People today are being fed by images that depict an “ideal” physical form. Men are portrayed with perfect, sculpted, six-pack abs, enormous muscles, and broad, hairless chests, while the women are nothing more than dresses supported by small bony frames. Apparently, these images are making people sick. Unsatisfied men and women, even early teens, are punishing themselves just so they can have that perfect body they see on TV or a magazine. If they do not succeed, their self-esteem, which is already low as it is, drops even more, consequently increasing their tendency to commit suicide.
Although the media highly contribute to society’s concept of an ideal body, I do not blame them for the problems this concept brings to people. It is not their fault that these people are ungrateful for what they already have. Yes, that is what I call them: ungrateful, discontented whiners. It sounds harsh, but that is how I feel, especially for women who starve themselves to death just so they can fit into their brand new skinny jeans. People are dying from hunger for crying out loud!
There are people who would do anything just so they can eat a fraction of what an average healthy human eats in a day. Why can’t they just be happy with their weight and the way they look? I do not think they would turn into whales if they would just eat enough food that is required for an average human to get enough nourishment a day. Men, on the other hand, do not strive to be skinny, but they do not try to be fat either. Men want the Abercrombie and Fitch model body, and in some cases, they want the Abercrombie and Fitch body on steroids.
I am talking about those body building folks that spend most of their time in the gym lifting weights, flexing their muscles, and in particular, those in the “professional” wrestling business. I know they work out a lot, but some of those wrestlers’ bodies have attained a body that is naturally impossible to achieve by working out alone. Anabolic steroids—the common name for synthetic testosterone—have led to the most dramatic changes in the male form in modern history (Cloud). Steroids are known to reduce sperm production and literally shrink the testicles.
I guess they do not care about siring children since they care more about getting or maintaining their perfect built than involving themselves in intimate situations. According to some surveys, men would rather go to the gym than be with their significant others (Cloud). Frankly, however, I do not care if women starve themselves to death or if men juice their manhood into oblivion. As long as these anorexic women and steroids-driven people are not hurting anyone else other than themselves, I guess there is nothing wrong with what they are doing.
Still, I would rather see them give food to people who are really starving and spend money on real medication. Imagine the lives they would save instead of the lives they would ruin. I admire Liz Jones, the author of “What I Think About the Fashion World. ” She is an editor of a big fashion magazine, but she does not want to work in a company that she believes to be portraying unrealistic images of women. She has no business helping others who do not want to help themselves. Like Liz Jones, I would not want to work either in the same environment if the company stands against my beliefs.
I am irritated by people who think their image is so important. Perhaps, it is because body image has never been an issue for me. I do not have a body like those seen in TV and magazines, but I do not care. I am just happy that I am a healthy person, that I am fortunate enough to eat whenever I feel hungry, and that I have enough self-respect that I do not allow myself to be bullied by other people. It does not matter how fat or how wimpy you look. If you have any sort of respect for yourself, you would not allow others push your around.
A great image is just a person loving his or herself no matter how fat or skinny he or she looks. The only reason I can think of why people see the images projected by media as ideal or real is they have psychological problems. A mentally healthy individual would clearly see that billboards and commercials are not real. Especially with today’s technology, editing programs can do almost everything. Rarely would anyone see pictures on magazines that have not been tainted by the hands of a graphics artist.
Waist lines are reduced, blemishes are removed, and unwanted hairs are plucked; anything that might be considered horrendous in the fashion world is edited. Psychologists say that people with such conditions should immediately recognize that what they see on printed ads and TV are not real and just the product of extensive editing. But of course, that’s them being idealistic(Keim). The media’s responsibility now, even if it is not directly their fault, is to try to minimize these portrayals of unrealistic bodies of models.
The media does not intend for anyone to indulge themselves in self-destructing behavior. All they really want is to make their magazine or commercial to look as presentable as possible. Hence, maybe they could place disclaimers on their ads that say that models may appear more beautiful in TV than in real life, much like the warning on side mirror of cars that objects appear closer than they actually are. Companies might not agree with this proposal, but anything they can do to help the depressed population would help. Again, it boils down to contentment and a positive outlook on life.
Image is not everything; there are far more important things to worry about other than looking like America’s next top model or a Versace endorser, such as how we could help others or how we could help lessen climate change. Works Cited Cloud, John. “Never Too Buff. ” Time. 24 April 2000. 4 September 2008 <http://www. time. com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,996688-2,00. html> Keim, Brandon. “The Media Assault on Male Body Image. ” Seedmagazine. com. 15 September 2006. 4 September 2008. <http://seedmagazine. com/news/2006/09/the_media_assault_on_male_body. php? page=1>