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Body images in popular culture Pro-anorexia we bsites Thomas Wold Norwgian University of Science and Technology
The image of your own body • • • The actual body Experiences/personality Inner dialogues/ self reflections Emotions regarding body image Self regulating strategies and behaviour
Body ideals • Culture • Media – articulates, reflects and affects values and ideals in contemporary society
Reception studies • How audience interpret media and construct meaning • Frames of reference • Mental schemes
The body in media • • Age: Young Healthy Male as subject Women as object • The symbolic value: success and self control
TV sit coms and sopa operas Female characters: • 76 % are below the average weight • The body is in focus Male characters • More variation in body appearances, but less overweight men than in genaral population • Camera focuses more on the face
TV series as lifestyle magazines • Gives ideas/inspiration on hair, styling, fashion. • Adresses issues concerning friendship, dating, relationship, heartache etc. • Depicts social consequenses of apperances, often with a patched on catch phrase that ”true beauty comes from within”.
Media effect on body image Statistic correlation – but what is cause and effect Experimental studies • To watch very thin media characters increases negative feelings concerning their own body among women. (Halliwell & Dittner, 2008)
Study: Young In Norway • Year: 1992, 1994, 1999 and 2005. • N= 11 895 • In short: Respondents were asked about their TV viewing habits, and feelings towards their own body. • Conclusion: For older female teenagers, entertainment TV has a small, negative effect on the image of their own body.
Reception analysis • Thin as beautiful becomes a frame of reference • Interpretation of their own body • Comparing to what is perceived as normal
Pro-anorexia web sites • Take a positive stance towards anorexia • Web sites, blogs, discussion forums, chat rooms • Present it as a lifestyle rather than an illness • Advice on losing weight, hide it from parents etc. • Can also be a place for friendship, support and discusion of emotional matters
Uses of pro-ana pages • • • Anorexia as a lifestyle Thinspiration Tips on starvation Creating an “in-group”: us against them Emotional support Dieting tips for non-anorexics (these are usually treated with some resentment and even hostility)
Lifestyle • - It's 6 pm here on the east coast, and I have a party to go to tonight, followed by 2 auditions tomorrow, and another party tomorrow night. Evenings are usually my gym-time, so without an outlet for my persistent anxiety, I feel like I'd rather control my food intake if I can't get a grip on my energy output. • To keep eyebrows from raising, I'm going to try to keep pushing the fluids, keeping a drink of some kind with me at all times, to give an illusion of intake. However, I will try to keep these calorie counts down as well. Mostly water, maybe a little bit of Vitamin. Water, a sip or two of soymilk for breakfast, and coke zero if I MUST have caffeination. But no food. Until at least midnight tomorrow (Monday night). • I'm already anticipating the high!! And looking forward to telling ya'll how it went. God, I hope I get away with this. Depending on how it goes, who knows what I might do after this? • http: //anaregzig. blogspot. com/
Thinspiration • You will be fat if you eat today. Just put it off one more day. • Starving is an example of excellent will power. • An imperfect body reflects an imperfect person. • Who's fasting with me? 30 hours food-free! Let's do it! Think beautiful thoughts, girls! XOXO!
Tips on starvation - I would like some tips on how to conceal weightloss for my parents. AND excuses for not eating. 12 year old girl on a pro-ana chat forum.
Us against them • There is nothing sick about this. If you don`t have ana og mia you will never understand us. These pages helps us keeping together.
Emotional support • I have one pro-ana site myself, and I must say, without it I would have been in a much worse condition than I am now. Why do I write here? Because I simply don`t have the energy to do anything else. • Pro-ana is a rock I can hold on to when life is too difficult. It is good to ”write away” the pain every once in a while og proana forums. • The problem with pro-ana aret hese girls, who WANT to have eating disorders. The ruin pro-ana`s reputation. They abuse what it is meant to be: a support. Not to loose weight, but to do the daily life a little easier for each other.
Dieting tips for non-anorexics • Casual dieters • Often meet with hostility and referred to as wannabes or wannarexics. • If you aren't disordered but wish you were, fuck off, go count your blessings and eat a sandwich. Wannarexics will not be tolerated. /////