Influence of Media’s Ideal-Thin on Body Dissatisfaction and Disordered Eating in Women

Kayla Stypulkoski, kaylastyp



This paper investigates the effects that media and advertising have on women. The media creates an ideal-thin standard of what a woman’s body should look like. This representation is inaccurate, especially with the large amount of people being overweight in the United States. Not only is this unrealistic standard promoted by using thin women in advertisements, but also editing software takes the issue a step further. By altering the images shown in the media, women are expected to achieve an appearance that is not attainable. This creates body dissatisfaction, lower self-esteem, and negative body image for many women. A study by Tucci and Peters showed how a brief, one-time exposure to an advertisement portraying an ideally thin woman can immediately impact a woman’s body dissatisfaction and drive for thinness. These factors can ultimately lead to disordered eating. One of the main points explored is how the United States compares to other countries in terms of the number of women with eating disorders and the presence of regulations placed on models and the alteration of advertisements. The paper also takes a look at brands and companies who have changed their advertising standards, without any regulations, to promote a more positive body image and portray women who are more representative of the population and what type of impact this has on women and other companies. Additionally, the papers discusses how intervention methods can be used to alter the negative effects of viewing thin and edited women in advertisements.