Media & Physical/Mental Wellbeing


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General Topic Area: Media & Physical/Mental Wellbeing

Focused Topic Area: The Impact of Media on Body Image

Resource #1

Resource Link:

Resource type/publisher YouTube Video/ Hartford HealthCare


This YouTube video addresses the effect social media has on kids’ body image. The guest speaker, Dr. Laura Saunders of Hartford Hospital, articulates her concerns regarding the overemphasis on body image. She is concerned that other qualities such as virtues are overlooked in favor of body image. The increased use of social media exacerbates the issue. Kids are bombarded with edited and airbrushed images on social media platforms (Hartford HealthCare). In such an environment, kids are likely to compare their body image to those they see online.

This relates to my topic issue by showing that kids compare themselves with body images that they see on social media. This may lead to issues with self-esteem. This video tackles the issue from the kids’ perspective. This is important since the youth are major users of social media. This video is closely related to the course concept of wishful identification.

Resource #2

Resource Link:

Resource type/publisher: Blog Post/ National Eating Disorders Association


This blog post considers past research to evaluate how media affects body image. The author then addresses three areas where media affects people’s looks. These include the types of images viewed on social media, cyberbullying, and exposure to thin-ideal media images. The author calls for major changes in these areas as a campaign for positive body image. People are advised to view more body-positive images. Cyberbullying based on body image should be admonished (Denza). Finally, the media should move away from the thin-ideal images and be inclusive of all body images.

The blog contributes to my topic area by showing the specific ways media affects body image. This mostly consists of the victimization of people who are considered fat. However, the blog shows that media can also promote positive body image if used correctly. This resource is related to the course idea of media effects.

Resource #3

Resource Link:

Resource type/publisher: News Article/ BBC


In this article, the association between social media and body image is investigated through past research. The author reports that viewing highly-edited body images on social media leads to negative feelings about one’s image. Also, social media has led to more objectification of the body. People who often use social media are found to overlook factors such as personalities (Oakes). The author, however, advises that content curating to avoid such images can lead to less indulgence on body image. People are advised to focus more on positive content such as motivational quotes.

This contributes to my topic area by showing that social media usage leads to more concentration on body image than on personalities. This results in a negative body image and objectification. The article also shows how different uses of social media can reinforce a positive body image. This relates to the course concept of mental wellbeing.

Resource #4

Resource Link:

Resource type/publisher: Article/ Chron


This article addresses the effect of women’s advertisements on their body image. Advertisers are accused of using content that has negative impacts on women’s psychology and body image. The author mentions four factors that contribute to the problem. These include using excessively thin women for advertising, sexual exploitation, ageism, and consequence-free fantasies. Each of these factors is then expounded upon. For instance, excessively thin women motivate college women to adopt unhealthy eating habits to achieve such bodies (Vaux). On the other hand, sexual exploitation in commercials can lead to objectification.

This contributes to my topic area by showing that common advertising practices negatively affect women’s body image. Women wish to be like the models they see leading to unhealthy habits and poor quality of life. The article addresses this issue from the angle of advertisements. This relates to course concepts of psychological and behavioral media effects.

Resource #5

Resource Link:

Resource type/publisher: News Video/ CBN News


This video by CBN News reports on the effect of social media on China’s youth. Reports show that the media is increasingly influencing the youth to be slim. This is in hopes of achieving careers such as modeling. Furthermore, the reporter notes that there are many online campaigns requiring youths to lose weight. The methods adopted to achieve this feat are not healthy. Interviewees in the video engage in strict dieting as a weight loss method (CBN News). The video also reports that such a method has resulted in increased cases of eating disorders across the country.

The news report contributes to my topic area by showing that social media can be used to popularize campaigns on body image. The video brings a unique angle to the debate by studying the use of social media in China. This closely relates to the course idea of para-social interactions in social media.

Resource #6

Resource Link:

Resource type/publisher: Article/ Mirror-Mirror


In this article, the focus is on the effects of advertisements on body image. The author notes that a third of broadcast time is dedicated to advertisements. These ads mostly use models with unrealistic bodies or rather bodies that do not reflect the general population. The author notes that such body images can lead to feelings of inadequacy, depression, and anxiety. Such feelings may result in unhealthy practices such as poor eating habits to achieve skinny bodies (Mirror-Mirror). The article then proposes ways that people can bring change in TV and advertisements to overcome such problems.

This article contributes to my topic by showing that TV advertisements can have negative consequences on body image. It also proposes ways that media can improve to avoid such problems. This is closely related to the concept of message dissemination in mass media.

Resource #7

Resource Link:

Resource type/publisher: Blog Post/ PsychCentral


This blog addresses the difference between positive and negative body images as well as their relation to media. The author notes that the media has a heavy effect on body image. TV shows are doctored to attain more views and some of the advertisements exploit women’s low self-esteem to achieve more sales. Such practices affect body image. The blog advises that one of the ways to attain a positive body image is by cutting off television time (Polk). People should choose content wisely by identifying shows, music, movies, and books that aim to improve lives.

The blog contributes to my topic by showing that positive and negative body images are influenced by the content one chooses to watch. Rather than advising people to avoid media entirely, the blog recommends a careful selection of content. This issue is closely related to the course concept of audience conditioning in mass media.

Resource #8

Resource Link:

Resource type/publisher: Research Study/ Medical News Today


This study draws from research conducted on the effects of social media on the perceived body image of young women. According to the research findings, the young women had negative feelings towards their appearance after interacting with a person they considered more attractive than themselves. This was not the case after interacting with family members they considered less attractive. The author notes that such research shows that social media has a great effect on young women’s body image (Sandoiu). She also suggests that there is a link between social media and harmful habits such as excessive exercise and stringent diets that could lead to eating disorders.

The study relates to my topic by showing that different types of interactions on social media can affect self-perception of body image. This is closely related to the course idea of wishful identification among girls.














Works Cited

CBN News. “Social Media Impacting Chinese Body Image – for Better or Worse.” YouTube, 21 Jul. 2016,

Denza, Diana. “What Does the Research Tell Us About Social Media and Body Image?” National Eating Disorders Association, 2018,

Hartford HealthCare. “Kids, Social Media, and Body Image.” YouTube, 17 Sep. 2018,

Mirror-Mirror. “The Media And Body Image.” Mirror Mirror,

Oakes, Kelly. “The complicated truth about social media and body image.” BBC, 12 Mar. 2019,

Polk, Whitney. “How the Media Affects Body Image.” PsychCentral, 8 Jul. 2018,

Sandoiu, Ana. “How Does Social Media Use Affect Our Body Image?” Medical News Today, 19 Nov. 2018,

Vaux, Robert. “The Negative Effects of Women’s Advertisements.” Chron,


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