Exploring the lived experiences of identity, body image and media representations of the "thin ideal" amongst adolescent girls
(2014) Exploring the lived experiences of identity, body image and media representations of the "thin ideal" amongst adolescent girls, no. 72.
This dissertation offers an exploration into the lived experiences of identity, body image, and media representations of the "thin ideal" amongst adolescent girls. Data were generated from an East Lothian high school, from two focus groups with adolescent girls, who were exposed to "Photoshop" images and clips of thin models and celebrities. The concept of "Photoshop" (digitally manipulating images) has become increasingly widespread due to advances in computer technology (Roberts and Webber 1999). The print media, by continuing to promote the "thin ideal"; a concept so unobtainable that even models are manipulated, are causing young girls and women to construct a negative body image (Halliwell et al. 2011). Recent quantitative studies in the UK have identified adolescent girls as the demographic most at risk when exposed to such images; causing low self-esteem, negative body image and in some cases, eating disorders (Clay et al 2005; Maltby et al 2005; Bell and Dittmar 20011; Halliwell et al 2011). In accordance with previous findings, this study therefore, has identified an apparent relationship between the "thin ideal" and body dissatisfaction, within an analysis that offers a qualitatively broader framework. A new layer of meaning has also been added to previous academic research, through the identification of a strong association between paranoia and social media. This is due to the adolescent girls in this study, believing that people are making fun of their looks and weight behind their backs.