How is body image affected by the media?

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How are we affected by the media and what can they do to change this? Flashy upscale advertisements with perfectly photoshopped models plague our everyday activities. No matter where we are, on the bus, on the train, in our own homes, we are exposed to them and they affect us even if we don’t know it. The purpose of advertising is to convince us to buy things though the people in those ads seldom reflect who were are but rather who they tell us we should be.

A brand that has had a massive influence on body image in the past years is Dove. Doves campaigns such as the “Real Beauty” and “Choose Beautiful” are part of their very successful “Movement for Self-Esteem”. Other highly successful advertisements include “Tested on Real Curves”  and “Real Beauty Sketches” which garnered viral attention. This campaign has not only boosted their sales but it has made a huge impact in opening up about self-esteem, body image and mental health.

The only issue is that there is no male representation in the “Movement for Self-Esteem”. Is this because males don’t experience the same issues? Or more because society doesn’t see it as acceptable to discuss it? Body image is such a taboo topic that many men are reluctant to talk about but it shouldn’t be this way. Influencer Dove has the leverage to change this with their huge platform. Through including males in future campaigns they can help to increase dialogue for males who have body image issues or for people to discuss body image with males they know.

Having advertisements that males can actually relate to can change a lot with undiagnosed and untreated mental illnesses related to body image as men will be more inclined to talk about it if it wasn’t such a touchy subject. If you would like to help make this a reality, sign this petition to make Dove realise that males should also be in their future advertisements:

https://www.change.org/p/dove-help-dove-realise-that-men-should-be-included-in-their-real-beauty-campaigns-too

IH

Sources:

Why Dove’s ‘Choose Beautiful’ campaign sparked a backlash

http://www.mirror-mirror.org/the-media-and-body-image.htm

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