opinions please.

2.22.2011

i am writing a paper for my english class about 'media, and how if effects body image'. and of course i need sources! soooo, i would love some feed back from any of you readers!! please please please! you can either leave a comment, or email me (address is to the left).
have you or someone you know been effected by the media's view on body image?
do you you feel like the media's view on body image is harmful, or effecting us negatively? if yes, how can it be fixed?
any view or opinion you have is welcomed, even if we don't know each other. please don't be shy, i need other views besides my own and cnn :) and i know you have opinions! :) so please share!!

6 comments:

  1. YES, of course it makes a difference, but how to fix it..HA I have no idea. I think the DOVE real beauty campaign is a start. But there is a long way to go...designers consider anything above size 10 as plus size. Size 10 is not necessarly plus, depends on many factors, height, body type, etc. Not right.

    To be fair I think how much the media impacts ones body image depends on how confident they are in the first place.

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  2. So, I think it use to be worse than it is. Shows are getting more diverse than they used to be. There are more people of different races, sexual orientations and body weights. I think it's becuase everything has to be so PC now. Most shows are about the "it" people and they are not only skinny and beautiful, but also wealthy. I think that all of that if so far of a reach that most people are smart enough to realize it's not reality and therefore it doesn't harm them. The most I think it does for us "normal" people is make us a bit depressed that that is not us. I know for me however, that I just watch it with the thought in mind of seeing how the "other side" lives. It doesn't consume my life.
    Hope I answered the right question.

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  3. Yes, I definitely think the media has a HUGE impact on body image. The people I worry about the most are the young impressionable ones. The rest of us may roll our eyes when we see the "perfect people" on TV or in magazines, but adolescents and teens don't always realize that these people don't represent reality. Celebrities have personal trainers, someone covering them with them makeup all the time, money to buy endless outfits, and most of all, they have people to airbrush out their flaws when a picture doesn't turn out so great.

    I was a chubby kid and a very impressionable one. I loved reading magazines like Seventeen, and I truly believed that I was supposed to look like the girls in the magazine and if I only tried hard enough, I would. So in junior high, I starved myself. And everyone - my peers and adults alike - thought it was great that I was so thin and "healthy" now. I made new friends at school and people didn't treat me like I was a gross slob anymore. All this did was support my belief that this was the way to be beautiful, so this was something I struggled with for many years. Would I have done all this if it wasn't for the media? Perhaps. But I do know that watching TV and movies and reading magazines had a big impact on my body image and what I thought was "normal."

    What really concerns me today is that things are only getting worse. Young people - boys and girls - are presented with such a narrow view of beauty that is basically unattainable for most. I agree with the comment above that the Dove real beauty campaign is a start. We need a lot more of that sort of thing these days...

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  4. i remember writing my mission statement in my final semester of college. my teacher read them all and then talked to us about them. she said that all but 2 of us in the class had "lose weight" on our mission statement. that is RIDICULOUS. we all just need to be healthy. but when you watch tv and see skinny people you think that that is what you must be.

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  5. I'm gonna go out on a limb here and play the devil's advocate on this one ; ) After all, what makes a good paper is analyzing all sides of a subject instead of just your side.
    We can all rant on about how we see roughly 500 ads a day with the average 5'11" 117 lb female model when in reality the average female is 5'4" and 140 lbs. But that has been done to death and it's kind of getting old. Don't ask me where I got those stats because I can't remember, but I'm fairly certain they're accurate and easy enough to confirm. Also, as a side note, I wanted to throw in the male perspective here in a subject dominated by females.
    Of course I was affected by the media, who isn't? I think the real question however isn't, “how does it affect you” it's, “how does one deal with this affect.” As a personal experience with this, I want to mention my childhood memories.
    Don't make fun, but as a kid, my heroes were Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone to name a couple. With movies like "Terminator 2", "Last Action Hero", and “Rocky 4” they were this 7-year-old's idols. They were the coolest and I wanted to look like, and be as strong and cool as them. Unless you swing for the other team, what guy doesn’t want to be the kind of man’s man those two represented?
    Later I grew up and realized that amount of muscle on Arnold was/is ridiculous and frankly, unattractive. However! Because of that desire to be in shape I can't remember, even as a little kid, the last time my "six pack" wasn't visible. I see that as a great thing. Because of Arnold and Sylvester and their impact on my impressionable little self, I have always been in good shape and healthy. I can honestly say that if I wasn't influenced by the Governator or Sly, I wouldn't have joined the track team and lettered, played hockey, earned the presidential fitness award, walked on the varsity football team as a sophomore and lettered there as well, and maintained around 7% body fat throughout my high school years among other things.
    Although Arnold has since lost his appeal to me, the drive to be healthy and in shape has never suffered the same fate. That isn't to say the media hasn't been an influence on my self-image since Arnold and Sylvester have dropped from their respective pedestals. But to assume that influence has been a negative one is a typical knee-jerk reaction and erroneous.

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  6. ...Continued


    It would be disingenuous for me to say that seeing Ryan Reynolds’ body or Gerard Butler’s in “300” (my replacements for Arnold and Sylvester) doesn’t make me jealous or even a bit depressed at times. But is that necessarily a bad thing? I submit that it is not.
    Now if I were to do drastic and unhealthy things and methods to alter my appearance in order to be something I’m not, yes, that is a bad thing. However, that would be my choice and decision. Media doesn’t tell me to starve myself, throw up after every meal, or get plastic surgery. I say that it isn’t a bad thing because seeing the bodies of said celebrities inspires me to work out and be healthy. That jealousy makes me work for what I don’t have not what I CAN’T have. That depression is short lived and is mainly because I know I can be better. Like I mentioned before, it’s what you do with these negative feelings not if these negative feelings occur.
    Tash made a good point when she said, “I think how much the media impacts ones body image depends on how confident they are in the first place.” In my opinion, what it comes down to is not what the media says about what you should be, it’s what you say about yourself. Even if you are a size 0, if you think you’re fat, A: you’re stupid and B: you’re going to do stupid things to fit your ideal.
    Again, to bring it to a personal level, I had very poor self-esteem while I was younger all the way up until high school. If nothing else, my drive to be fit and in shape because of the media helped me. When you look good, you feel good. When you feel good, you feel good about yourself. Of course there are other factors when it comes to self-esteem and confidence but not being on the chunky bus plays a huge role.
    Basically what it comes down to is the individual. Some people can and some just can’t deal with things in a healthy way. Placing the blame on companies, advertisement, lyrics, TV shows, movies and etcetera takes the blame off of the individual and their free agency. One can look at a beautiful individual in the media and see their wealth and body and go into a depression because they want something they don’t have and then spiral down with their unhealthy attempts to be someone they aren’t or you can look at that same individual and let it inspire you to be the best you can be with the body you have and the talents you possess. Being healthy, thin, and even being wealthy isn’t unobtainable. It’s the way YOU get there that makes all the difference in the world.

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