Friday, May 15, 2009

In My Opinion...

        After researching and learning a lot about body image and how greatly an influence the media is to men and women of all ages, I've come to a conclusion. The media is never going to change the way they want their celebrities and stars to look. Although now shows like "America's Next Top Model" have contestants on it that are plus sized models, you'll never see a Victoria's Secret plus size model. No matter what direction the country is trying to gear towards the closed mindedness and stubbornness of some will never be lost. I've also come to find that the media is greatly responsible for the way people want to look and what they think is normal. Through digital enhancing, personal assistants and stylists, or plastic surgery, the celebrities that most people look up to are in someways fake! The media puts out commercials for diets that use the bandwagon advertising methods that make the viewers think everyone else is either skinny and the people that aren't are going on these special diets. People are now also programmed to think that only being skinny is socially acceptable and for those people that aren't they have life a lot easier if they let the pressure of being "a size 2" get to them.
              I've also come to find that parents and teachers can put too much pressure on kids. When parents have such high standards of what they want their child to be sometimes it causes the child to have illness' such as anorexia or bulimia. Until our society and media changes the way it influences people and what messages it sends out, it will be very hard to get the society as a whole to change its views. 

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Pressure from Parents

            Parents are suppose to be a child's biggest fan, their number one supporter, but sometimes parents go over the top with what they expect from their kids. For instance, if a young boy is playing a sport the dad may put to much pressure on him to win. This can result in the child thinking that their dad will only support him if he wins and not if he loses. A parent should be their for their child win or lose, rain or shine. In other cases sometimes the mom puts too much pressure on her daughter to be glamorous or be a dancer. Most of the time it's not that the parents intentionally do this to harm their children's self esteem, but they try to instill their dreams on their children. This can result in rebellion or worse off low self esteem. The parents will almost always go with the excuse that they just want what's best for their child. 
Eventually the constant pressure can lead to mental issues or illness' like anorexia or bulimia. Studies show that these problems are cause by pressure from parents, teachers, or friends. This can also occur from stress. 
                So as we can all tell it's better not to pressure your kids into doing something that they don't want to because otherwise it can lead to illness or rebellion. 

Twiggy- Supermodel

        Twiggy Larson the British supermodel was only 16 when she became the first prominent teenage model. She was known for her large eyes, long lashes and thin built. If you don't recognize the name yet she was also a judge on the hit reality show, America's Next Top Model. Although only expected to be a fad, she became a prominent teen model throughout the 60's. She then went on to star in movies and tv shows. She also put out many albums. She acted, sang and modeled. What didn't this lady do?
             Twiggy seemed very skinny back in the day and many reviewers and people out there wonder if she was naturally skinny. I think she was naturally skinny because she was very young when she started modeling and had a naturally skinny frame. Even now a days as an older women Twiggy is still a petite lady who still can be seen in movies, tv shows, and heard on albums.
Twiggy was a triple threat!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Diet Plans

           In the media viewers constantly witness weight control plans such as diet bars, diet pills, and diet brand of foods. Companies such as Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, South Beach, and Slim Fast have celebrities promote their products so they sell. People develop a sense of trust and confidence in the program if celebrities that they admire says that the product works. For example, in the Jenny Craig diet program stars such as Queen Latifah and  Kristy Ally support and promote the product. What the viewer watching doesn't realize is that these stars are paid excessive amounts of money to be on the commercials and supporting the products. Results are usually skewed and pictures of people who reached their "goal" by being on the diet are usually digitally enhanced. The amazing results that are advertised are usually the few obsure results of people who were very sucessful with the product. The average person doesn't usually obtain these results.  Also viewers think that by just eating the foods you can buy will automatically make you skinny. What they fail to notice is the little caption at the bottom that says " exercise is necessary to obtain realistic results." 
                Also out there are exercise video tapes and machines. Exercise videos are the most reliable because it is actually machine that you can use to build muscle eventually leading to weight loss. The key is to know you have to not only exercise, but also eat right. With the two you'll have a head start to loosing weight.
               In my personal opinion, I think the foods that you can buy off of the television is ridiculous. Why waste your money on food that isn't fresh and probably tastes bad when you can go out and get good quality healthy food from a restaurant or grocery store. 

The Biggest Loser

             The other side if the spectrum that people don't see is the media that helps people become skinnier to improve their help. In the show, The Biggest Loser, extremely overweight people compete in two teams to see who can loose the most weight in 100 days. The ultimate goal is to loose as much weight possible in order to become HEALTHY! This show can be beneficial to many over weight people who don't have the self control to loose the weight on their own. On the show they gain determination because they finally realize that loosing weight is a possibility. Not only do they gain better health if they win but also 250,000 which can be used for anything from new clothes to buying healthy food. In each episode it follows the 14 contestants as they learn to eat better, exercise, and maintain healthy habits in their goal to shed some pounds. Each contestant has their own personal want for winning the prize such as some want to stop the cycle of being overweight for their kids, others use to be thin and want to obtain their old body type again. All of the contestants end up on one of the two teams where they work with trainers. During the competition they competitors work out, eat right and take part in athletic challenges. The goal is to loose the most weight and the loosing team of the week has to vote out one member.
         Some people feel that the show is degrading to the contestants because they tell them that they need to loose weight and show the obstacles and hardships they face. I personally think the show is beneficial to the audience and the contestants because it makes the contestants healthier and feel better about themselves without any plastic surgery. The trainers help the contestants loose weight in a healthy way through diet and exercise. The show benefits the audience because obese people that watch it can have faith in loosing weight because the show proves that it is possible for the least likely candidates. 

   Check out the trailer of The Biggest Loser below vvvvv

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Tattoos and Piercings

                When people have a single piercing in each earlobe no one classifies them as a hoodlum or looks down upon them. Then how come people with other facial and body piercing are looked at in an eccentric way? To some a body tattoo can be just an impulsive, immature and childish thing to do. Why would someone want a permanent piece of artwork on them. They key word that people who don't support tattoos use in permanent. 
          Tattoos and piercings are not usually socially acceptable in a place of work. This contributes to body image and appearance because statistics show that a boss of a company would rather higher someone would a clean appearance then one with lots of body art. In some places of work managers and authority figures make workers cover up their tattoos and take out their piercings besides on the ears. But who made the idea that only gangsters and low class people have body art?
       To come body art can be significant. Many people have tattoos that have significant meaning to them. For example, people have tattoos of a loved ones initials who have passed away. One of my good friends has a tattoo on her foot of two little stars. This has a significant meaning to her because her grandparents both passed away and each star represents one of them. She is very much into theatre and acting and they were the first people to introduce her to the theatre. That's why they are represented by stars. 
           Everyone's tattoos and piercings having different meanings but should people be penalized for having body art in the workplace? Should these people be looked down upon? Personally, I don't think so and if the tattoo means something important it shouldn't matter what anyone else thinks.

Dove Commercials-changing "the look"

                     Recently Dove ( a soap brand) has started a campaign to change the way people look at body image and what is considered beautiful. The company of Dove wonders who decided what beautiful is and how did this vision become so distorted? Dove's self esteem campaign supports the idea that bodies come is all different shapes, sizes, and forms. Dove supports promoting a wider definition of beauty. In their soap commercials they don't show young extremely skinny women, but rather women of middle age who are more voluptuous. I personally think this is a great cause because it shows realistic women with no digital enhancement or plastic surgery. It may take a long time but if we can get the media to change and promote a wider variety of body types the society we live in would be a lot less stressful for men and women of all ages. 
          Additionally, dove believes that age has no limit and hopes to inspire women to celebrate what could be the most exciting stage of their life. This is a beneficial cause because it shows that a person can be beautiful at any age. 
 I highly suggest checking out the dove website and watching the films on the page. It's very interesting! Also, if you are feeling giving you can send a loved one an e-card to make their day a little bit brighter.