Skin and bones: an analysis of the impact of the British newspapers’ representation of the idealised figure upon female body image

walker, Olivia Rose (2012) Skin and bones: an analysis of the impact of the British newspapers’ representation of the idealised figure upon female body image. BA dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Abstract

    This dissertation examines the media as a key factor in the creation of female body dissatisfaction within the UK. The text aims to explore whether British newspapers are avoiding their responsibilities in the reporting of body image in favour of more ‘newsworthy’ stories, drawing upon the effect of issues such as the impact of celebrity culture and the 2007 size 0 debate, and whether the focus upon these issues has led to an increase in the experience of body dissatisfaction amongst women in the UK.
    The chapters within this dissertation explore the various factors affecting the creation of body image, drawing upon social, cultural and psychological influences. Chapter one considers the history of body image in the Western world, exploring the importance of celebrity culture, media and fashion in relation to the changing feminine ideal since the early 1400s in order to determine the weight each of these issues holds within present society. Consideration is also given to the importance of news values and moral panics within the reporting of female body image in UK newspapers. The psychology of the female body is then explored in chapter two in order to review alternative causes for body dissatisfaction, whilst determining women’s vulnerability to issues presented within the media. These issues are then explored through a content analysis of UK national newspapers in chapter 3 to detect which news values are prevalent within stories regarding overweight individuals.
    This dissertation concludes that the media emphasises the importance of an ideal body, within which being thin is viewed as paramount to the way in which an individual is viewed by society. When this ideal is unable to be reached women are left with feeling a sense of body dissatisfaction.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries > School of Media and Performing Arts
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2014 10:56
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 12:32
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/14121

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