The Mirrors truth
Everyone is unique due to an individual physical trait. Even though everyone has a different idea about what his or her perfect body would be, changing one’s personal features would take away from individuality. Today, many people feel inadequate because they compare themselves to models and edited photos while trying to assimilate to their lifestyle. I believe that body image can be harmed by experiencing too much media.
What is body image? body image is you picture yourself and how you think other people picture you and how you feel about your body. Daniel Askt accurately described the importance of looks when he said ” People’s looks speak to us, sometimes in a whisper and sometimes in a shout, of health, reproductive fitness, agreeableness, social standing, and intelligence. Although looks in mating still matter much more to men than to women, the importance of appearance appears to be rising on both sides of the gender divide.” Mass media has been able to shape popular culture and often influence public opinion. However, when abused, the influence of media can be a harm to society. It’s hard to see an advertisement today without thin, tan women, and tall, muscular men parading around selling the product. This incorporation of only the most beautiful people into advertisements can lead to less self acceptance and a poor body image. Media today will almost exclusively present the perfect body to the public, hoping that consumers will try to achieve fitness using a certain brand or product, however, many people suffer from inner conflicts as a result of failure to achieve the body of a top athlete or fashion model. As a result of these unobtainable and flat out false body images projected by the media, men and women have developed physical and mental problems, including: bulimia, anorexia, dangerous eating patterns/ habits, low self-esteem, and depression. Consumers could find the truth more easily if companies offered products advertised by everyday people with blemishes or imperfections (instead of models and actors with hours of makeup prep and then get edited in post shoot).
... “to be ideal like these models I need to buy the product”. Mass media alter people’s attitudes, beliefs and prejudices to a ... for consumers is waged over the bodies of women or atleast over their images, an image not one of efficiency and cheerful ... Chairperson of Maharashtra State Commission for Women said, “ the media, which today includes video and pop albums is increasingly becoming gender ...
If the public could view adverts only as something to get one’s attention and not a portrayal of how one should look, there would be fewer problems as well. Until then, the negative effects of this imagery will still be felt.
The consumers that accept a false impression about a product through various forms of media as true are the ones who suffer most from our society’s portrayal of the perfect body. After seeing a particularly convincing ad by a television commercial or a magazine , some people will purchase the product hoping that the same look or feeling can be achieved by buying it. The fact is that this hardly ever happens. Everyday, teenage boys trying to attract girls will douse themselves in axe and buy expensive kicks; mentally, some may feel an improvement but in reality its just a placebo. The severity of both the mental and physical damage done to the person depends on the case. Some may resort to extreme diets, more unnecessary spending, or a decline in social activity. After being rejected at school despite his fly new shoes and new aroma, the teenage boy might finally realize that he is the problem, not his kicks.
“The media is a driving force in shaping a nation and is no less influential in affecting the sexuality of adolescents”. (Bonin, 2012) The media will portray sex as a commodity, without actually acknowledging the dangers behind some sexual behaviors. There are several types of media that adolescents tune into which includes music, videos, movies, television shows, and video games. All of these can ...
The downfall caused by the media’s portrayal of the perfect body can lead people to resort to unhealthy and dangerous methods of losing weight to get a body image. For example, in my time at middle school i was very overweight ( to put it in perspective i still weigh less now than i did back then) During the summer i spent a lot of time watching tv as I usually did. After constantly seeing only skinny people portrayed in tv i realized just how ugly i was compared to these people. Before you could get the thought out of my mind a month had passed and i lost 20 pounds by starving myself. In the next couple years i developed acute anorexia and had a very difficult time regulating my weight. This has caused me to have a significantly shrunk stomach and some digestive issues that are still prevalent today. I, like many other men and women, decided not eat in order to lose weight. Body builders can also fall ill to the illusion of being not good enough and sometimes pump up their bodies with steroids which can lead to kidney and liver problems as well as mess with your hormones ( roid rage and men developing breasts and women growing facial hair).
The abuse of drugs and dieting is partly a result of inaccurate/ false advertising as well as one’s desire to look and perform as well as the superstars shown in various forms of media.
In conclusion, it is important to maintain a healthy body image. People should make a mental note in their minds that the media does not always represent reality and that we shouldn’t compare ourselves to ads in magazines or actors movies. By doing this the public can view the media for what it truly is, a way to convey information or provide entertainment. Separating fact from fiction in adverts isn’t something that can really be taught, It can only happen in the mind of the individuals. It is true that some messages are sent subliminally, but if consumers would appreciate advertisement for what it actually is, much of these ordeals could be avoided.