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UNIVERSIDADE FEDERAL DO RIO DE

JANEIRO
FACULDADE DE LETRAS
DIRETORIA ADJUNTA DE EXTENSO
Student: Date: _____/_____/
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Monitor: Grade:
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Pedagogical Advisor: Marcelo
English V 2016/2
Freixo
Developers: Mariana Farias and Robledo Cabral Head-Monitor: Wallace Carvalho
FINAL WRITTEN TEST (7.0)

The Media and Body Image


These days we know that the media and body image
are closely related. Particularly, the body image advertising
portrays affects our own body image. Of course, there are
many other things that influence our body image:
parenting, education, intimate relationships, and so on. The
popular media does have a big impact, though.
Together, Americans spend 250 billion hours watching
television every year. According to the California State
University at Northridge, advertising accounts for about 30
percent of all television air time. The average child watches
20,000 television commercials every year. Of course,
television is not the only place we see advertisements.
Popular magazines, particularly womens magazines and
many teens magazines, are brimming with ads. We even see pop-up ads online.
Anything we look at for so many hours has to affect us. The media and body
image are closely related due to the number of images we see in the media and the
excessive amount of exposure we have to those images.

The Body Image Advertising Portrays


Although advertising aims to convince us to buy things, ads rarely portray
people that look like us. The average female fashion model wears a size two or four,
for instance, while the average American woman wears a size 12 to 14. Clothing
designers often say they only use very thin models because the clothes simply look
better on them. In addition, photos of models in print ads are often touched up in
order to disguise minor flaws or make the model appear even skinnier than she really
is. The bottom line is that the body image advertising portrays seldom looks like the
people the ads are aimed at.

The Effects of False Body Image Advertising


These false body image ads, showing bodies that are not real at all or that are
not very realistic or representative of the general population, have far-reaching
effects. It might seem that we could recognize when ads showed us something not
real; after all, when we see a dog food commercial featuring a talking dog, we arent
fooled into thinking dogs can really speak, right?
But we still tend to trust what we see in the media and body image can easily be
confused. The constant barrage of unrealistically skinny images can stir up feelings of
inadequacy, anxiety and depression. It can even lead to the development of eating
disorders like anorexia and bulimia.

What Can Be Done About False Body Image Advertising?


We can notify advertisers that we object to these false body image ads.
Advertisers do care what their intended audience thinks of their ads. A single letter
from one television viewer may not have much influence, but if a large number of
concerned viewers contact advertisers with their concerns, that likely will make an
impact.
Contacting advertisers about the media and body image issues remains a long-
term strategy, though. While it may be effective, we cannot expect an immediate
change. In the meantime, we can limit our exposure to media images, especially
advertising. We can also view ads critically, asking ourselves how realistic the images
appear and thinking about how they do or do not relate to us.
It is also important to be aware of the effects images in the media can have on
us. People that notice signs of anxiety or depression related to body image should
consider seeing a counselor for help coping with their feelings. Anyone with signs of
an eating disorder, such as losing excessive weight, eating a very limited diet,
vomiting after meals or health problems related to weight loss or malnutrition, should
seek treatment promptly.

(Retrieved from: http://www.mirror-mirror.org/the-media-and-body-image.htm)

1. The text expresses a certain opinion about the media. Using your own
words, write a paragraph which explains what that opinion is. In your
paragraph, you should use two of the connectors below [1.0]:

HOWEVER FOR INSTANCE IN ADDITION ESPECIALLY BESIDES CONSEQUENTLY


ACTUALLY

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2. The text mentions that together, Americans spend 250 billion hours
watching television every year.

a) In your opinion, why is television so popular not only in the United States,
but also in dozens of countries across the globe? [0.5]

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b) Why is that information about television relevant to the text? How does it
relate to the texts central argument? [0.6]

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3. The section The Effects of False Body Image Advertising presents a


comparison involving dog food commercials and body images present in the
media.
a) What comparison is that? [0.5]

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b) In your opinion, why do false body images affect so many people, even
though we know that the bodies we see are not real? [0.5]

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4. The last section of the text presents two possible solutions to the
problem being described. One of these solutions is mostly individual, while
the other one is more collective and requires more people to participate.

a) Extract from the text one passage which summarizes the individual
solution, and one which summarizes the collective one. [0.6]

Individual solution:
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Collective solution:
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b) Compare both solutions. Do you consider one of them to be more


effective than the other? Are they both effective? Justify your comparison.
[0.8]

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AUDIO LITERACY

You are going to listen to a


YouTube video from DietHealth in
which Sarah talks to a photographer
and retoucher (Tim Lynch) and to a clinical nutritionist (Alexis Beck) about the effects
of photoshop.
Retrieved from:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YP31r70_QNM

5. The interviewer says that, according to the News Week magazine,


photoshop has been so commonly used in magazine photos that most
publishers might even demand it.

a) What is your opinion concerning this issue? Do you think magazine


editors have gone too far or it is us who need to stop letting the pursue of a
perfect body influence our health? (0,6 p)
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b) The magazines do not take responsibility for that because they assume
people already know images are altered. What are the nutritionists
thoughts about it? (0,4 p)
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6. The interviewer asks the photographer to photoshop a picture of hers.


What are some of the changes he is able to make on her body? Use the
comparative form of the adjectives in your answer. (0,7 p)
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7. The interviewer says that many readers have become enraged at


photoshopped images, and, as a result a backlash against digital retouching
has emerged. Do you think digital retouching should be banished from
magazines and advertisements? You may use both the audio and your
background knowledge to argue in favor or against it. (0,8 p)
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