The news feed from the Centre for Culture and the Creative Industries at City, University of London

Are Japanese anime and manga bad for body image?

Dr Casey Brienza was recently interviewed by Glammonitor journalist Katie O’Brien for an article on representations of girls and women in Japanese anime and manga their possible effects upon body image and self-esteem. In it, she casts doubt on the notion that these cartoons are necessarily harmful:

As for manga and anime’s effect on body image for girls and women, Brienza believes that’s a stretch. Photography and the manipulation of an actual human body, according to Brienza, can be more deceptive than something as implicitly unreal as a cartoon drawing.

“I think photography in this case is much more insidious,” Brienza says. “We can look at it and we can’t distinguish it from reality even when it can essentially be a photoshopped drawing. It’s presented as representations whereas cartoons are not presented as representational. They’re presented as a drawing, something that is emphatically not real.”

Glammonitor provides critical journalistic coverage of celebrity culture and the fashion industry. According to its website, “Glammonitor’s core purpose is to be a watchdog on industries that exude and promote a standard of beauty and commodifies the human body. Equipped with journalistic integrity, Glammonitor analyzes, critiques and creates progressive conversations on glamourous institutions.”

sbbj806 • March 25, 2015

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