How THE MEDIA Affects Our Mindset Towards Body Image

“Whoever controls the media, controls the mind.”

Today, the American media’s impact is felt heavily in our online news intake and entertainment media consumption habits. 37 years ago, 50 companies controlled the media in America. Fast forward to 2021 and the American media outlets are controlled by only SIX powerful corporations.
Americans think they have unlimited variety of entertainment and unbiased news media options right at their fingertips. But it is all a lie. When 6 media giants control a whopping 90% of what we read, watch, or listen to, things are bound to be distorted.

What’s my point?

Advertisements and popular media outlets contribute to the superficial standards of what women should or should not look like through imagery that objectifies them. Overly photoshopped images, a lack of body diversity and highly sexualized advertising campaigns are all key factors here. Therefore, it's easy for the vast majority of women to feel discouraged or misrepresented by the media.

What can we do?

Create laws against photoshopping models in advertising campaigns or at the very least, provide a disclaimer notifying the public that the images were enhanced. How about a call for more diversity in the fashion world and influencer's posting more authentic versions of themselves onto popular social network channels? Body-positive communities and yes, beauty and boudoir photography, are all significant strides towards a more authentic media.

Within American culture, thinness and beauty are highly valued and wealth and success are often considered to go hand in hand with being thin. The media has historically glamorized being thin. A women’s body weight, appearance and beauty are often associated with their social standing, wealth, and success. Studies show that the more reality television a young girl watches, the more likely she is to find appearance important.

Media plays an overwhelming role in our thinking, just by volume and repetition alone. eMarketer’s forecast, which analyzed current digital media penetration time in the U.S., found that U.S. adults spent an average of seven hours and fifty minutes consuming digital media per day in 2020, up 15 percent—or about 59 minutes—from the six hours and forty-nine minutes they spent consuming digital media in 2019. Many of the messages that we are bombarded with have to do with beauty, and the media images and messages about beauty are usually unattainable.

Wishing we looked a certain way or striving to live up to some unattainable ideal won't lead to happiness. We should love and respect all the parts of ourselves at all times in order to truly be happy.

how the media affects our mindset

We asked clients to answer the following questions to help us with this series about body image:

1) What has influenced you the most regarding your body image? Please answer with both the positive things and negative things.
2) What has doing a Beauty/Boudoir session done for your confidence, body image and your feelings about your body and self confidence?

Here are the thoughts of two recent clients, Marissa and Maria:

Marissa's Testimonial

1) I would say the media, social pressure and just having an overall image in my head of what my body is “supposed to look like” has had a negative impact on my body image since I was a young girl. I always felt like I had to be skinnier, more fit or be the skinniest I could be. Which isn’t true. I believe you should strive to be the healthiest you can be. Having support through family, friends and a loving husband who has always loved me as I am has helped change my negative view of myself. Over recent years I have been able to concentrate on everything I love about my body instead of what I dislike about it.

woman wearing black one-piece lingerie for the article how the media affects our mindset

2) Doing a boudoir session has helped allow me to see and respect my body for the beautiful, strong unique body that it is! The session boosted my confidence significantly! I loved every moment of my session and realized confidence is sexy. Own your body, own your confidence because you are beautiful and unique. Our bodies are a beautiful thing and they should be celebrated! I hope more women discover the beauty of themselves instead of body shaming themselves because of “standards” or expectations of what they think their bodies “should look like”. If any woman is on the fence about booking a boudoir session, I hope they take the leap and go for it no matter how nervous they are. It’s such a confidence booster and an experience you won’t regret or forget!

Maria's Testimonial

1) Media and fashion have definitely influenced my body image over the years. Growing up and being a teenager in the time of low rise jeans and tiny models, my naturally curvy body just did not fit in literally. I could never wear the fashions that were in style in high school and I wore baggy sweatpants to hide my body a great deal. If you were to see pictures of me then, I would appear unrecognizable. Often in even boys' jeans to hide my butt and thighs and appear less curvy. I wanted a thigh gap more than the straight A's I had and often thought there was something wrong with me because of it.

2) When I saw my photo gallery, I was pleasantly surprised that I didn't immediately see the perceived flaws of my body, but rather I was impressed with how I appeared in the pictures! Having that third-person view of myself gave me a chance to see myself in a different way. My husband often tells me how attractive he finds me and my shape. By viewing myself in the pictures, I believe it gave me a view of myself through his eyes which is an amazing feeling!

Check out the next post in this series "What Causes a Negative Mindset Towards Body Image" here!

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