Sunday, 2 October 2011

You're Nothing But Skin & Bone...

It was only last week that I picked up a magazine that had an article printed on one side, ‘Embrace Your Shape’, then advertisements of skinny models covering the remainder of the pages, who looked liked they survived upon three cheese sticks between them daily. So why is it that these people that make us feel unnatural? The media creates false impressions on what people should look like. Each individual is generalized, and builds on society’s expectations on what a woman’s body should look like.
   Personally, advertisements, televisions and even shop mannequins should reflect the idea that everyone should embrace and love what they were born with. Unfortunately, it’s not the case in reality. Everyone is normal, but what has become the ‘norm’ by society is unnatural, and creates an image people are pressured to look like. Normality has gradually been blurred.
   Media depicts the beautiful people; the ones who stand there with a full, white grin and a body minus all of the Bridget Jones’ ‘wobbly bits’, which seems so effortless to have, whilst we (I) sit there guiltily putting down the spoon back into the half eaten Hägen Daas and are lulled into the sense that this is what we should look like. This creation of perfection that has become so pressurizing that people strive for those advertised ‘hineys’ that are ‘to die for’.
   Anorexia, bulimia and crazed diet trends are on the rise. With magazine headlines such as ‘THE TOP 30 WORST BEACH BODIES!’ and starved shop mannequins, society is provided with a spectrum of extreme body shapes, and an urge to be on the one side. And I believe we can guess which side that is, which is projected to the rest of us as the one to reach. Approximately 1 out of 4 woman have taken unhealthy methods to lose weight, whilst surrounded by the idea that if you look a certain way you can have it all. A happy marriage with Mr Right, that house you’ve always wanted, the perfect children and the best pay cheque you could imagine. In fact, consummate attempts to reach this ideal ends in skeletal bodies, a hospital bed, mental health issues and the threat of infertility.
   These serious possibilities are nonchalantly thrown aside without thought, and the image of perfection is constantly rammed in our faces wherever we go. It’s in the book you read, that one with the heroine. It’s in the shop windows and photos, with that girl in the lovely clothes – buy them and you’ll look like her. It’s on the side of buses and on children’s note books, everywhere, with the result being that children from five think about dieting. However, instead of addressing this issue, everyday media still puts out a negative message. One that doesn’t take the dark side of supposed glamour seriously.
    In some ways, it almost mocks it. For example, a Halloween costume titled ‘Anna Rexia’ is an anorexic dress with a skeleton print and a measuring tape accessory. Oh, and there’s a thin tanned blonde twenty-something to advertise it online.
    The broadcast of grotesque cases like this is greatly helped through the Internet. Sites like Tumblr mainly exhibit model-type girls, appearing oh-so effortlessly stylish and starved for teenagers to follow and become used to as they continuously pop up on their ‘Dashboard’. This is how you should look, each image silently screams. Facebook is a source for the outcry of these effects, with users becoming obsessive over how many ‘likes’ one of their profile pictures gets. Two likes? Oh My, we must delete that one then! Web sites such as these have been linked with obsessive traits, and the child-like need to be reassured constantly, particularly on how they look. Worryingly, these sites are used so often, that they are considered to be as addictive as drugs.
   This bad influence and effect just reinforces the generalized definition of how we should look. Although individuals should be defined by themselves, now it is by the label on our jeans, the way we wear our hair, how many people liked that last photo we put up or the way we’d look in a bikini.
   Fortunately, this issue is battled with positive figures to look up to and be influenced by. Celebrities such as Adele and Beth Ditto show that you don’t need to fit in with what the media wants; just talent and a personality and you’ll be loved. People like these break this idea of perfection, by forming another, which is what we should really look at. Each of us are beautiful, and perfect as our own. If we all attempted to change that to fit in with another idea, where would we be?
   We’re the ones made to believe we need to change. But, in the heart of the matter, it’s those who try and make us think that way that need to start making an alteration.
   Hey, everyone could do with a few Bridget Jones moments and the odd tub of Ben & Jerry’s on a rainy day, right?

FINALLY gotten round to some writing. I wish I had written something sooner, but I've had writer's block, which I've chosen to turn into blogging...dum dum dum! Hense the title! I really hope you read and like this. It's been a boring Sunday so I decided to write on something I've noticed a lot recently, body image. Every single one of you are beautiful, whether you're naturally tall, short, thin, curvy, whatever. Never believe otherwise. 
Thanks for taking the time to read this. X


  1. Gaaah I SO agree. I just stopped buying those magazines really, they make a lot of money off of the backs of very insecure girls and women. One of the things that is probably the most hurtful is all the fucking negativity. 'Worst beachbodies', 'crashdiet before you have to squeeze your godawful body in a bikini that fashion dictates you to wear', 'spray tan even before you go out in the sun because nobody wants to see some white ass girl', 'scrub your thighs, wrap them in cellofane and pray that your cellulite goes away because that shit is nasty'.... yes, the article titles might be chosen a little more carefully but that's what they mean. And than on one hand they embrace Christina Hendricks for being proud and curvy but two pages later they bash Christina Aguilera because she gained a few. Indeed, it makes me feel like we are just skin and bones (and fat :-D). We are SO MUCH MORE than cellulite and hairy legs. We make art, we cure diseases, we take care of one another, we can make each other laugh... isn't that a lot more important than living up to some crazy ass standard?

  2. I agree! I just wrote a piece on this! I saw you had commented and wanted to look at your site and you have the exact same opinion on it! I think that magazines should really think about the impact they truly have on people, I mean I read this article about women losing so much weight because of anorexia (and other eating disorders) that they had to go to hospital. But even then they were heavier/ bigger BMI then most high end models. This just made me realise how much these women had aspired to be them and in doing so created huge insecurities in themselves not only increasing they risk of brittle bones and having a healthy life after. I am really glad you wrote about this subject because it's something that I really believe in too. Hope to see more like this post!

  3. I soo agree! I hate the way we are basicly told how to look to be classed as beautiful. No-one would be unique if we all looked like stick insects and survived on a glass of orange juice a day. I think that's why I like the Special K advert; because they use 'plus size' models. I say plus sized but most of these models are a healthy weight and look much more like the rest of the public.
    Well done for having a voice! Cheers! :)x

  4. I like the way that models look...which is unfortunate for me because I will never look like one! What a lot of young girls/women/men don't realise is that firstly, most models are simply made the way they are - tall, thin body frame - so even if they starve themselves they're never going to look like that unless they're naturally dainty anyway. Secondly, most of the images that people see of these supermodels and celebrities are photoshopped like fuck!!!! It annoys me that I'm made to feel like I'm fat and ugly when in reality the people in magazines don't look like that any way, most celebrities would probably be unrecognisable without air brushing!

  5. Wow- an utterly brilliant post!! it is powerful and honest, i was nodding with agreement when I read the whole thing. Fuck propaganda, media, society etc. I remembered going in Berska, a high shop up in Oxford Street and then ALL the staff were looking at me funny- as I went to the fitting room with couple of tops, one of them went to say, I dont think those are the right sizes for you darling. And those clothes I was holding were the biggest ones I can find. I was like, no they are not. Ended up one of them did fit me! All what they saw- me coming in, flaunting my lovely big boobs, cute pot belly and a bit of double chin BAM i wouldnt fit any of Berska clothes. Quit being judgemental people! Just realise I am a bit off the point but just saying!

    Following now

    Thanks for your lovely comment about my art work btw!

    xo katrina