Media's Influence on the Body

How technology has altered the perception of beauty in our society.

Advertising Techniques November 29, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — mediahlth09 @ 7:09 pm

The suggestion that using this product puts the user ahead of the times e.g. a toy manufacturer encourages kids to be the first on their block to have a new toy.


Statistics and objective factual information is used to prove the superiority of the product e.g. a car manufacturer quotes the amount of time it takes their car to get from 0 to 100 k.p.h.



“Weasel words” are used to suggest a positive meaning without actually really making any guarantee e.g. a scientist says that a diet product might help you to lose weight the way it helped him to lose weight.


The suggestion that some almost miraculous discovery makes the product exceptionally effective e.g. a pharmaceutical manufacturer describes a special coating that makes their pain reliever less irritating to the stomach than a competitor’s.



The suggestion that purchasing this product shows your love of your country e.g. a company brags about its product being made in America and employing American workers.



Diversion seems to tackle a problem or issue, but then throws in an emotional non-sequitor or distraction. e.g. a tobacco company talks about health and smoking, but then shows a cowboy smoking a rugged cigarette after a long day of hard work.


Words and ideas with positive connotations are used to suggest that the positive qualities should be associated with the product and the user e.g. a textile manufacturer wanting people to wear their product to stay cool during the summer shows people wearing fashions made from their cloth at a sunny seaside setting where there is a cool breeze.


The suggestion that the product is a practical product of good value for ordinary people e.g. a cereal manufacturer shows an ordinary family sitting down to breakfast and enjoying their product.


The suggestion that the use of the product makes the customer part of an elite group with a luxurious and glamorous life style e.g. a coffee manufacturer shows people dressed in formal gowns and tuxedos drinking their brand at an art gallery.



Bribery seems to give a desirable extra something.  We humans tend to be greedy. e.g. Buy a burger; get free fries.


A famous personality is used to endorse the product e.g. a famous basketball player (Michael Jordan) recommends a particular brand of skates.


Customers are attracted to products that divert the audience by giving viewers a reason to laugh or to be entertained by clever use of visuals or language.



Avoid complexities, and attack many problems to one solutions. e.g. Buy this makeup and you will be attractive, popular, and happy.


The propaganda technique of Card-Stacking is so widespread that we may not always be aware of its presence in a commercial. Basically, Card-Stacking means stacking the cards in favor of the product; advertisers stress is positive qualities and ignore negative. For example, if a brand of snack food is loaded with sugar (and calories), the commercial may boast that the product is low in fat, which implies that it is also low in calories. Card-Stacking is such a prevalent rational propaganda technique that gives us only part of the picture.


The glittering generalities technique uses appealing words and images to sell the product. The message this commercial gives, through indirectly, is that if you buy the item, you will be using a wonderful product, and it will change your life. This cosmetic will make you look younger, this car will give you status, this magazine will make you a leader-all these commercials are using Glittering Generalities to enhance product appeal.


Bandwagon is a form of propaganda that exploits the desire of most people to join the crowd or be on the winning side, and avoid winding up the losing side. Few of us would want to wear nerdy cloths, smell differently from everyone else, or be unpopular.

The popularity of a product is important to many people. Even if most of us say we make out own choice when buying something we often choose well-advertised items- the popular ones. Advertising copywriters must be careful with the bandwagon propaganda technique because most of us see ourselves as individuals who think for themselves. If Bandwagon commercial is to obvious, viewers may reject the product outright.



I came across this site and feel it is best to keep it at the top of my blog. This is a list of advertising techniques and definitions used by Ad agencies and commercial producers throughout the world. It amazes me how over the years we have studied human behavior and developed to most unique ways to play off of human emotions. When I think of this list I imagine a room full of wealthy executives drooling over images that will bring them dollars at the expense of men and women’s insecurities.


As you read through my blog, keep in mind these techniques. Understand that photo shoots and commercials aren’t always done the way they are just because it’s a cool way to do it. There is more than likely a subliminal message or a producer seeing how much money they can get from a world of imperfections. As a Member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, God let us know that we are imperfect beings and that we are all unique and different in our beautiful way. He sees greatness in what he has given us. I am happy with who I am and I don’t need a half naked model on TV telling me otherwise.


TEXTING > CALLING November 28, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — mediahlth09 @ 3:21 am

Tech News Daily posted an article called “Teens Prefer Texting vs. Calling…Except to Parent” . The article elaborated on the results of a report released by the Pew Research Center. Unsurprising, the report showed that teens prefer texting over voice calls. However, when communicating with their parents, phone calls are still best. The report was based on a phone survey of 800 youths spanning between the ages of 12 – 17. Revealing that the average teen texter sends and receives 50 messages a day compared to making and fielding just five phone calls. The report also shows that girls text more than guys. Additional, “two-thirds of the teens surveyed said they are more likely to type out a text to their friends than to call, whereas 78 percent said they are more likely to engage their vocal chords when communicating with their parents.” The teen’s reasons ranged from, “texting is an easy way to say hi,” or that “its more efficient” and avoids dreaded conversation, or that it allows a little privacy from parents.


Everywhere I look…school, store, work, gym, or even church, there is someone glued to their phone with a grin on their face, thumbs ready. Its like we live in a world of mimes, watching entertaining voiceless characters acting out emotions we understand and relate to. I often wonder if texting will eventually take over our lives, if it hasn’t already. Its already TAKEN I definitely feel texting has been a great invention and has many pros, but I feel that like an addiction it can take us out own personal reality. Teenagers now, often become someone they are not in their text conversation, like a rich actor in an action film. I remember having to call friends and others. What they heard was what they got. They were able to feel my joy or sorrow, laugh at my corkiness, but all in all, I matured and built a confidence in speaking with others. I worry we are breeding a future of poor communicators.




Cyber Bullying November 24, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — mediahlth09 @ 5:57 am

What is Cyber Bullying?

According the Committee For Children, a nonprofit organization that prevents bullying, violence and child abuse states: “Cyber bullying is using technology to threaten, insult, or harass. These technologies allow for aggressive expression toward others that doesn’t rely on physical strength or even physical contact. Armed with a cell phone or the Internet, a child who cyber bullies can quickly and aggressively spread rumors, threats, hate mail, or embarrassing photos through text messages, emails, or instant messages”.


This has become a growing concern in the last few years: Cyber bullying.  Technology has been a growing industry where people are able to threaten, insult, or harass other individuals with an anonymous identity.  Bullying use to be a confrontation handled face to face, but now, it can be posted and sent to thousands of people through Facebook, MySpace and Blogs.


Many negative behaviors are associated with cyber bullying.  Dr. Michele Ybarra, a recognized researcher in Web-related health issues for young people and president of the nonprofit Internet Solutions for Kids, Inc., stated the negative outcomes that come to those who cyber bully and their targets suffer socially, emotionally and academically. He continues to say, “Bullying is an important public health issue—whether it happens at home, at school or online—and it’s behavior that should not be tolerated.”


This is a great concern for children. While adults see the internet as a place to research and network with others, children are unaware of the negative behaviors found in the social media and the risks associated in the cyber environment.


“Adults see the Internet as a thing, but children see the Internet as a place, like home or school,” reflects Dr. Ybarra. “Just like any other environment, it poses both risks and benefits to kids. It’s the job of adults to teach young people how to correctly identify and safely navigate the potential risks, while also taking advantage of the benefits of the online world.”


Stirring statistics have shown and reported the dangers of Cyber bullying. Seventy percent of online targets are 14 years and older. In 1999, the Youth Internet Safety Survey revealed that 6 percent of youth report being harassed online in the previous year. Of those who report being bullied online: 48 percent are female, and 33 percent report feeling distressed by the incident. Most episodes occurred in instant messaging (33 percent), chat rooms (32 percent), and emails (19 percent). Fortunately, 76 percent of those harassed online report the incident to a friend, parent, or person of authority (Statistics found on Committee for Children webpage)


The Committee for Children have outlined tips and standards for parents and children to learn from when dealing with Online Bullying:


Important Strategies for Dealing with Online Bullying

Tips for Children

  • Practice appropriate online communication etiquette. Treat people online the same way you would in person—if it’s not okay to say something in person or on the phone, it’s not okay to say it online.
  • Turn off the computer or cell phone immediately if you are being bullied online.
  • Tell an adult you trust about the cyber bullying incident.


Tips for Parents and Educators

  • Educate yourself—know what cyber bullying is, who is most likely to bully or be a target, and when a child is most likely to be distressed by an online bullying incident.
  • Talk to the parents of the bullying child, who often don’t know their child is involved in online bullying.
  • If cyber bullying takes place off campus, a school may get involved if the incident poses a substantial likelihood of disruption at school.
  • Make sure your school has a bullying prevention program in place.


More Tips for Parents

  • Teach your child appropriate social skills for online communication.
  • Remind children not to give out their personal information (address, telephone number, etc.) online.
  • Set age-appropriate boundaries for use of technology and online behaviors.
  • Create open and honest relationships with your children so they feel comfortable coming to you when questions or problems arise.
  • Don’t punish your child if she or he is the target of an online bullying incident. Cutting off your child’s Internet access will not solve the problem. If your child is not upset by the incident, don’t overreact. Partner with your child to come up with a solution.

Male’s and Body Image November 23, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — mediahlth09 @ 3:26 am

Now, let’s shift over to the male side of the spectrum. As we know, the media has targeted and women throughout the years.  But recent studies and research done by Professor Eboni Baugh from the University of Florida show that the male population are also dealing with body image disorder and it is growing. While women are fighting issues to lose weight, men are trying to gain weight and build muscles.  Professor Baugh writes “Male body image concerns usually result from external pressures to conform to a specific “body-builder” physique: broad shoulders, V-shaped back, and a muscular body. Men receive these pressures from the media’s definition of masculinity and/or from teasing and expectations from family and friends…. Men are bombarded with media images of superheroes, action figures, and bodybuilders, all of which suggest that they should work towards having dense and muscular bodies.”  It is interesting to compare and contrast the differences of media messages found between both men and women.


Professor Baugh continues to write and provides research and reference of what has been done in the media and on male body image. “Research has shown that even moderate exposure to these types of messages can have a negative impact on male body image (Lorenzen, Grieve, & Thomas, 2004). Most men who are dissatisfied with their bodies do not wish to become thinner, but desire to develop muscle mass. For males, the pressure to gain muscle is a greater predictor of body dissatisfaction and weight-changing behaviors than the pressure to lose weight (Ricciardelli, McCabe, Lillis, & Thomas, 2006)”.


Through his research, Professor Baugh provides two lists that provides information to those males who are at risk and ways to improve male body image.

Males at Risk

As is the case with females, males at the most risk for body dissatisfaction and eating disorders are those who are overweight and those who diet. However, there are other factors that may place males at an increased risk for poor body image:

  • Participation in a sport that has strict weight requirements (runners, jockeys, wrestlers, bodybuilders, etc.)
  • Employment in a career that has physical restrictions (models, actors, etc.)
  • Teasing from family members, peers, and intimate partners
  • Being overweight or obese as young children
  • Exposure to media focused on the male bodybuilder ideal

Improving Male Body Image

Males, much like females, should focus on the positive aspects of their bodies and strive to accept and celebrate their true shape and size. Males specifically should:

  • Redefine masculinity. Do not rely on society’s definition of how a man “should” look. Focus on what you accomplish as a man, not how you look.
  • Pay attention to internal messages about their bodies. Watch inner “talk,” and replace negative comments and thoughts with more positive ones.
  • Critically evaluate media images (from magazines, television, movies, etc.) that focus on the “bodybuilder” physique.
  • Accept individual DNA. Not everybody can be muscular and lean. Consider the many determinants of body size and shape: family history, race/ethnicity, culture, etc. Be realistic about developing a healthy body, and don’t forget about the influence of genetics.
  • Participate in sports that do not regulate size and weight. It is important to remain active for health reasons, but some activities may be detrimental if they focus on size and weight. Take part in activities that people of all sizes can participate in (football, basketball, baseball, golf, bowling, etc.).

10 Steps to Positive Image November 20, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — mediahlth09 @ 9:38 pm

With the media is constantly bombarding images of flawless and beautiful individuals on advertisements, television shows and billboards, it can sometimes tarnish our thoughts regarding our own body image and diminish self-esteem.


The National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA) provides 10 Steps to help promote positive body image to both women and men.  These 10 Steps can help people think about new ways of looking more healthfully and happily at one’s self and body. NEDA finds that the more you engage in the step process, the more likely you are to feel good about who you are and the body you naturally have.


1) Appreciate all that your body can do. Every day your body carries you closer to your

dreams. Celebrate all of the amazing things your body does for you –running, dancing,

breathing, laughing, dreaming, etc.


2) Keep a top-10 list of things you like about yourself — things that aren’t related to how

much you weigh or what you look like. Read your list often. Add to it as you become

aware of more things to like about you.


3) Remind yourself that “true beauty” is not simply skin-deep. When you feel good about

yourself and who you are, you carry yourself with a sense of confidence, self-acceptance,

and openness that makes you beautiful regardless of whether you physically look like a

supermodel. Beauty is a state of mind, not a state of your body.


4) Look at yourself as a whole person. When you see yourself in a mirror or in your mind,

choose not to focus on specific body parts. See yourself as you want others to see you — as

a whole person.


5) Surround yourself with positive people. It is easier to feel good about yourself and your

body when you are around others who are supportive and who recognize the importance

of liking yourself just as you naturally are.


6) Shut down those voices in your head that tell you your body is not “right” or that you are a

“bad” person. You can overpower those negative thoughts with positive ones. The next

time you start to tear yourself down, build yourself back up with a few quick affirmations

that work for you.


7) Wear clothes that are comfortable and that make you feel good about your body. Work

with your body, not against it.


8) Become a critical viewer of social and media messages. Pay attention to images, slogans, or

attitudes that make you feel bad about yourself or your body. Protest these messages:

write a letter to the advertiser or talk back to the image or message.


9) Do something nice for yourself — something that lets your body know you appreciate it.


10) Take a bubble bath, make time for a nap, find a peaceful place outside to relax.

Use the time and energy that you might have spent worrying about food, calories, and your

weight to do something to help others. Sometimes reaching out to other people can help

you feel better about yourself and can make a positive change in our world.


Dove’s Campaign for REAL BEAUTY

Filed under: Uncategorized — mediahlth09 @ 7:58 pm

In 2004, Dove launched a successful Campaign for Real Beauty which featured real women, not models, to promote not only Dove products but to advertise real, natural beauty that consisted of “real women curves” and not the unrealistic and unhealthy thin models.  In order to release the Campaign into the public, Dove released a study that they used as a spring board to launch their Campaign for Real Beauty. Among the findings of the study, were the following statistics:

  • Only two percent of women describe themselves as beautiful.
  • Sixty-three percent strongly agree that society expects women to enhance their physical attractiveness. Forty-five percent of women feel women who are more beautiful have greater opportunities in life.
  • More than two-thirds (68%) of women strongly agree that “the media and advertising set an unrealistic standard of beauty that most woman can’t ever achieve.”
  • The majority (76%) wish female beauty was portrayed in the media as being made up of more than just physical attractiveness.
  • Seventy-five percent went on to say that they wish the media did a better job of portraying women of diverse physical attractiveness, including age, shape and size.

The idea that Dove wants to promote is “to make women feel more beautiful every day by challenging today’s stereotypical view of beauty and inspiring women to take great care of themselves.” The use of women “of various ages, shapes and sizes” is designed “to provoke discussion and debate about today’s typecast beauty images.”

The Dove campaign has provided a different perspective, a perspective that is not normally advertised and portrayed in the media.  The idea of REAL and healthy women being advertised emphasizes what is normal and ideal to see in society.  Media has been able to strongly influence and dictate our lives by setting standards in the way we should look and act in order to be accepted in society.  There needs to be a new standard set before the media on what real people and real beauty looks like.

It’s nice to see a well known company, such as Dove, take part in the effort to educate the public about the problems with the media and its influence on the way people, especially women, view on body image and other insecurities.

Below is a video clip of Dove’s movement to promote self-esteem and real beauty throughout the country.


Warning Labels on airbrushed photos November 17, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — mediahlth09 @ 4:53 am

As I was reading and finding articles about airbrushed photos I came across this article in the TIMES magazine titled “France May Put Warning Labels on Airbrushed Photos“.  As I read the title, I couldn’t help but think, now that is a pretty cool idea, how come we never thought of it?!?

Before and After Photoshop... see the difference?!?

Valerie Boyer, who is part of the conservative parliamentarian in France, is head of this idea and believes that is should be made known to the public.  Boyer states, “the widespread use of digital technology to alter images is feeding the public a steady visual diet of falsified people, places and products. This artificial reality leads people to expect perfection from themselves and the world in an impossible way. When writers take a news item or real event and considerably embellish it, they are required to alert readers by calling the work fiction, a novel or a story based on dramatized facts. Why should it be any different for photographs?” Boyer asks. “Rules on food-labeling let consumers know the origins of the contents and the presence of things like additives and preservatives. What’s wrong with … informing them when photographs have also been modified from their original form?”

Real versus photoshopped. Not only can it change facial features, but the whole body...

Boyer brings up a great point for the need to establish and label airbrushed photos to alert the public of the media dramatizing and embellishing the work of the human body.  She understands that it is driving individuals into behaviors that can be detrimental to ones health because of wanting to become something that is completely computerized and digitized.

I believe that France is going about the right way to handle these misconceptions that is being fed to us by the media.  It is important to let the public, especially adolescents and teenagers,  know and understand what is being falsely advertised and what is not.

Overall, models and celebrities look just like us! That’s a nice thought.