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Annotated Bibliography #2

Perloff, Richard. "Social Media Effects on Young Womens Body Image Concerns:
Theoretical Perspectives and an Agenda for Research." A
Journal of Research, 29 May 2014. Web. 21 Oct. 2015.

This article titled Social Media Effects on Young Womens Body Image by
Richard Perloff focuses on the unrealistic lifestyles perceived through social media.
Perloffs main concerns throughout this writing include: women and body image as well
as the act of gratification seeking through social media. This article was published last
year and can easily be found on The target audience is directed toward teen
females as well as parents of teens.
Richard Perloff, professor at Cleveland State University, completed his
undergraduate work at the University of Michigan where he served as an editorial page
editor for The Michigan Daily. He later received a masters degree from the University
of Pittsburg followed by a doctorate in mass communications from the University of
Wisconsin and a postdoctoral fellowship in social psychology and communication from
Ohio State University. Perloff has written many articles for well-known press
organizations including: The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Cleveland Jewish
News and Belt.
Throughout the article Perloff demonstrates the correlation between social media
and body image, mainly in females. He also touches on the gratification social media
offers to many. He begins the article with the idea of media creating unrealistic ideas of
beauty. This really spoke to me in that I often find myself comparing my own photos to

those of Kim Kardashian and other famous celebrities. What I fail to realize when doing
so however, is that no celebrity REALLY looks like what his or her pictures perceive. Not
only do they have professional make-up and hair artists on call around the clock but these
photos have also been retouched and photo shopped. Perloff looked to research primarily
conducted in the US, UK and Australia to validate his conclusions. These studies
confirmed that exposure to the media is consistently linked with womens body
Lastly, Perloff discussed the gratification that many gain from social media. His
main argument is that those who do suffer from body image issues turn to social media to
boost their confidence and experience desired gratification. This is achieved through
seeking validation of physical appearance through an abundance of photos and post on
social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Perloff also touches on the
idea of comparing photos of yourself to those who are less attractive or significantly more
attractive such as celebrities. Perloffs point is that because ultimate satisfaction of these
needs typically cannot come externally, but internally, young women can end up feeling
disappointed and hurt
Other Quotes: Simple exposure to social media or to Facebook-instigated social
comparisons with thin attractive friends will not lead to body dissatisfaction in many
adolescent girls or adult women.

Contemporary theoretical perspectives emphasize that media effects involve a complex

transaction between media content and what the individual brings to media, in terms of
needs, personality factors, and social situational constraints

Based on theory and research on the role individual difference variables play in body
image dynamics, one can reasonably argue that the following should place adolescent
girls and young women at risk for body image problems: low self-esteem, depression,
perfectionism, internalization of the thinness ideal, and centrality of appearance to selfworth
Overall, this article is a very interesting yet somewhat difficult read. I especially
enjoyed that while the author did point out these negative effects, he was sure to state that
this is not something that everyone encounters however; it is very common not only in
the US but also other countries. Perloffs work is incredibly prevalent to my inquiry
question in that it is centered around the negative effects social media has on many
people. I feel as though this is a great article for people to read because many are unaware
of just how powerful social media platforms are.