NEGATIVE IMPACT OF THE BEAUTY INDUSTRY ON TEEN BODY IMAGE AMONG NIGERIAN STUDENTS

Body image refers to a person’s feelings of the aesthetics and sexual attractiveness of their own body. The phrase body image was first coined by the Austrian neurologist and psychoanalyst Paul Schilder in his book The Image and Appearance of the Human Body (1935) cited in http//wikipedia.com. National Eating Disorders (2014). offers the following definitions on body image:

“Body image is how you see yourself when you look in the mirror or when you picture yourself in your mind. It encompasses what you believe about your own appearance (including your memories, assumptions, and generalizations).

How you feel about your body, including your height, shape, and weight and how you sense and control your body as you move.  How you feel in your body, not just about your body.

Human society has at all times placed great value on beauty of the human body, but a person’s perception of their own body may not correspond to society’s standards.

Media Smarts(2014) says advertising, particularly for fashion and cosmetics, has a powerful effect on how we see ourselves and how we think we should look. Women’s magazines in particular have a tremendous influence on body image, with researchers reporting that teenage girls rely heavily on them for information on beauty and fashion, valuing their advice nearly as highly as that of their peers

          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.

          According to Medimark Research Inc., a marketing research company, teenagers are important to marketers because they “have significant discretionary income; spend family money, as well as influence their parents’ spending on both large and small household purchases; establish and affect fashion, lifestyle, and overall trends; and provide a ‘window’ into our society a view of how it is now and what it is likely to become.

          Almost half of the space of the most popular magazines for adolescent girls is made up of advertisements. In an effort to further reach young men with advertisements, branded content is now being included in video games as well. Researches are trying to determine whether or not these advertisements shape the body image and self-esteem of the impressionable teenagers that view them.

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