Media and Image

media and image

Social media heavily influences teens, and platforms such as Instagram constantly bombard them with images and posts. Have you ever wondered if the images in the media are causing harm to teens’ body images? If so, we have activities to explore this matter.

  • Time

    40 minutes

  • Main Skill


  • Theme and topic

    Identities: Media and Image


Watch the video and answer the questions.

Listen and answer the questions that follow.

Audio Script: The Science of Body Image

Many people struggle with loving their own bodies, and this is something that both men and women experience. Our brains play a big role in how we see ourselves. We have an image of our body that we see with our eyes, but we also have a sense of our body even when we can't see it. This is called proprioception. Different parts of our brain control different parts of our body. But sometimes, what society thinks our body should look like can influence how we feel about ourselves.
Comparing our bodies to others, especially on social media, can make it hard to accept ourselves. Studies have shown that seeing models in advertisements can make us feel less satisfied with our own bodies. Many kids and teenagers want their bodies to be different from what they are. Our brains can be tricked into thinking certain body types are normal and others are not because of what we see and hear a lot. This comes from our ancestors needing to fit in and be accepted by others for survival.
It's important to remember that the pictures we see in magazines and online are often edited using a program called Photoshop. These images don't always show the reality of how people really look. Watching TV shows and following influencers who promote different body types can help us see that there are many different ways to look beautiful. Surrounding ourselves with loving and accepting people is important for building confidence. It's also important to unfollow influencers, people, or media that promote unrealistic body standards.

Read this article and answer the questions that follow.

Do images in the media harm teens' body image?

Many teenagers in Britain worry about their body image. A survey found that almost one-third of teenagers felt ashamed about their bodies. Images on social media make four in ten teenagers worry about their body image. Some teenagers even stopped eating or restricted their diets because they were worried about their bodies. Things that friends said also made four in ten teenagers worry about their body image. It's important to talk about our bodies and eating positively at home, but we also need more advertising and social media rules to protect teenagers' mental health.

Social media can greatly impact how teenagers feel about their bodies. Platforms like Instagram show many pictures that create an idealised and unrealistic standard of beauty. This pressure to look a certain way can lead to anxiety, depression, and eating disorders. Research has shown that reducing social media use can make teenagers feel better about their appearance. Spending less time on social media can help reduce the negative effects on body image. It's important to remember that the pictures we see on social media are often edited and not realistic. We shouldn't compare ourselves to these images.

Sometimes, it's normal to feel self-conscious about our appearance, but it's important to know when self-judgment goes too far. Social media and filters have created a culture of insecurity and comparison. This can lead to body dysmorphic disorder, where thoughts about their appearance consume people. It's not the same as low self-esteem, but it can still cause self-esteem concerns. Parents need to help their teenagers avoid body image problems by discussing it and promoting a positive self-image.

In conclusion, images in the media can harm teenagers' body image. Social media can create unrealistic beauty standards and lead to negative mental health outcomes. It's important for teenagers to be aware of the effects of social media on their body image and to take steps to protect their mental health. Parents can also play a role in helping their teenagers develop a positive self-image.
accept (verb )
Definition: to take or receive willingly; to agree to
Example: We should accept ourselves for who we are.
anxiety (noun )
Definition: a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease about something with an uncertain outcome
Example: She felt a lot of anxiety before her big test.
consumed  ( verb )
Definition: completely absorbed by something; having one's attention fully occupied by something
Example: She was consumed by thoughts of her upcoming presentation.
dysmorphic  (adjective )
Definition: relating to or having a distorted sense of one's own appearance
Example: People with body dysmorphic disorder may see themselves as ugly or deformed, even if they look normal.
idealised (adjective )
Definition: represented as perfect or better than in reality
Example: The models in the magazine were idealised and did not represent real people.
influences (noun )
Definition: things or people that have an effect on someone or something
Example: My parents are positive influences in my life.

(noun )
Definition: the sense of the position and movement of one's own body
Example: Even with your eyes closed, you can still touch your nose because of proprioception.

satisfied(adjective )
Definition: feeling content or fulfilled
Example: I am satisfied with my performance in the game.
self-conscious  (adjective )
Definition: feeling embarrassed or nervous about oneself, especially in front of others
Example: She felt self-conscious wearing her new dress in front of her classmates.
unrealistic (adjective )
Definition: not based on reality or not achievable
Example: Having a perfect body without any flaws is an unrealistic expectation.

IB English B Language Skills

  • Listening & Speaking

    Skills to communicate both professionally and socially.

  • Reading

    Skills to stimulates imagination memory and recall information

  • Writing

    Skills to foster the ability to explain and refine ideas.

IB English B Themes

  • Experiences

    Opportunities to consider how events which take place impact an individual's life.

  • Human Ingenuity

    Opportunities to explore the sciences, technology and creativity.

  • Identities

    Opportunities to discover interests, values, belief and culture.

  • Sharing The Planet

    Opportunities to look at the challenges faced by individuals and communities in the modern world.

  • Social Organization

    Opportunities to explore the way in which groups of people organise themselves through common systems or interests.

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