One of the biggest issues with the media is “thin-ideal media.” Many American celebrities of the twenty first century are incredibly skinny. However, this is only because so many of them lose weight due to unforgiving diets and overbearing workouts. Thin-ideal media causes the majority of issues, “‘thin-ideal media’ refers to media images, shows and films that contain very thin female leads… Thin-ideal media highlights the idea that thinness is a good and desirable thing to be, even if it is to a level that is potentially damaging to a persons health” (Farrar). Females are portrayed as feminine, skinny, and ladylike on screen.
As guest editor of Star Telegram newspaper, I did what was asked of me and reviewed the article written by Susan Bordo “Never Just Pictures”. Bordo focuses on body image and our perception of beauty and how we are “supposed” to look according to the media. “Never Just Pictures” should be published because Susan Bordo has factual evidence to back up her reasoning to her claim about body disorders, the role that different types of media have on society, and how it is creating a false image of what true beauty really is. In this article, Bordos central claim is for the readers to get an understanding of today’s obsession with body image, and how we are no longer accepted for just our personality and our good traits but for the physique of the human body.
In the article Body Image & the Media: An Overview, the author describes the ways in which people’s opinion of themselves are being altered due to the unrealistic standards being viewed in the media. Since the growth of media and internet, people have been greatly exposed to what a “perfect” body should look like. These unrealistic standards have taken a toll on people’s physical and mental health. One envisions a perfect body image and is concerned about how others will perceive them and how they perceive themselves.
In the article “Fat and Happy: In Defense of Fat Acceptance” Mary Ray Worley introduces her first hand experience with being fat. She discusses her personal problems and issues with the readers. Mary Worley is a member of the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance (163). Mary Worley describes what it was like to go to one of the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance (NAAFA) conventions. Worley describes the convention as a different world (163).
Body images and the ensuing and inevitable body shaming, has grown to become a pressing problem impacting the Canadian youth. With overweight rates at 65% and 30% for adults and children, respectively, one may see weight loss as the necessary solution to solve all body images stigmas. On the contrary, eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa are climbing steadily amongst today’s Canadian youth. (Derene & Beresin, 2006). With such drastic sides of the spectrum, many have pointed toward different potential reasons for this trend however, a key determinant that must be tackled in the role the media play’s in the lives of today’s youth.
It is clear that society is responsible for cultivating a community in which beauty and thinness are interdependent. According to Lintott, “the average woman is preoccupied, if not obsessed, with thinness” (66). She argues that this comes directly from exposure to modern media, which “bombards us with images of impossibly thin models and exceedingly skinny actresses, among whom the rates of eating disorders are extremely high” (qtd. in Lintott 67).
In the essay Pressure To Conform there are many societal points covered that women face every day in regards to their looks. She covers the media stand point as well as the medical stand point. Many of the things she talks about I see and hear women talk about every day. In her thesis statement she points out the “the twin obsession of thinness and indulgence” (p-222). I agree whole heartedly that magazines and media are one of the biggest factors in why women face so many body image issues in today’s society.
The media is a social institution that came from societal shifts such as the evolution of the traditional family unit and the displacement of gender roles (Conner). The media has always shown what it feels is beautiful body image. The definition of body image “is how you see yourself when you look in the mirror or when you picture yourself in your mind (What Is Body Image).” Which has made women like Ronda Rousey feel bad about their body image. The media has brainwashed people to think they must look a certain way.
But, research is increasingly clear that media does indeed contribute and that exposure to and pressure exerted by media increase body dissatisfaction and disordered eating. It is hard to evaluate the relationship between the media and eating disorder without considering the multi faceted impact of media messages on body size, on food consumption, on the desirability of certain foods and their consequent consumption, and other matters relating to personal identity and status. It confers hidden meanings on food – nostalgia, sexiness, being a good housewife and mother, rewarding oneself, having uninhibited fun etc, and creates unnatural drives for food. The media can persuade us that wrong eating habits are right and natural.
The Victorian Era was a period of “strict gender roles and behavior to provide a stable society” (Ms. Turner, Class Notes, 10/13/16). In particular, women were very limited and restricted. The corset, a popular garment worn by women in the Victorian Era, causes a woman's body to be stable and to look like its function of childbirth and sexual objectivity. Though the corset creates a woman to look mature, women were described with having childish values.
From an early age, we are exposed to the western culture of the “thin-ideal” and that looks matter (Shapiro 9). Images on modern television spend countless hours telling us to lose weight, be thin and beautiful. Often, television portrays the thin women as successful and powerful whereas the overweight characters are portrayed as “lazy” and the one with no friends (“The Media”). Furthermore, most images we see on the media are heavily edited and airbrushed
Children's Literature is everlastingly framed by variable ideologies; this represented the standards and values of a didactic society in the nineteenth century, which was controlled transcendently by the church. Enforcing religious perspectives on the idealistic family life, gender roles were compulsory in respectability, and a woman's place was inside the home. The nineteenth century was an extremely confusing time, with its firm Victorian qualities, class limits, industrialism and expansionism. It was the time when society was a male dominated society in which women were controlled by the male figures in the society.
Men and women nowadays are starting to lose self-confidence in themselves and their body shape, which is negatively impacting the definition of how beauty and body shape are portrayed. “...97% of all women who had participated in a recent poll by Glamour magazine were self-deprecating about their body image at least once during their lives”(Lin 102). Studies have shown that women who occupy most of their time worrying about body image tend to have an eating disorder and distress which impairs the quality of life. Body image issues have recently started to become a problem in today’s society because of social media, magazines, and television.