Media-Portrayed Idealized Images: Comparing ‘Male and Female’ Literature Review

Dilan Çiftçi


This paper has focused on the aspects of the media’s representation of ideal body images among
female and males. This literature review sought to examine the effects of media images on men’s and women’s
attitudes towards their body appearance. Socio-cultural theories of body images suggests that body
dissatisfaction results from unrealistic societal beauty ideals and the most valid way of transmitting this is
through mass media. In this paper, internalized appearance ideals and appearance social comparisons have
been considered central factors accounting body dissatisfaction due to the media images. While, the body
dissatisfaction is common among both men and women when they exposed by idealized body images through
mass media, social comparison effect shows differences among boys and girls. Significantly, in each single case
there is a high signal for certain psychological and physical problems afterwards. The existing literatures have
been mostly interested with female body dissatisfaction. Yet, the new phenomenon is mostly focusing on the
‘muscularity dysmorphia’ problem as well. Differences and similarities are explained in the light of different
studies that existed. I reviewed the findings of some literatures on men and women body dissatisfaction and
idealized body images.
Keywords: Idealized body images; the Social Comparison Theory; body dissatisfaction; media

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