Body Shaming And Medias Contribution To It
Talking about, How the media has created an idea of what we should look like, all to the detriment of other individuals – especially women – who are left struggling with their body image and beauty.
The media has created an idea of what we should look like, all to the detriment of other individuals – especially women – who are left struggling with their body image and beauty. The prototype, popularly known as body shaming, has grown into a prevalent influence in the contemporary world, and this is why it is important to understand how the media publicizes it lest we yield to the temptation of self-loathing.
Body Shaming And Medias Contribution To It
All too often, the media relays adverts coated with sexuality, undertones of deceptions, and unrealistic impressions of the ideal body. For instance, whereas the average woman measures about 5’4” and weighs 140 pounds, the average model should be 5’11” and weigh 117 pounds (Smolak, 1996). Nevertheless, the ideal body size and shape have grown even smaller as magazines, newspapers, television, social media, and various forms of outdoor advertising keep on redefining the standard each day. Protein World’s recent “Are you Beach Body Ready?” billboard advertising campaign in London, which featured model Renee Somerfield, is a perfect case in point. Apparently, such a portrayal has aggravated the issue of body shaming, which has particularly engulfed the contemporary woman.
It is quite discreditable how the media has been reaping large profits from publicizing weight-loss programs. In other words, they “sell body dissatisfaction to their readers through unrealistic images of women, as well as dieting and exercise information” (Chojnacki, Grant, Maguire, & Regan, n.d.). Of course, the media does not advertise that it is brainwashing people with these ideas, but how the messages are packaged speaks volumes about the intentions, and only a rational reader can ascertain this. As a result, after puberty, about 10 million girls and women and 1 million boys and men are grappling with eating disorders like bulimia, anorexia, borderline conditions, and binge eating disorder among others (Shisslak, Crago, & Estes, 1995). Clearly, the media, through body shaming, has often left overweight people feeling uncomfortable and out of place.
Apparently, the idea of the fat, lazy, foolish, and gluttonous characters dates back to the 1950s The Honeymooners set up the stage for overweight body shaming. Later, sitcoms such as King of Queens, The Simpsons, All in the Family and Family Guy sitcoms followed suit by featuring hefty and fat characters either for cheap laughs or to fuel and cement judgment about such people. Consequently, they become the center of focus and laughing stalks, which most irrational viewers tend to cross-reference whenever addressing or referring to people with similar body size and shape within their social context. Undeniably, such portrayals by the media result in negative stereotypes and irresistible body shaming.
Apparently, body image concerns are usually multi-dimensional and they comprise “thoughts, feelings, and behavioral responses related to one’s body” (Grabe, Ward, & Hyde, 2008). Since marketers and advertisers understand audience demographics, they usually bank on our insecurities to increase sales and maximize profits. With deleterious effects of body shaming already evident, it is high time we confronted the vice before it is too late. It is commendable that following backlash on social media regarding the controversial “Are you Beach Body Ready?” billboard advertisement campaign, Sadiq Khan, London’s new mayor, plucked up the courage to ban all adverts that objectify women, but defeating the vice remains a collective responsibility.
Photo credit: Eye for Ebony on Unsplash Lynchburg, United States – Visit them: https://www.eyeforebony.com/
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