Poster Title

African American Women: Mass Media’s Impact on Body Image Perceptions

Research Mentor(s)

Tara Perry

Affiliated Department

Media and Communication

Sort Order

02

Start Date

18-5-2017 12:00 PM

End Date

18-5-2017 3:00 PM

Document Type

Event

Abstract

This study examines how the images of African-American women in the media affect the average African-American woman’s perception of her body image. Most studies already conducted, which concern body image perception, have dealt heavily with Caucasian-American women. Thus, the voices of African-American women are important to consider. Given the lack of focus on African-American women, the researchers will explore if African-American women’s perceptions are altered due to the images that are shown in the media. Using a quantitative method study, the researchers will administer surveys for participants to fill out and return. The surveys will be accompanied by a short screening of media imagery, which will involve images commonly seen in the media. A control group will be used to increase the validity of the experiment. Participants answers to the pretest and posttest surveys will be examined to measure the correlation between media imagery and the participants perception of their body image. The participants will be individuals who identify with the female gender and who are of African descent who live in the United States. Studying body image perceptions is important in general because low self-esteem can negatively affect one’s overall health and behavior. If the researchers identify the cause of low-self esteem is indeed due to mass media, steps can be made to assure women’s self-esteem is considered and protected. This issue is especially important because there is an underrepresentation of African-American women in the media, which leaves limited access for women, who identify as African-American, to connect with the women shown in the media. To help understand how the media impacts African-American women’s perceptions of their body images, the researchers will incorporate the Social Comparison Theory and the Cultivation Theory.

Rights

Copying of this document in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this documentation for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author's written permission.

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

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May 18th, 12:00 PM May 18th, 3:00 PM

African American Women: Mass Media’s Impact on Body Image Perceptions

Media and Communication

This study examines how the images of African-American women in the media affect the average African-American woman’s perception of her body image. Most studies already conducted, which concern body image perception, have dealt heavily with Caucasian-American women. Thus, the voices of African-American women are important to consider. Given the lack of focus on African-American women, the researchers will explore if African-American women’s perceptions are altered due to the images that are shown in the media. Using a quantitative method study, the researchers will administer surveys for participants to fill out and return. The surveys will be accompanied by a short screening of media imagery, which will involve images commonly seen in the media. A control group will be used to increase the validity of the experiment. Participants answers to the pretest and posttest surveys will be examined to measure the correlation between media imagery and the participants perception of their body image. The participants will be individuals who identify with the female gender and who are of African descent who live in the United States. Studying body image perceptions is important in general because low self-esteem can negatively affect one’s overall health and behavior. If the researchers identify the cause of low-self esteem is indeed due to mass media, steps can be made to assure women’s self-esteem is considered and protected. This issue is especially important because there is an underrepresentation of African-American women in the media, which leaves limited access for women, who identify as African-American, to connect with the women shown in the media. To help understand how the media impacts African-American women’s perceptions of their body images, the researchers will incorporate the Social Comparison Theory and the Cultivation Theory.