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Media and Negative Body Image

            Media is a boundless form of communication that is delivering content that is shaping our society, values, and our children's brains, emotions, and lives. Everywhere we look, we are being exposed to sexualized images and behavior, shown to us on the covers of magazines, reality shows, commercials, Facebook ads, video games, song lyrics, books, and movies. In America, statistics show the average teenager spends per week about 31 hours watching television (Hinckley, 2012), 17 hours listening to music, 3 hours watching movies, 4 hours a week reading magazines, and 10 hours online; which is 10 hours and 45 minutes of media consumption per day (MissRepresentation.) While media isn't essentially good or bad and does have a few positive effects; however, majority of media involves sex for advertising and a balance of exposure is needed for our children, teenagers, and even adults. When being constantly exposed to sex in the media with very little moderation and censorship, there are detrimental effects that are changing the way people feel about themselves, think, and act.
             Now, it is no secret that there is a distinct correlation between media and negative body image. Body image is the way you see yourself when you look in the mirror and how you picture yourself in your mind. It is also the way you think others perceive you. It is greatly affected by our friends, family, outside pressure, and media; and is closely related to self-esteem (NEDA.) Self-esteem is one's overall sense of self-worth or value. When you have a poor body image, your self-esteem is low. Having low self-esteem can leave people feeling depressed and discouraged, often leading to making poor decisions, self-destruction, and not aiming for their goals. .
             An over-consumption of media has a few downsides. One of which is the idea of society accepting the general stereotypes of how men and women should act and look. Research has shown a big increase in body dissatisfaction with girls and women, and more so recently, with the powers of Photoshop, high definition makeup and contouring, and special effects.

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