Ideal Body Type

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Yu, Joanna Nicole P. Prof. John Daryl Wyson 2014-57484

Mass Media’s Thin-Ideal


According to Thompson et al. (1999), thin-ideal internalization is the extent to which a person identifies with the idea that thinness is equivalent to attractiveness and engages himself/herself in behaviors designed to produce an approximation of this ideal. Thin-ideal internalization resulted from social reinforcement or the process by which individuals internalize attitudes approved by their significant or respected others (Kandel, 1980). That is why family, peers and mass media are thought to reinforce the thin-ideal through their actions which serve to perpetuate this ideal (e.g., teasing regarding one’s weight, encouragement to go on a diet, positive feedback after losing weight, glorification of thin models).

But setting thinness as the desired body frame for women has already brought negative effects on them. This is because it can lead to the development of body focused anxiety, body dissatisfaction and eating disorders, among others (Pidgeon & Harker, 2013; Stice, 2002). Due to the reason that the results of Madanat et al.’s (2013) research suggests that Filipino college students have higher levels of eating disorder attitudes compared to American college students (2013); and Tsai (2000) has found that the body dissatisfaction and dieting rates among Eastern and Western countries is quite similar, that is why one of the purposes of this paper is to explain the historical context behind the thin ideal body frame which had originated from the West.

And since the results of Nielson’s survey suggests that television is still one of the most popular forms of media in the Philippines and the readership of magazines in Mega Manila has grown from 16 to 18 percent last 2011 (Philippine Daily Inquirer, 2011), that is why this paper also...