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 H├Ągen 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’.
   Literally.
   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