The “It” Image
When flipping through the pages of a magazine there is only one image that is portrayed to the young readers, models that society has deemed perfect. What is depicted as perfection is the complete opposite. The girls who read these magazines and see the stick skinny girls get an image in their head of what they should look like, and if they do not meet the “standards” then they are not good enough. I believe too much pressure is put on today’s young girls to meet the standard that media has set in magazines and on television. The young mind is extremely influential and will absorb any idea that is thrown at it. The “ideal” body type that many young girls strive for is just a foggy image imbedded in theirs minds. This problem can cause insecurities and can provoke many difficulties that can affect the rest of their lives. It is a struggle that is constantly taunting young girls in society and is just being brushed under the rug.
At a very young age children are taught what an average person looks like. Many parents would like to say that they taught their children to look past the outer appearance and look to see what is on the inside. In many cases the parents do teach their children what is right, but there is a big wall standing in the way and contradicting everything that is positive being taught. That big brick wall is the media. At a very young age children start watching TV, watching movies and passing billboards filled with models who generally look the same. They are exposed to the image that the media is trying to set for society. The young mind is easily molded and when taught at a young age they can only absorb it and conform to what they know. When children grow to know the way they should look like or the way others should look like it is hard to change their perspective.
Society has set standards of how young girls should look, and this image isn’t necessarily a healthy one. The models and actresses that young girls see on television may have the body that society accepts but how they have achieved it isn’t the best way. An ongoing problem with starlets and average girls are eating disorders. The young starlets feel a pressure of being in the spotlight and take the easy way out by purging, anorexia, and bulimia. When the average girl watching TV or flipping through a magazine sees the skinny starlet they too find a way to look like the pretty skinny girl. Any eating disorder will be damaging to the body, although there are instant results the future will show the price. Many girls do not take in to account the problems that can result in abusing their bodies; they just focus on the outcome.
Not every young girl in Hollywood is unhealthy and not taking care of their bodies in a healthy manner. There are more girls who understand that the instant results have many more consequences that will be harmful to their bodies in the long run. It is clearly displayed that the obesity levels in America are extremely high and being obese can also be very unhealthy for anyone, but I do not believe it is right to push an image that is impossible for many people to obtain. I have first hand felt pressure form society to look a certain way. As I have grown up to become a young adult I see that on the outside I do not have the ideal body type. Although I know that I am not physically perfect, this has not hindered my outlook for my life. I have found strength in believing beauty is found within. When the world is not full of judgment and can look past what people look like then I believe we will see a change. Until that time the ideal body type will remain that, ideal, and young girls will constantly thrive to obtain it any way that they can.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.