En kvalitativ fokusgruppstudie om kvinnor ur olika generationers åsikter och
tankar kring skönhetsideal, baserat på medieutbudet under uppväxten.

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Executive summary
The purpose of this essay is to examine women’s perceptions from different generations linked to beauty ideals and the media selection during their childhood. To achieve the purpose of this study, three questions have been formulated to gain a deeper understanding on the
subject. The first question of the study is how women have experienced beauty ideals while growing up. The second question is how women reason about beauty ideals projected by media. The third question is what women think about the role media plays in spreading beauty

A qualitative focus group methodology was chosen for this study as it was the most appropriate for its purpose. The selected women met the criteria of belonging to two different generations, Generation X and Generation Z. In doing so, they also met the requirement for having access to different media while growing up, generation x had access to traditional media and generation Z had access to the internet and social media while growing up.

The results of the study showed that the women from both generations shared similar perspectives on beauty and beauty ideals, despite the fact that they had access to different forms of media during their childhood. Both generations said they saw a recurring portrayal
of beauty in the media as a tall, blonde, thin, and attractive woman. Neither of the generations had critically reflected on these depictions growing up, as there was nothing else, they could compare it to, this suggests that the media plays a significant role in spreading societal ideals of beauty. Both groups also felt that the evolution of the media was largely beneficial to ideals of beauty, as it now accommodates a wider range of looks, thanks to social media and selfpublishing. This in turn reinforces discussions about body positivity and acceptance of
different bodies and appearances.

The primary difference between the two generations was the younger generation’s more negative perception of beauty and beauty ideals compared to the older generation. Based on the responses of the respondents, this may be believed to be due to the younger generation’s constant exposure from a young age to a media content that constantly depicted beauty, an experience that the older generation did not share.

The results of this study contribute to a deeper understanding of beauty and beauty ideals. It’s an important topic, considering the number of people who are negatively affected by the continuous exposure of seemingly perfect women. Future research could replicate this study
with male participants, as during this study it became apparent that there is less research on men’s experiences of societal ideals of beauty

Sofie Lindén
MKV, Examensarbete , vt23
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