Review Blog

Feb 05 2013

Media muscle: Body image and the media for guys by Lisa Cox

cover image

Wombat Books, 2012. 39 p.
(Age: teen) This is the second book by young Australian author Lisa Cox and continues her interest in adolescents developing a positive body image. Her first book Does my bum look big in this ad? (2010) challenged stereotypes of female beauty in the media and aimed to promote self-esteem among young women.
Media muscle concentrates on an adolescent male audience. Its goal is to tackle body image pressure on young males and to promote in them a positive body image, in particular trying to combat the unrealistic images of young men in magazine ads. As she states, it is truly unrealistic what Photoshop can do! This book explains simply how the media industry works in popular culture and suggests ways to critically evaluate, what is being presented to the reader/listener/viewer.
Having read both of Lisa Cox's books, I think that this one shows clear development in her writing and presentation skills. She has also consulted widely with psychologists, teachers and a health professional to enhance the credibility of the content.
Media muscle is a slight publication, which reads like a pamphlet or blog. It is a paperback and strongly bound with quality, glossy paper.
There are small, cartoon-like colour illustrations and a section called 'Something to think about' at the end of 5 of the 7 chapters. For example, at the end of Chapter Two: 'List three things you like about yourself . . . if they are physical, why do you like those parts of your body?'(p.17) Also included are Contents and Acknowledgements, but no Index.
This publication would be suitable for a secondary school library or the teen collection in a public library, as a useful resource to develop media literacy and a positive body image in young people.
Margaret Strickland

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