscious of the media’s message. Recognize when you are seeing unrealistic images, and understand that they do not represent true beauty.
It is important to remember that the media’s standards of beauty are unattainable and that it is important to protect our own body image and self-esteem. By taking steps to recognize and combat the media’s influence, we can work to create a healthier view of beauty.