Investigating The Impact of Western Media on Body Image Perception Among Young Arab Females
This study attempts to examine the connection between western media use and body image perception. This study assumes that the more images of the “western thin and appealing ideal body” a woman is exposed to through the western media, the more her perception of her body image is affected, going against cultural norms. A cross-sectional survey was conducted amongst 384 upper middle class educated female students in Egyptian private universities, using a consumer intercept data collection method. Quantitative data analysis software (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 18) was used to analyze the collected data. The results of this study reveal that the participants are exposed to substantial amounts of western media (commercials, movies, TV shows, magazines, books, music clips, social media, etc.), which has influenced their body image perception. The media is recognized as sources females turn to for information about their physical appearance. Exposure to the western media caused internalization of the thin ideal and body dissatisfaction in the Egyptian context. This study contributes to the debate on cultural determinism of perception of body image and body dissatisfaction in women concepts, which are on the rise in non-Western societies, such as the Arab region.
Index Terms— Body Image, Consumer Behavior, Mass Media, Media Influence
This research was supported by a grant from Erasmus Mundus Action 2, Strand 1 Scholarship under the EU-METALIC Project (European Commission-funded scholarship)