Keywords: TEEN BODY IMAGE
1.1 Background of the Study
The beauty industry is a massive global enterprise that is thriving and constantly expanding, worth an estimated $532 billion worldwide in 2019 (Zion Market Research, 2020). The industry’s primary focus is on cosmetics, skincare, and hair care products that enhance one’s appearance. However, its influence extends far beyond the realm of beauty products; it shapes society’s standards of beauty, impacting the way people perceive themselves and others. This impact is especially prevalent among teenagers, who are already grappling with self-image issues.
Body image is a subjective experience of one’s physical appearance, influenced by societal norms and expectations. Adolescence is a critical stage for developing a positive body image. The increasing use of social media and exposure to airbrushed images and filtered pictures have created unrealistic beauty standards, further perpetuating negative body image issues.
The beauty industry has a profound impact on teenage body image, leading to an unhealthy focus on appearance, unrealistic expectations, and low self-esteem. Studies have shown that exposure to beauty advertisements has a significant impact on how teenagers view their bodies. A study by Hausenblas and Fallon (2006) found that exposure to beauty advertisements led to increased body dissatisfaction among teenage girls.
Moreover, the use of airbrushing and photo editing techniques in advertisements creates unrealistic beauty standards that cannot be achieved by the average person, leading to feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem. A study by Hargreaves and Tiggemann (2004) found that teenage girls who viewed magazines with airbrushed images of models reported feeling less confident in their own appearance.
Additionally, the marketing strategies employed by the beauty industry perpetuate a cycle of low self-esteem and the need for constant self-improvement. The industry sells the idea that beauty is a commodity that can be purchased, leading to a focus on appearance rather than inner qualities. As a result, teenagers who fall short of society’s beauty standards may feel inadequate, leading to further self-criticism and body shaming.
Negative body image issues can lead to a host of mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, and eating disorders. A study by Field et al. (2001) found that teenage girls who viewed television programs with a focus on appearance and weight loss were more likely to engage in unhealthy weight control behaviors such as dieting, bingeing, and purging.
By and large, the beauty industry’s impact on teenage body image cannot be ignored. The industry’s focus on appearance and unrealistic beauty standards perpetuates negative body image issues among teenagers, leading to low self-esteem, unhealthy weight control behaviors, and a host of mental health issues. It is crucial to educate teenagers on the dangers of the beauty industry’s marketing strategies and promote a healthy body image that focuses on inner qualities and self-acceptance. It is against this background that the study evaluated the negative impact of the beauty industry on teen body image among Nigerian students with a particular focus on Renaissance University Students.
1.2 Statement of the Study
This research work evaluates the negative impact of the beauty industries on teen body image among Nigerian students using Renaissance University students as a case study. Some of the problems to be investigated are:
Beauty industries create a negative effect on teen body image as people especially youths and teenagers love to imitate and be like the image used in the media beauty advert.
Beauty factories create higher self-esteem and make teenagers become unsatisfied with their physical appearance after being exposed to beauty industries’ advertisements.
There are some elements of deception and untruth facts in the manner in which beauty is being portrayed in the media which cause dissatisfaction and negative thought to teenagers when those results are not achieved.
It is observed that dangerously underweight models are often not seen as being thin enough by editors, who employ Photoshop and other image manipulation tools to create women who are literally “too thin to be true” as well as to alter photos of celebrities so they meet this standard. Men in magazines are also frequently “photoshopped” to achieve the lean and muscular ideal.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
- To examine whether beauty industries have a negative effect on teen (young ladies) body image.
- To examine some of the negative effects of beauty industries on young ladies.
1.4 Research Questions
- To what extent has beauty industries caused a negative effect on (young ladies) teen body image?
- To what extent do teen body image advertisements by beauty industries affect young ladies?
1.5 Significance of the Study
The research is significant because is beneficial to business firms, schools, government, individuals, and researchers.
Company: Different companies will find this research very interesting as it will keep them aware of the level of effect that their activities have on teen image bodies and the general appearance of teens and youth.
Researchers: People that will be carrying out research in relation to this study will find the material useful as it will provide them a clue to their own research.
Academic: It forms part of academic materials that students, lecturers, researchers, and the company can turn to when looking for solutions to the effects of beauty factories on the body image of teens and the effects of beauty advertisements on teen body image.
1.6 Scope of the Study
The study investigates the impact of the beauty industry on teen body image among Nigerian students and has been narrowed down to students of Renaissance University Enugu. Hence the geographical location of this study is Enugu state. The choice of students at the Renaissance University Enugu was due to inadequate funds, little literature available on the topic, and other logistics, while it is not only difficult if not impossible to study all students in Enugu state and by extension Nigeria within the available period meant to complete this research.
However, the demographic of the students within Renaissance University Enugu was examined such as sex, age, educational level e.t.c before the administration of the research instrument.
1.7 Operational Definition of Terms
Evaluation: It means measuring the negative impact that beauty industries bring to teen body image among Nigerian students.
Negative Impact: It refers to the bad effect of beauty industries on teen body image in Nigeria.
Beauty Industry: This refers to the firms that produce materials that are used for body treatment, cosmetics, make up e.t.c
Teen: This refers to the students of Renaissance University who are between the age of 13- 20 years.
Body Image: It means the physical appearance of students of Renaissance University who are between the age of 13- 20 years.