Free Sample: Marketing Research on Body Image paper example for writing essay

Marketing Research on Body Image - Essay Example

Another 87 percent of surveyed people say that they would like to change any part of their body if they could. In the US, many people diet regularly and they spend a lot of money on weight loss products, cosmetics and fragrances. Demand of market for body enhancement and medication is still increasing and number of people who seek for cosmetic surgery has grown rapidly, from 300,000 in 1981 to 1,500,000 in 1988. However, dissatisfaction with one’s own body image may cause some serious health problems such as eating disorders, use of body building steroids, feeling of low self- esteem and depression.

Even in non-western societies like Hong Kong, Taiwan, China, Malaysia, India, Singapore and Japan, number of eating disorders is increasing. It is said that the media and advertising industries should be responsible for occurrence of this issue because they promote thin, athletic body images. Due to social stresses to the ideal of ultrahigh, supermodel body, young women are most easily influenced by media image. Although media do have influence on body image, it is different to point out that there is a direct relationship between media images and individual’s behavior and self-perception. 1. 1.

Purpose of the Research The purpose of the research is to find out whether the media should change the way they promote the body image to public. 4 2. Secondary Research Following information and relations were found as secondary research regarding with the perception towards body image. The first research was Harvester’s research which was discussed the effect of a self- esteem threat combined with exposure to thin images on body image satisfaction and investment. However, not all women are affected equally by media messages as self-esteem is the main moderation of women’s reaction to the thin image.

The research found that exposure to the thin ideal may inspire women experiencing low maintaining their global esteem through body image compensatory self- enhancement Carry & Koshers, 2007). Secondly, the research which is conducted in three schools of Northeast United States shows that body image plays an important role in both male and female teenagers mind. However, males tend to desire a muscular body and healthier image while a large number of girls want to lose their overall weights for a thinner ideal figure.

Moreover, the research showed that although both genders are affected by Edie images, males tend to be less vulnerable towards media (Ata et al. , 2007). The research also came up with the reason for this finding. The reason is females are more interested or even obsess with magazines which lead them to have stronger disappointment with their bodies compared to males who pay less attention to celebrities, music stars and models from all types of media (Ata et al. 2007). According to Channel 4 of women’s views on advertising and the media, women are more influenced by ads that describe them as independently minded and strong. The survey found that in some specific advertising sectors such as car and financial services, there were some weak points to women. More than half of the women in the survey said they were more likely to be influenced by ads that portrayed them in a positive light. Moreover, Gustafson et al. 2001) found that the liability of media’s influence can be laid on media, marketers and advertisers who use many female stereotypes which are believed to have psychological and physiological harms. Moreover, the exposure with media which includes super slim women as more successful, desirable and seasonable can conduce to anorexia nervous which death can occur. Anorexia is a bio-psychosocial disorder due to self-image and self-perception distortion which cause an intense fear of food and gaining weight that they may starve themselves till death (Gustafson et al. 2001). According to Gustafson et al. (2001), mass media have been recognized as one of the most influential social-cultural factors contributing eating disorder which is the third common chronic illness of female. In this research, the Q methodology is used to examine on how female ranked magazine ads that treating harmful stereotypes (Gustafson et al. , 2001). 5 Another article shows the research about how social circles can have a huge impact on our wellbeing, more particularly in our view of our physical image.

Advertising and social circle has impacted all generations from young, adolescents and adults. As stated by Brown et al, cosmetics and body images are important to those who want to look attractive, as it is has an effect on the expression of those who wear them (Brown et al, 1986). However, all these images and preference for makeup were originally born by the user’s relationship and social status. Since people tend to follow their peers and peer’s suggestions, relationship and friends’ circle are also affecting on their everyday life and body images (Martin et al. 1993). There is another research towards body image. The research was conducted with a group of 1 50 school girls from 9- to 12-year-old who were asked to complete questionnaire measures of media, peer influences, relationships, peer’s suggestion and conversation. It was concluded that both relationships and social circle play a role in the development of body image in people and even affect on their perception (Levine et al. , 2008). Finally, in the article of Ones, 2007 author describes how people of 21st century concern about their body image and health.

Moreover, she explains that people of this age are very time- sensitive and not able to take care of health to build a proper body image. Instead of doing proper body exercises, people tend to follow diet and go under knife for plastic surgery to change their appearance. She points out that media is responsible for all these problems since media always try to show unreal image of celebrities which are corrected by photo shots. Since these wrong images affect on people’s preference ND perception about body image, they do not feel hesitate to go for surgery to attain their dream image (Ones, 2007). . Qualitative Research From the focus group discussion, it was found out that there are some factors which are interrelated with images in media. They are ways of presentation of images in media, individual behaviors of public and personality types of public. Starting from the discussion can see that most of the participants replied that they have a mixed personality between two types. Firstly, from the discussion, it was discovered that the ways media present body mage is directly related to its influence on people’s perception of body image.

It was said that media and marketing are totally responsible for promoting of unhealthy skinny body images and its consequences. Since those skinny images are presented as glamorous images in media, people tend to follow this trend. And it is discussed that people only see the good side about those glamorous images and it creates false perception about body image to everyone. One of the participant mentioned “l think it creates the false perception, because it is such an attractive thing for people to look onto and see this life, and they only see the good side of it”.

On 6 the other hand, it was also pointed out that people demand to see those skinny images and media is Just following their preference. Therefore, it can be assumed that people’s demand for those body types are also one of the reasons why media is presenting those body types as glamorous images. It was said by one participant that “At the end of the day, they (media) Just give consumers what they want and if consumers didn’t want attractive people associated with the products then the marketers would change that, it is Just that there is a demand for those sorts of hinges”.

However, it is said that there has been some good changes made in the way media present body images. Now, media has started presenting “real life women” in bodies. “l think there has mum, been a lot of backtracking these days. Magazines and things like that have realized that, because there has been so much talk about that they might have done this so now they are using plus size models which are real women” mentioned by two of the participants. The second finding from the discussion is how individual’s behavior gets affected by presentation of body images by media.

It was discussed in group that behavior can e learnt by exposure. And people are having so much of exposure with the media which present skinny body types as glamorous life. If those skinny images were not exposed in this glamorous way, it will be more difficult for people to learn and get influenced by those body images. The fact was pointed out by one participant again that “l think a lot of behavior from anyone is learnt, if those pictures weren’t there, if they weren’t exposed to this, it is going to be more difficult to be affected by it”.

Finally, the focus group comes to conclusion and it was found out that there are some pacific personality types which are more influenced by media than some types. Those personality traits are people who love to be around other people and have influence by social culture and people who have strong commitment in completing tasks. It is discovered that people who are influenced by social life are more vulnerable to media because they tend to follow what other people around them do and what others are. People who are influenced by their social culture and from being around other people I would probably say that they are one of the more vulnerable groups. For example: if one person has strong social group who all are fit ND skinny and he or she is not skinny, then he or she may want to be one of the group and follow the trend. Another personality type which is people who have strong commitment in performing tasks is also more influenced by media and body images they present.

The reason behind is found out and it is because if they perceive that skinny body types are perfect, they will try hard to be like this. They may like to go gyms and stick to diets, so that they will achieve what they want. It was pointed out by three participants that “Probably excellent performance and strong commitment standards so if there was mom sort of ideal that you had in mind you would work hard to get there, like gym routines and being on diets”. In conclusion, from this focus discussion group it was clearly discovered that conscientiousness, agreeableness and neurotics are some personality types which are more influenced by media and body images, especially the third type, neurotic people, could be affected strongly among the three. 8 4. Problem Definition MID: Should the media change the way they promote the body image to public? MR.: What types of personalities can be influenced by media?