Media and Body Image

The importance of one accepting their body image is very important for our generation to realize. In our generation, technology plays a major role in our lifestyle today. We can communication through text messages, we can surf the web away from a desktop, watch television and shop all in just the palm of our hands. With the media controlling a major part of why individuals have an issue with their body image, I believe they have the power and money to make a difference. Everywhere we look there are billboards, movies, and commercials that all display how the ideal body should look. Corporations fundamentally rely on their consumers’ need to improve their appearance to then buy their products.

The media tries to make money without worrying about what type of message they are relaying off to people. If a fashion industry puts shirt on a model that does not look right, no one watching the commercial or shopping on the online site will want to purchase the item. I believe that these type of companies should not have Photoshop or simply use only “skinny” A016_610_309.jpgmodels to sell their clothing. In our generation, we have individuals that are small, skinny, short, fat, tall, wide, thin, thick, and the list goes on. There are numerous examples in the media where the most beautiful girls are used to sell various amounts of items. One famous example would be the notorious Carls Jr. commercials that claim to only be selling food. For years now, these commercials have used numerous amount of women to sell their most recent food. In reality, they are obviously highlighting more of what the women have to offer than the food. When women watch these types of commercials, it makes them feel insecure about themselves because they do not look like these models, or have the body type like they do. These commercials are creating an increasingly immense problem with women having a negative attitude on their body image.

If the companies think about it, if they spread their horizon and not only sell to one type, they could have an opportunity to make more money. For example, for years the most common Barbie doll was skinny with blue eyes and blonde hair. Throughout generations it has created various amounts of dolls that are African American dolls, Chinese dolls, red haired Lammily-vs-barbie-via-justforfunziestoysDOTComBarbie dolls and many other types. Although Mattel began to differentiate Barbie’s with different look, if you notice, they were never able to change the sizes of the dolls. Recently there has been a company that’s main focus is on a more realistic “Normal Barbie.” Lammily has created a doll that was based off an average 19 year old woman’s body. Not only do they sell a more realistic doll, they sell stickers, called Lammily Marks, that are made to look like acne, tattoos, stretch marks, and even scars. The Lammily doll is the first fashion doll made according to typical human body proportions to promote realistic beauty standards and help children develop a positive body image. The creator of the Lammily doll, Nickolay Lamm, wished to create a doll to display to children that “average is beautiful.” I believe the media should make more realistic type of messages like this for children and even people of our generation now that actually look realistic. I believe the media needs to be more optimistic and realize that more types of women, men as well, will be more acceptable to purchase your item if it is realistic and fits them. Money would not be a problem, but in fact they can make more money if they help and promote being whatever body type you are, whatever body scars you have, whatever self-esteem problems you have is actually beautiful in its own way.

Turning to the most important topic of having a positive body image, individuals must be comfortable with their body, but they also need to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Now, I do not mean to starve themselves until they are skinny or eat nothing but fast food because they are anorexic. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle means keeping a well-balanced diet and amount of exercise that fits to one’s own body. If this means going to the doctor body-dysmorphic-disorder-bdd-300x264and creating a plan that works best with you. The media is creating an extensive amount of mental and physical disorders by trying to portray the “perfect image.” Men and women alike are more likely to be depressed when watching such commercials or magazine articles that show off qualities that are sometimes impossible to achieve. Individuals are obtaining eating disorders because they do not want to be too fat, or they over eat because they want to be “thick,” or have a bigger butt. There is a disorder, Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BBD), where people are constantly worrying about their real or perceived flaws every waking hour of the day. Most commonly found in adolescents and teens, research shows that it affects men and women almost equally. With the media’s help, such people with this disorder have to go through their daily lives looking at television commercials or movies, magazines, and even toy dolls that show more reasons why they should not like their body even more. I hope individuals in this generation educate themselves about what the media and advertisements, and the real purpose behind them. This is an era of media saturation, content variation and technological development, where it is increasingly difficult even for those with an interest in understanding the world to tell what is “real.”

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