Body image is a major concern for most of our society today. It’s all about this fad around “thinspiration” thigh gaps, collarbones, hip bones, yada, yada, yada. Well, what I would like to know is how did this all begin? We look at Marilyn Monroe, who at one time was America’s sexiest woman of all time, and she was not very small or even a size zero. The ideal for this type of “sexy” has completely shifted. Now it seems like all we see and hear in the media is how to look thinner, how to lose belly weight, how to look younger, etc. Is small really better? Everything is all about hiding who we really are, about reshaping our already perfect, original bodies. Why should we aspire to be this thinner, younger looking version of ourselves? If it is to be healthy, then I agree that we should try to make those adjustments as needed, but a problem arises when an individual takes this body image ideal to the extreme. When I say extreme, I am talking about developing illnesses and disorderly eating habits due to one’s appearance of themselves.
Did you know?
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any psychological disorder!
Hess and Biber’s article “Am I thin Enough Yet?” addresses the issue of a woman’s sense of worth in terms of her ability to attract a man. It shows that some women really start to focus on what they are eating and how their bodies look as compared to other women they see, a lot of them being models, actresses, etc. Girls and women are paying attention to their weight so much as to weighing themselves multiple times per out the day. This can lead to excessive exercising habits, and disordered eating habits. We want to try to empower women to look beyond the fake Barbie image, and to realize their unique self-worth. The article describes the eating disorder cycle as one that is a “trap”… girls and women become obsessive with their appearance and with their bodies, where ultimately it is never good enough. We are aspiring to be these photo-shopped, enhanced, and materialized people we see on the television and in the media, when we forget the beautiful, delicate people we are.