"The Grind" : MTV and female body image Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/cr56n534c

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  • This research addresses the relationship between television programming and body image. It specifically investigates what the Music Television network's (MTV) dance show, "The Grind," communicates about female body image. Two studies were conducted. Study one used seven coders from a western United States high school to record female body images using E. Collins (1991) seven female figure drawings. From the 2,367 female body images recorded, the dominant female image portrayed on "The Grind" emphasizes thinness. The research discovered that female images were slightly thinner than the perceived average female. Furthermore, the perceived White female images were slightly thinner than the Black or Hispanic perceived body images. Compatibility of the body image figures developed by E. Collins were also recorded. The study revealed the scale to be somewhat compatible, but not a perfect fit for White, Black, and Hispanic female images. The second study showed an episode of "The Grind" to twenty three students in a high school sociology class and had the students respond to a pre and post-show questionnaire. The students felt more body image conscious after watching "The Grind." Females felt less attractive, less self assured, and less in shape after watching "The Grind." No males desired to lose weight before or after watching the show. Fifty eight percent of females desired to lose weight before watching the show and one female changed to not wanting to lose weight after watching "The Grind." The responses to the open-ended questions in study two related to sexual dancing, body image, attractiveness, and music. Overall students responded that the message "The Grind" sends to teenagers is that you have be "in shape" and "look good." While this study had examined female body images, it relates to a larger issue of the messages MTV and music video programming sends and the meanings viewers create. This research provides application for use for teachers, parents, and teenagers. Further research relating to body image and the media is recommended.
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