Media ideals--unattainable to most females
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The images of females displayed in the media today are thinner than the images of male, thinner than media images of females in the past, than the actual female population, and than the criteria for anorexia (Schooler, Ward, Merriwether, & Caruthers, 2004). This study investigated the stereotypical representations of adult females in mass media. It was hypothesized that exposure to mass media containing idealistic representations of the female body would be associated with less favorable body image evaluation among adult females. Results indicated a strong need for awareness and education regarding media images that carry forth ideas of such gender stereotypes throughout society. All participants reported having a higher level of body image dissatisfaction after viewing the mass media's ideal, which supported the hypothesis. Implications for practitioners indicate that awareness of media ideals and perceived body image versus the average healthy body needs to be more inclusive throughout a female's life.