How might we combat these industries or professions in terms of their participation in the construction of the idealized body?

Women and men featured in U.S. based MTV
docusoaps were analyzed to explore body ideal and body exposure norms in a television genre highly popular among
young people. Results from a quantitative content analysis
of five popular docusoaps from 2004 to 2011 demonstrated
that, although these shows were labeled as reality-based, the
bodies displayed in them were highly idealized. Close to half
of women’s bodies were coded as curvaceously thin and more
than half of men’s bodies were coded as muscularly lean. Over
two-thirds of women’s bodies and close to three-quarters of
men’s bodies were coded as low fat, demonstrating that thinness was the most common body characteristic. In addition,
cast members on the programs commonly exposed their bodies, including widespread partial nudity and some full nudity.
Women, compared to men, exhibited a higher level of body
exposure. However, men tended to expose their bodies to a
higher degree than women. Close to half of all men were
shown partially nude, compared to one-quarter of women.
Characters with the idealized body types also exhibited a
higher level of body exposure than others. These findings
support previous research that investigated cultural expectations and media representations of women and men’s appearance in the U.S. The findings also demonstrate a growing
focus on male body image and objectification. The potential
psychological implications of self-objectification and modeling among adolescent audiences are discussed.
Keywords Reality TV . MTV . Docusoap . Body image .
Body exposure . Objectification . Content analysisThere are many professions and industries that profit from the social construction of the idealized body in the United States as demonstrated in the film Miss Representation. Select either 1 profession or 1 industry and discuss the ways they continue to perpetuate the idealized body or either men or women. What are their methods? In what ways are they successful? How might we combat these industries or professions in terms of their participation in the construction of the idealized body? Further, what examples from the film can you use to make your argument? Be sure to think about the different bodies of feminist work that you read that may help you create this sociological argument.


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