Media images of what is the ‘perfect’ body image can be found almost anywhere. Places like magazines, on TV, commercials, or even anywhere on the Intemet, There has been an ongoing interest in men and women’s body image over many years and in turn has an effect on society both positively and negatively. Research has shown that self- esteem, eating patterns and exercise regimes are heavily impacted due to the medias perception of body image, A lot of the time what is seen in the media isn’t real. Bodies and faces are photo shopped to look immaculate. It is thanks to things like this that there is an ongoing problem among people in communities around the world to gain their optimal body weight and shape. We are living in a world that idealizes the sickly thing and shames the overweight. Optimal Body weight can be very different for everyone, for example factors like height, body stature and sex will vary what your optimal body weight will be.
Also it is near impossible to calculate ones optimal body weight without knowing exactly what they are happy with, what their goals are, if any, and how they wish to see themselves. Research has shown that, throughout history, being underweight was typically frowned upon, It was a sign of deficiency and shortage of resources. In fact, obesity was actually considered “prestigious and admired. To be fat was seen as an accomplishment — as a way to judge success. Today, as the United States becomes wealthier and shifts to a culture of overindulgence and abundance, rates of obesity are rising, but it is no longer a sign of success. Instead, in our society, which focuses on physical appearance, heaviness is looked down upon, while slenderness is idolized as a result, our society is now facing two problems: an epidemic of obesity as well as an increased rate of people who are constantly unhappy with their bodies, which leads to the issues involving depression and suicide.
In terms of depression and suicide, in direct relation to social media having an impact on what an individual thinks and feel about themselves is at an alarming rate, after a survey was taken among teenagers on a national scale, “About 19 percent said they had considered suicide in the previous year and about 9 percent said they had attempted itt”. It is a serious matter that needs to be addressed properly. “Suicide ideation was more likely even among students whose perceptions of body size deviated only slightly from ‘about the right weight,” said lead author Danice Eaton, a researcher at the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention Without appropriate attention these alarming statistics will continue to rise as long as media has such a strong impact on society and what is defined as being healthy. Because nearly half of the students perceived themselves as too thin or too heavy, “these results suggest that a sizable proportion of students may be at increased risk” for suicide, the researchers said.
Social media has a massive target audience for the health industry. A lot of personal trainers and lifestyle motivators have a much sought after body image. Some of these people have hundreds of thousands, even millions of followers which means that they are of interest to many people around the world. These kinds of role models can have an extremely positive affect on people, but also a negative affect on some people. The body image that they possess can motivate people to emulate them. On the other hand some people think that this is the way that everybody should look which can turn into a depressant. Everybody has there own individual body, so it is impossible to look exactly like somebody else. A person’s appearance is determined by many factors including genetics, biology, behavior, and cultural standard. The media inﬂuences society by providing characters who are examples and role models that practice extreme dieting, excessive exercise, and purging.
This goes beyond simply portraying people who conform to the unrealistic cultural appearance ideal, but actually shows viewers how such an appearance may be obtained, by engaging in behaviours that contribute to eating and body image pathology, It is important to understand that there is no correct body image, media should not define what is correct in regards to body image; it should only be viewed as a motivator or entertainment. The western mass media has had a negative impact on self esteem levels. In a rather striking example of the powerful and fast-acting influence of western mass media, researchers found that girls and women in Fiji exhibited virtually none of the symptoms of eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia nervosa before the arrival of western television. A short time after its arrival, symptoms of eating disorders had emerged and the cultural appearance ideals had shifted to idolizing thinness over a fuller figured body type.
This is erong evidence supporting the fact that television and other media outlets do have an affect on selfeesteem levels, especially those of young women. Lowered self-esteem levels affect women much more than men. This is because men in the media aren’t sexualised as much as women. Many scientists have proposed that the influence of the media on body image and eating has increased in recent years. This could be due to the apparent increase in the media of models shown wearing less and less clothing. For example, since 1957, the percentage of female models depicted in a state of undress has more than doubled, up t030% in popular women’s fashion magazines. This number has also increased to approximately 30% for men, but the gain was even greater for men who were Virtually never depicted in states of undress in 1957.
The media doesn’t help, but it is not the main issue, The way people perceive there own body image should be educated from a young age. Obviously people want to look as good as possible, but at the same time society needs to realise that it takes a lot of hard work and there is really no end product, you can forever be improving. The trick is to set goals that make you feel comfortable, don’t let somebody else’s body image diminishes your self-esteem. When educating society on body image it is important to cement the point that the images seen on television, magazines and social media are generally photo shopped, air brushed or filtered to make the image appear more masculine, toned or whatever it may be, The media is a great form of motivation and entertainment, but should not be seen as a body image standard This is where education at a young age could help fix this incorrect perception‘.