Were constantly having images of people, ways to improve our body, how our body isn’t good enough, and so on and so forth thrown at us every minute of every day. You may not even realize how much body image plays a role in everything in our society, and that’s alright.
Body image dictates magazine covers, and articles. It dictates actors roles in films, how people are perceived, and how people feel about themselves. It is the all-ruling power of diet plan advertising. It’s what gives photo shop their revenue. It controls us like a dictator. It is probably one of the most powerful things in this world.
So let’s take a look at only a few ways negative self body images are shown to us.
As you can see I circled a few things in red for you to focus your attention on. If you count how many subtitles are on the cover of this COSMOPOLITAN magazine you’d come up with a number around 9. Now, if you count how many subtitles are about sex, or being sexy/hotter, you’ll come up with a number around 5. That’s over HALF of the subtitles speaking of sex or being sexy! Why?!
“The Sex Quiz You Must Take Get What You Always Wanted In Bed”
“Get Sexy Hair Fast”
“Sex Tape Revenge: Is Your Rep At Risk?”
“Look Better Naked What Kim Kardashian Eats To Look THIS Smokin'”
“8 Foods That Make You Hotter”
Why, why, why do more than HALF of the subtitles include something regarding sex?! Why can’t the publisher’s of this magazine (and many others) use words other than sexy or hot? Why not use beautiful or gorgeous?
It’s not just about the words either. Let’s look at how Kim Kardashian is dressed for this cover.
Her breasts are pretty much falling out of that dress she’s wearing. Plus, the dress is so short that if she bent over to pick something up I’m sure people would get a fairly good look at what it is that makes her a woman if you’re catching my drift.
Now, let’s take a look at the 2001 movie Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, starring Angelina Jolie.
I’m sure if they made this movie starring a male instead, that we wouldn’t see him sporting booty shorts, tall black boots, and a tank top. Then again, let’s think about it, they wouldn’t choose a male for this movie for that exact reason. It’s all about the sex appeal, why? Because it’s what sells. Could you imagine watching a movie with a guy wearing booty shorts and tall black leather boots with tightly fitted clothing on? I’m sure you’d giggle quite a bit at how silly he looked, but not when it’s a woman. Why is it women have to strip down in order to get views? Why wouldn’t Angelina Jolie be able to wear something different that covered her body and wasn’t so tight fitting and get just as many views?
It’s because we sexualize women to such an extreme that if we see them portrayed otherwise then were thrown off. Isn’t that disappointing that we can’t see woman as what they are without having them show off their body?
Let’s look at one last example that has to deal with weight loss programs.
Isn’t this just sad? This is the epitome of why women/girls have such horrible self body images. This woman is pretending to devour a bunch of measuring tapes and what type of message is this conveying to people? It’s saying “all that matters is that measuring tape”. The woman can’t even eat real food because she’s so concerned about that measuring tape.
She looks so happy while devouring those measuring tapes which masks the negative image it’s portraying. Not to mention that the woman in the picture isn’t overweight, or obese. She shouldn’t even be worrying or concerned about her size, which is where being small is never small enough comes into play with self body image.
Why am I focusing so much on negative self body images when I’m supposed to be directing you toward a healthy self body image?
Well, we need to acknowledge and recognize negative body images before we can move toward healthy ones. By acknowledging negative body images we are able to ignore those images and come to terms that we will never look like that, even they don’t look like that! They aren’t perfect, you aren’t perfect, I sure am not perfect, but that’s OKAY! What we do about not being perfect is what matters.
We could easily all choose to give into the Hollywood “glam” and strive to look like Kim Kardashian, but what would that do for us? It would destroy our healthy self body image.
Having a healthy self body image is crucial to living healthy life not only physically but mentally and on the inside as well where all of the important action takes place like digesting food, pumping the heart, carrying blood throughout the body, etc. Without a healthy self body image we are more susceptible to suffer from depression, anxiety, anorexia, and other mental/eating disorders (Brown University). Who would want that? That’s right, no one!
So why do we want to have a healthy self body image?
- It boosts self-esteem
- Makes us happier
- Creates healthier habits
Do yourself a favor and work on your self body image if you’re lacking in that department. There’s nothing to be ashamed of when admitting you have an unhealthy self body image. Like I said previously, what you do about it is what matters.
Kardashian, K. (Performer). (2011, June 06). [Web Photo]. Retrieved from http://kimkardashian.celebuzz.com/tag/magazine-covers/
[Web Photo]. Retrieved from http://collider.com/tomb-raider-remake-graham-king/
[Web Photo]. Retrieved from http://freefastweightloss.blogspot.com/
Brown University. (n.d.). Body image. Retrieved from http://brown.edu/Student_Services/Health_Services/Health_Education/nutrition_&_eating_concerns/body_image.php