The Extent of Media Influence on the Body Image of Malaysian Emerging Adults
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Emerging adults, Malaysian young adults, Mass media, Social media, Body image, Advertising.

How to Cite

Kaur, N. ., Sulaiman, S. S. ., Hamid, H. A., Ghazali, N. ., Radzi, A. H. . M. ., & Sani, Y. S. A. . (2022). The Extent of Media Influence on the Body Image of Malaysian Emerging Adults. International Journal of Asian Social Science, 12(1), 43–54.


Body image includes two aspects which are one’s perceptions towards one’s body size, weight, shape, as well as physical attributes or movements and feelings about these attributes, which consequently impact one’s behaviour. In this regard, the media plays a key role in defining emerging adults’ self-beliefs about themselves and how these attributes are further translated into behavioural outcomes. Guided by the Sociocultural Theory, this study is undertaken to probe the extent of media influence on Malaysian emerging adults’ body image and how this influence exerts on their emotions and behaviours. Through purposive sampling technique on 227 emerging adults enrolled at a Malaysian public university, a questionnaire probed the causal role of the media and its effects on the body image of these young adults. The study found that the media, particularly social media has a strong and significant influence on Malaysian emerging adults. However, a noteworthy finding is that the emotional states experienced by young adults are not always negative. Despite the constant flooding of advertisements on ideal beauty, weight and skin tone, the majority take the more rational and positive route in improving themselves and their body image by opting for exercise and change in diet regime. This implies that educators, parents, policy makers and the society at large need to constantly awaken the minds of the youth about the inevitable impact of the media and care should be taken to ensure frequent reinforcements and mitigation approaches.
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