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Marketing/advertisment and weight body image - Research Paper Example

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The desired body image changes from place to place, and varies with time. There are several factors that influence what is considered as the ideal body image. One of the most important and biggest…
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Marketing/advertisment and weight body image
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Media and Body Image The formation of body image is a complex process that is affected by many factors. The desired body image changes from place to place, and varies with time. There are several factors that influence what is considered as the ideal body image. One of the most important and biggest influences for body image is the mass media. The mass media has the power to influence what the masses consider to be ideal. This in turn affects the self-esteem of the audiences as self-esteem is tied to the body image. The influence is mainly because people pay great attention to the way that the different characters on the different programs and advertisements are portrayed on the basis of their body types. The hairstyles and fashion trends of the characters also form an impression on the viewer’s minds and the viewers seek to emulate the characters they see on the mass media. The influence is more dominant among the women as women are more conscious of their body image.
One of the main influences on body image from the mass media comes from advertising. Advertising can either be direct or indirect, but whether it is direct or indirect, the advertising is designed to influence the perception of the audience on what they should look like. The programs that are broadcast on the mass media also influence what is considered desirable. The media characters that have the body shapes that are considered more desirable are more popular, and the audience seeks to look like them. In most cases, these characters are usually thin. The overweight people are usually not portrayed as being capable. This causes people to seek to lose weight in an attempt to be considered capable (Kindes65).
The media is responsible for imposing the standards of beauty and desirability on women. The magazines and television programs and advertisement seek to push the message that they thinner they are the easier it will be for them to achieve in life. This has led to the increase in demand for diet pills and diets in the attempt to lose weight. This is however not to mean that men are immune from the pressure for the ideal body image. The men are also under pressure to be more masculine to conform to the mass media images. Most of the images on the mass media are however unattainable, and this leaves a lot of people with a negative image of their bodies and leads to a low self-esteem (Kindes 66).
Most of the snacks and other foods that are consumed by the public usually contain artificial sweeteners. The artificial sweeteners are preferred because people assume that they contain fewer calories and will therefore not lead to weight gain. One of the oldest artificial sweeteners is saccharin that is said to be 100 times sweeter than sucrose. It however does not contain any calories. The use of saccharin has however been replaced by the use of Splenda as a sweetener. This is because saccharin is said to have an aftertaste following its interaction with the taste buds. Splenda does not contain any calories and it is not broken down to energy in the body. This means that the body does not recognize Splenda as carbohydrates. This has led to its increased preference over saccharin as an artificial sweetener.
Works cited
Kindes, Marlene. Body image: new research. New York: Nova Publishers. 2006. Print. Read More
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