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Body Image And The Media Comparison

Society’s standard of feminine beauty is presented in almost all forms of popular media today. We see these standards on TV, movies, and ad campaigns. These portrayals of “beauty” in media just overwhelm women with images that portray what is considered to be the “ideal body.” These standards of beauty are almost completely unattainable for most women. The majority of the models/actresses displayed on television and in advertisements are well below what is considered a healthy body weight. Mass media’s use of such unrealistic models sends an implicit message that in order for a woman to be considered beautiful, she must be thin. But the truth is that what you see on TV, movies and in ads isn’t completely real. Not only do these women have trainers and nutritionists at their beck and call, they also have this very fancy tool called Photoshop. Even the women that are in the spotlight and that are so beautiful naturally are still being told to lose weight and on top of that have every single “flaw” photoshopped off of them. Watch this short clip and see just how transformative a little Photoshop can be. And you might think to yourself, “Well those Victoria Secret models are perfect in every way…” and it might be true, but let’s have an honest conversation about genetics and body type. Lucky for them they were born with bodies like that and they were graced with genes that allows for a body like that. But that doesn’t mean that your body or image is any less beautiful. Marketing and advertising companies have created a billion dollar industry based on convincing women they are not the “ideal” woman and that they need improvement. We are not only influenced by the images that we see but the messages we receive that change our way of thinking. The media is one of the most powerful and effective forms of education whether we like it or not. In a day, the average person will be exposed to thousands of ads and spend the majority of time watching commercials selling everything from products that provide beauty, sexiness, happiness, and youth. We have all been raised in a society that tells us we’re not beautiful enough or thin enough to gain the attentions of a man or of people, so women compete against each other to see who can be more beautiful than the next. And it must be for the attention of men/people right? Because we certainly aren’t doing it for ourselves; we want to achieve an image that is set for us rather than one that is set by us. We are harder on ourselves than anyone else. We tell our friends that they are perfect and that they shouldn’t change for anyone, but then we look at ourselves in the mirror and can’t take our own advice. We live in a society that fat shames and the worst part is that we fat shame ourselves. Fat talk is a very big issue when it comes to self-image. We throw out words like:
  • “I look fat in that picture.”
  • “My arms look huge in that shirt.”
  • “I’m feeling so fat today.”
We say things about ourselves that we wouldn’t dare say to anyone else, so why do we think it’s okay to talk about our self in that manner? We shouldn’t. We should take pride in ourselves and in our bodies. Special K has started a wonderful campaign to shhhh the fat talk. They believe that no woman should ever talk about herself like that and I hope that by watching this, you’ll never talk about yourself in that way again.

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