The American Psychological Association has found that there is a prevalent and strong association between media exposure and body shaming. In a Meta Analysis of experimental and correlational studies conducted by University of Michigan’s L. Monique Ward and University of Wisconsin’s Shelly Grabe, several conclusions supporting this were found. The study, called The Role of the Media in Body Image Concerns Among Women, was conducted on the beliefs that, “It is believed that the media’s consistent depiction of a thin ideal leads women to see this ideal as normative, expected, and central to attractiveness. However, because media presentations of women’s bodies are so skewed, showcasing an ideal that is out of reach to most, adopting this reality may lead to decreased satisfaction with one’s own body” (2008).
This study examined previous studies and broke down the media’s affect on body image into four separate categories including (a) body dissatisfaction (b) body self consciousness/objectification, (c) internalization of the thin ideal and drive for thinness and (d) eating behaviors and beliefs. In all of the cases listed above, articles and studies were categorized into one of the above and were analyzed on their findings. For each category, difference, confidence intervals, and p-values showed support that exposure to mass media ‘depicting the thin ideal body is related to women’s vulnerability to disturbances related to body image” (2008). In several instances, it is important to note that this study found that these negative influences have been increasing in the 2000s compared to the 1990s, and that ideal images of body weight are becoming thinner and thinner with time.
This meta analysis provides me with sufficient and pertinent information because it allows me to draw on reasoning for increased policy in media regulation. These numbers provide broad and well rounded statistics that summarize the impact of media on body image with concrete numbers. Even more, because this Meta Analysis comes from the American Psychological Associate, it’s credibility is valid. More, the Meta Analysis is encompassing of many other previous studies, and therefore accounts for many findings and eliminates the error of a narrow viewpoint. However, it is important to note that results were derived for the most part from english speaking white females.
Grabe, Shelly, Janet Shibley Hyde, and L. Monique Ward. “The Role of the Media in Body Image Concerns Among Women: A Meta-Analysis of Experimental and Correlational Studies.” Psychological Bulletin 134.3 (2008): 460-76. Print.