Society Affects How People Perceive Themselves Body Image

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I agree strongly with this statement that many people living on our society are influenced by the media and the fashion industry. Both are equally responsible for the increased number of people suffering from eating disorders. Fashion industries tend to only feature whose figures vary from eight to ten.

Their androgynous waif-like figures are presented as representative of the everyday woman. In doing so the average woman in the street is forced to measure herself against an unrealistic ideal. Most models are above average height, have naturally lithe bodies and are aged between sixteen and thirty.Their image is constructed and manipulated by a predominately male homosexual industry which appears reluctant to show women as curvaceous individuals. Celebrities themselves fall foul of the dominant media representation of women.

Victoria Beckham not long after the birth of her first child was famously featured on a catwalk parading the clothes of one of her favourite designer. At the time she was praised for entertaining her slim figure so soon after pregnancy. However weeks later as speculation grew over her emaciated new look, she denied any talk of her eating disorder.However years later in her autobiography she confessed to having suffered from an eating disorder after the birth of her son Brooklyn.

Anorexia is the quick fix to weight loss and for many it begins as a way of loosing weight rapidly however as the success of the disorder begins to dawn, what initially begins as a temporary solution, soon becomes a long-term obsession.Anorexic develops into for many a form of control teenagers our parents, school and age dictates the pattern of our lives and how we are treated. Anorexia allows hose vulnerable to take control over their bodies, it becomes a means of self-discipline, a way to take hold and manage a part of ones life albeit a destructive method. When faced with teenage magazines, which have the same affect and carry the same message as the world of fashion, spotty over-weight teenage girl or boy would feel inadequate about his or her body image.Magazines such as “Bliss” “Hello” “J17” promote the same message: that love attraction, sex long terms happiness comes with being beautiful. The advice on clothes, make up etc.

suggests there is need for self improvement. The love stories and model pages all feature clear skinned, slim people. The fat and the ugly do not live in the fashion world. To an impressionable teenager it implies they have no place in the world and will not be accepted in society if they are over-weight. Society in general see fat, over-weighted people to be lazy so this makes people feel they have to be thin and not fat to fit in with the general public.

Fat people often get abused and made fun at because they seem to appear as the figure of ridicule and mockery. They do not get to take a serious part in life and this also happens in the media. Two examples would be the lady who presents the comedy show “You’ve been framed” and Eddie Murphy acting in as a large obese professor in “Nutty professor”. They all portray and signify relevance suggesting that fat people appear mostly in comedy film and programmes and they are not accepted seriously. Teenage girls and middle aged women are the two most likely groups to become influenced by the media.

Their lives are dictated to an extent by male desire. The young girl is told by a magazine, sitcoms, dramas such as “Dawson’s creek” and “Holly oaks” etc. that being attractive leads to love; even if it does involve heartbreak. Women in their forties unlike men do not begin their life at forty. Hollywood males continue careers long after their forties as leading men, for example Pierce Brosnan in the 007 movies and Sean Connery yet a few but where are the female equivalents? They do not exist; women over forty in Hollywood are cast as Mothers.

The shell life of their sexuality ended with the menopause.It is no wonder that middle aged women in droves have turned to the plastic surgery surgeon, eager to obtain the body of their adolescence and drink from the fountain of youth. The pressure has been placed there by the women’s husband, boyfriend and the media which undoubtedly leads women to be more insecure about them physically. The beer-bellied man in the street is not conscious of his overweight self, yet women who looked in a similar way would recognize how she would be pressured by others. Men are given freedom to be less self-conscious about their looks.A sign of ageing on a man makes him look more “interesting” whilst lines on a women’s face sends her in search of Botox.

The lives of cosmetics in a supermarket available to men and women show the disparity between he two groups. Women are forced to look good, pressure is placed on them to maintain them whilst men in contrast are expected simply to groom themselves and keep clean. Yet despite all the male pressure, the fashion industry, magazines, celebrities, the adverts put on more anxiety and manipulation by selling products and gadgets.Examples are drinks such as “Slim fast” and fat deducting belts and tablets. These adverts come generally out in the January period of the New Year or Christmas suggesting a new year’s resolution and this clearly tells us the encouragement of the whole media towards people into sliming down.

In conclusion I do think that society affects people and how they perceive themselves. Nearly everybody changes to suit someone or a specific society some way or another.

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