Tied to the scaleWhat factors influence a girl’s or woman’s image of her own body, and how can she learn to accept how she looks? After all, the average American woman is 5 feet 4 inches tall and weighs 142 pounds, but the average super model – whose image appears on TV, billboards and in magazines – is about 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighs 110 pounds. The difference between “the look” and reality causes low self-esteem and can lead to eating disorders.

“Think” host Krys Boyd of KERA Radio talked to SMU’s Katherine Presnell, Psychology, and Camille Kraeplin, Journalism, who are studying how the media influences body image and how cognitive dissonance exercises may help. They tell Boyd that women are influenced by the media, their peers and their families – and not always with positive results. Listen to the interview or download it to your iPod.