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Body Image and The Media

Images of beautiful woman and men are everywhere. Turn on your television, go to the movies, read a magazines and just look up on billboards. There is nowhere to hide. Popular television and movie actresses are younger, taller and thinner than ever. Popular actors are muscular and trim. In the media, young girls and boys see people of all shapes and sizes. But the thinner girls and the more muscular guys are always the most popular. We are all being influenced by what you see.

When a person sees people looking at them it affects that person’s own body image and self-confidence. The number of real life women and girls who are underweight and suffer from eating disorders continues to rise. Studies have shown that one in seven young girls have an eating disorder. So just think about your college class, where there are at least 30 teens in one classroom, if half the class is girls than that could mean that two young girls might have some sort of eating disorder.

Advertisements are always showing how and what you can do to be beautiful. There is no such thing as the “perfect ” man or woman. But even so people don’t see it that way. We forget that behind the ads and the “beautiful people” is a computer screen touching up and editing what that person on the cover of “Glamour” looks like. The advertisement companies don’t realize how much their ads may be hurting a person’s body image. Everyone wants to be a “Cover Girl”.

Body image starts at a very young age. Young girls are constantly looking at themselves in the mirror. Make-up is worn at such a young age. The skinnier you are the better. Not only is there a size 0, now there is a double 0. Teenagers seem to be the most vulnerable. The effect that the media has on women of all ages is astounding. I have heard of young girls who have starved themselves, taken laxatives, and or force themselves to throw-up to make themselves skinner. The media is a very powerful tool and is affecting the body image of many young men and woman. No one should be told what to look like. That skinny is good and being “average” is bad.

We all have a certain body type and we should not have to change our body to please someone else. The pressure the media has put on woman to look like a “Top Model” can be unhealthy and dangerous. As a result, many women go through surgeries to change what their appearance is. Medical procedures including liposuction, implants, botox, and other body cosmetic related surgeries such as a tummy tuck, as well as weight loss pills, are as common as taking a vitamin. The long-term side affects of some of these procedure and drugs are still unknown, yet people will do anything to make themselves more beautiful.

No one should be pressured to look perfect. Besides what is considered perfect? The danger of “perfect” is when women try to reach for something impossible to obtain. Even though women appear to be affected by the media more than men, men are starting to feel the pressure of body image as well. Do people look at you differently if you are curvy rather than skinny? Has media has made you feel this way?  Hopefully, the media can learn that it is hurting a whole generation of woman. We should all look at ourselves and pick out our beauty not our flaws.

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