I really wanted to write about how the media’s manipulation and choices affect us, often negatively. That’s when I realized that their actions far exceed the capacity of one blogpost. So this is going to be like a little series. Click Here to see the first post about minority representation. Today’s main focus, body image. How does the media portray body image and what is socially acceptable? How do they create unhealthy ideals? Who is affected by this? Those questions are going to be addressed and discussed. I am also going to focus on real world examples that let you decide how you feel and also to show how prevalent it is. Big warning, I am probably going to criticize and expose some of your favorite movies, media platforms, and pop culture idols. So get ready.
what do I mean by media? This is something I will address in each post, because I believe it’s important when understanding the larger issue. When most people think of media, they think of the news and magazines. But it’s much more than that. The news is a big part of it, but it’s also movies, television, modeling, etc. It’s really important because of the immense power media has, and the special influence it has on kids. The news has the ability to create political tensions. Movies can make kids think that women shouldn’t be doctors or that people of color always like in poverty. It helps to create stereotypes and portrayals, creating a misogynistic, racist, and an overall terrible culture.
young girls. Through shows and magazines targeted to younger children, specifically girls, the media get’s into young girls mind and twists their perception of a healthy body image. It’s bad enough that they are manipulating girls (and young boys too), but the media goes even further to target them at a vulnerable and highly impressionable age.
unhealthy ideals. By doing things such as only featuring one body type on magazine covers or spreading ads for food supplements, they sell unhealthy ideals to the public. It becomes the perceived societal norms. Making being skinny and slim the only “acceptable option”.
overcoming it. So how do we overcome the manipulation? It’s important to introduce and educate young girls, from an early age, the reality of everything. Not just what it means to be healthy, but how to own your body, how the media can be misleading, and how do have self confidence. Obviously, it’s not an easy thing to do, but it has to become a priority in our society. Going past young girls, we need to recognize that the media manipulates all of us and that we all need to be aware. We need to create safe spaces and introduce positivity into the world
I’ve written other blog posts about body image, click here to read some, but I really wanted to focus on the role the media plays. Let me know your thoughts too! I got some really great feedback on the last post, which I really enjoyed reading.
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