Media Mythmakers: Women, body image, and self-esteem
Posted: 08 March 2006 06:19 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Several folks were intrigued by my recent podcast about women’s self-esteem and body image and were curious to find out more. Readers and listeners can find more at my LiveScience.com columns listed below, or by contacting me. I also tried to provide references so readers could follow up.


http://www.livescience.com/othernews/051230_barbie.html
http://www.livescience.com/othernews/050927_kate_moss.html
http://www.livescience.com/othernews/060206_dove_ad.html
http://www.livescience.com/scienceoffiction/050623_obesity.html

Obviously, some women (and men) do feel badly about themselves, and are obsessed with weight loss and being thin, but studies, polls, and surveys find that most women aren’t. It’s almost exactly the opposite of what most people believe.

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Posted: 08 March 2006 06:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Media Mythmakers: Women, body image, and self-esteem

Several folks were intrigued by my recent podcast about women’s self-esteem and body image and were curious to find out more. Readers and listeners can find more at my LiveScience.com columns listed below, or by contacting me. I also tried to provide references so readers could follow up.


http://www.livescience.com/othernews/051230_barbie.html
http://www.livescience.com/othernews/050927_kate_moss.html
http://www.livescience.com/othernews/060206_dove_ad.html
http://www.livescience.com/scienceoffiction/050623_obesity.html

Obviously, some women (and men) do feel badly about themselves, and are obsessed with weight loss and being thin, but studies, polls, and surveys find that most women aren’t. It’s almost exactly the opposite of what most people believe.

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Posted: 31 July 2006 12:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Ben, I enjoyed your articles very much.  I think the recent polls you quoted are accurate, but if those same polls were taken of teenage girls in the 80’s, I think the results would have been far more self-critical.. I believe that in the last ten years we have seen a backlash against the anorexia/bulimia obsession that was so prevalent 25 years ago.  Of course, this may be just my own personal conclusion because I came of age at that time, and am projecting my own experiences.  Although even at the present time, I don’t know a single person who isn’t seriously concerned with his/her weight and food intake; it’s still a major cultural obsession in this country.  I was surprised and pleased to see this topic featured in CFI magazines (which I subscribe to).  Thanks for an intelligent look at a very relevant issue.

Eileen

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Posted: 01 August 2006 07:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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This is something that really has me concerned more and more.  There is such emphasis place on superficial appearances and it becomes the focal point of especially young women’s lives.  You know, you can be fit and attractive and not have to dedicate your life to being that way.  I just think that a lot of these girls get the mentality that they are supposed to be eye-candy and they develop no other interests in life other than living up to that ideal.  And then of course the women that are ugly and fat are devastated emotionally and pyschologically because they still have the same mindset but lack the physical appearance which they think they should have.  And much of this is caused and perpetuated by the media.

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Posted: 01 August 2006 12:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Rogerflat, I think your comments are right on target, especially about the young girls having no other interests in life but appearance.  Personally, I think that the current generation of young women are in gereral less obsessed with being eye candy than their predecessors, but it is a sad state of affairs when a seven year old tells her eight year old sister that “now we have to run and exercise away all the calories we just ate”.  (True story - both children were stick thin, by the way).  And your comment on ugly/overweight women internalizing this mindset and being emotionally devastated was truly sad and probably accurate, especially the younger women (and men).  It would be great if our young people had more in their lives than who is the most attractive. Many do, fortunately - they are involved in sports, in clubs and groups, have satisfying jobs, family and friends who love them for who they are and not what they look like, hobbies and interests…still, young adulthood (which seems to last longer and longer) sometimes seems to be all about appearance and superficiality.  But I found the polls Ben quoted to be tremendously encouraging and hope the trend toward self confidence grows.

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Posted: 19 January 2008 06:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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benradford - 08 March 2006 06:19 AM

Several folks were intrigued by my recent podcast

Could you give a link and date—thanks—I didn’t see it on pointofinquiry.net

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Posted: 27 January 2008 03:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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My impression is that typically when a woman looks in the mirror she homes in on perceived defects that may be there only in her mind, but a for a man the pot belly will disappear, the shoulders will broaden, the stance will become more heroic, the penis will grow longer, etc.

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