“Love your body.”
As much as we want to, the media makes it extremely difficult for us to treat our bodies like temples. Many adolescents struggle with the issue of body image due to the constant pressure placed upon them by the media- magazines, television shows, movies and social media. Think back to the last time you went to the supermarket. While you were queueing up, you probably flicked through a trashy magazine or two; bombarded by covers of celebrities in bikinis and comments on their weight loss or gain. The headline was probably something like this:
Pictured: Kourtney and Khloe Kardashian
And if you were like me, after seeing that cover, you would have compared yourself to With such pressure to be thin, it’s not surprising that so many adolescents develop eating disorders. 35% of females and 28% males aged 18-24 in Australia are not satisfied with their appearance. Furthermore, a study undertaken at Sydney University (2007) revealed that 1 in 5 teenage girls starved themselves or regurgitated their food to control their weight. This is so completely wrong- nobody has the right to dictate one’s beauty by putting them on a scale.
However, the media’s attitude towards body image and what is considered attractive appears to be changing. Recently, several prominent figures in Hollywood and media industries have jumped on board to praise curvy women. This is an extremely controversial topic in my family- my sister and I argue for hours on end! Yes, promoting curves is a good thing! But what I cannot stand is the way people go about doing so. You must have heard Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass” at least once. Not only does she stereotype those with a thin frame, she refers to them as “skinny bitches”. Lovely. Way to make a fellow gal feel great about herself. To make matters worse, Trainor contributes to adolescent girls’ concerns regarding body image by implying that boys don’t like girls with no “junk” in the right places. She’s just as bad as the media- manipulating adolescent girls into thinking boys won’t like them if they’re a certain weight. Nobody has the right to determine this.
Why does the media do this? A specific body type should not be demeaned only to glorify another. This goes both ways. Body image will continue to be a problem unless the media promote good health and positive body image and encourage self confidence. You don’t have to be thin to be healthy! Everyone’s body is unique and functions in a specific way. Dolly Magazine has been an advocate for healthy body image for years, using readers of all shapes and sizes as models. If other magazines and media outlets mimicked this, adolescent girls wouldn’t feel the need to constantly compare their bodies to others.
Hopefully the media will embrace bass AND treble to create beautiful music!
- Image taken from http://magazines.famousfix.com/tpx_25540291/famous-magazine-australia-10-june-2013
- Eating Disorders Victoria (EDV) , Key Research and Statistics. Accessed 14th March 2015.