Innovation in Language Learning

Edition 16

Accepted Abstracts

The Idea of a Perfect Body in the Ghanaian Electronic Media: A Case Study of Ghana’s most Beautiful Pageant Show

Bangmarigu Manasseh Jonah, University of Cape Coast (Ghana)

William Kodom Gyasi, University of Cape Coast (Ghana)

Marcelinus Dery, University of Cape Coast (Ghana)


Every society values beauty especially, in terms of physical appearance and attractiveness. While cultural standards of beauty are certainly not new, today’s media are more ubiquitous and powerful in portraying the thin ideal images. Notwithstanding extant literature identifying the correlation between specific television contents such as advertisements, movies, operas and music videos as having impact on the perfect body ideals, little is known about the connection between television pageant shows and the idea of a perfect body. This study, therefore, explores how the Ghana Most Beautiful (GMB) pageant show enhances the idea of a perfect body in Ghana. Using questionnaire and interview as data collection instruments, the researcher collected the views of 50 undergraduate students from the Faculty of Arts, University of Cape Coast. Data was collected for the period January-May 2018 and analysed using the SPSS and Self-discrepancy theory as theoretical framework. The study discovered that pageant shows have impact on body assessment and therefore perfect body ideals. Also, the findings showed that discrepancy between actual and ideal body shape can lead to people resorting to body shaping behaviors such as body exercise as well as eating disorders. Finally, the study discovers that Ghanaians are likely to prefer the normal body mass than thin and obese body shapes. This study is relevant to help reconsider the pageant show programs in order to minimize the broadcasting of the body ideals messages to audiences.

Keywords: Body image, pageant, socio-cultural, Ghana’s Most Beautiful, Media Exposure.

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