Akintayo, Babafemi Johnson, Ph.D, Department of Mass Communication, Babcock University
Television’s presentation of beauty has no doubt shaped a lot of women’s perception of what it takes to be beautiful. Women many times feel the need to fit into the categories or standards of beauty set through television programs. The study attempted to measure how much of influence television wields on the Nigerian woman’s everyday decisions. It sought to see if their world view of beauty is as spelt by television and also ascertain how much striving they engage in to attain the self-image dictated by programs such as musicals, television adverts, movies and other admired television personalities. The Social Learning, Cultural Imperialism and Cultivation theories were employed to serve as the intellectual backbone for the study. Using the purposive sampling technique for both the survey and the Focus Group Discussion (FGD), 350 copies of the questionnaire were administered to Babcock and Covenant university female undergraduate students with 327 returned and 300 considered valid for analysis. 16 undergraduate female Babcock and Covenant University students were also purposively selected for the FGDs. Findings revealed that the Nigerian woman’s perception of beauty is, to a large extent influenced by what she sees on television, and that women will go to lengths to attain beauty as conceived in the programs they watch. The researcher therefore recommends that advertisers, producers and other media practitioners should try in their programs to recreate what constitutes beauty in the viewers’ minds. Attempts should be made projecting different physical human attributes rather than limiting being beautiful to some narrow criteria.
Keywords: beauty, perception, television, influence, Nigerian women.