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There are so many people in this world that compare themselves to models, to other people they see in their lives, or how they wish they looked like. This happens mostly because of the social network. Nowadays, mostly teenagers, have been having health and mental problems. They feel like they aren’t enough for them and everyone around them. They fear they will be judged by others and will sometimes do almost anything so they won’t get made fun of. Society today about looking good and looking perfect is making men and women rethink the way their body is shaped, and it pressures them to fit in well in society when there is no need to do that. Fitting in well is something that feels important to them. They will either feel judged or unwanted if some people don’t accept them, so they will try and change the way their body looks. Some worse case scenarios, such as health problems, will come to either starving themselves and then later on they will be diagnosed with a disorder such as anorexia or bulimia. Some “fit” girls will sometimes bully other people if they don’t look like them. They will threaten them and make their victim feel disgusted of themselves. They will sometimes come down with mental problems. Just by living in an environment where everybody has a fit body damages their self-esteem. An excessive exaggeration of appearance, societal beauty standards promote a thin body shape that isn’t really that realistic, which associates thinness with positive qualities like attractiveness, health, love and success. The media is a powerful societal tool for expressing expectations about how men and women should look. As a result, over the past several years, women have shown an increase in body dissatisfaction (Cash, Morrow, Hrabosky, ; Perry, 2004).
First of all, now that Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, etc. is being used so often, it’s making other people notice some advertisements that include female or male models that promote some type of item. Most of the time, they focus on the model. They focus on what she/he is wearing, they focus on the way her/his hair is, her/his type of body, and they start comparing themselves. Asking what they have to do to look like that model they’re seeing. This happens due to advertisements promoting that it’s good to be thin and fit, with good looks and whatsoever. When men and women model for a magazine, editors edit their bodies to look like what people think that look like. Other people believe that those are their real bodies, hair, face, shape, etc. They think it’s real but it’s clearly photoshopped to look like something that other people want to see. People advertise their items with good looking people. They know that people will ignore the advertisement if they don’t have somebody to catch their attention. There are advertisements that include both men and women gripping an object and looking all “sexy”, when they are all just advertising a perfume. Women are mostly being sexualized due to the way they are supposed to look or act. Sexualization is linked to sexual objectification. They are often sexualized when they are wearing something that reveals skin. They often get catcalled and some men or women comment really disturbing things to them. They can’t walk somewhere normally without somebody saying rude things to them. This is something that has to stop. They can’t compare themselves to something that is modified to look like a specific thing that women are supposed to look like. That’s one of the problems here in this world. These website and apps provide an additional forum for self-comparison against a thin ideal. Teenagers need to realize that having that body image that everyone looks for isn’t really completely attainable. The photos we see in magazines and in websites aren’t real either. Many people don’t realize that those photos have gone through many touch-ups and have been edited so many times to make the models look perfect. Teenagers who work hard to attain society’s unattainable ideal image will just end up increasing their feelings of not fitting in. Women who view thin and sexualized selfies online can be negatively affected (Vendemia & DeAndrea, 2018).
Anorexia is another result of media influence on beauty standards. This is a result of trying to be thin and look perfect. Some don’t have anorexia just because of the media. They might have it due to family problems, or problems in their every day life, which is sometimes caused by bullying and not feeling their best selves in their own skin. Some people who have anorexia have a distorted body image and an excessive, obsessive fear of obesity, even when they are extremely underweight. Mostly teenage girls have an eating disorder. After they see themselves losing weight, they start becoming more and more obsessed of what they eat. Some girls don’t even eat at all due to wanting to be skinny. They start getting used to not eating and they feel like it’s a part of them now. They convince themselves that having a strict diet and losing lots of weight is normal for them. People with anorexia are affected by society. They are affected by social media, commercials, parents, etc. men and women are given the message at a very young age that in order to be happy and successful, they must be really thin and fit. Exposure to media images of thin-and-beautiful women negatively affects the body image and mood states of young women (Yamamiya, Cash, Melnyk, ; Posavac, 2005). Every time a young boy or girl walk into a store they are surrounded by skinny or buff mannequins. Images of thin women and muscular men appear on front covers of fashion magazines. Thousands of teenage girls are starving themselves trying to attain what fashion or the media considers to be the “ideal” figure. Boys in middle and high school regularly exercise with the goal of increasing muscle mass. Clearly the media has an influence. Regardless of gender, young people want to look like the body images they see on television, in the movies and in magazines. Television shows featuring thin or very muscular actors make viewers feel like they need to look thin or be super fit in order to be successful and happy. Many actors we see on television have put in hours of exercise and have deprived themselves of the proper nutrition in order to maintain a thin figure. Some even end up having plastic surgery, liposuction and breast implants. Society is changing the minds of young people into believing that being thin is important and necessary. Additionally, television programming promotes weight by stereotyping and making fun of bigger people. Teenagers also spend a great deal of time on social media sites. Teenagers are under a lot of pressure to be thin and feel perfect. They are led up to believe that the only way they can be accepted and fit in is if they are thin. They end up having to exercise excessively, starving, vomiting and eating only diet foods to try to be thin. Diet commercials are constantly appearing on our television screens, in magazines and on internet pop-up advertisements, telling us that once we lose the weight, we will be happy. While they’re standing in the checkout line at the grocery store, they are surrounded by magazines claiming to have the newest and best diet. Each month another new diet appears, claiming to be the diet to end all diets they have tried. Dieting has become an obsession in America. We spend millions of dollars each year trying to look the way society tells us we need to look. The reason a new diet pops up each month is because last diet did not work. Many of the diets on the internet right now are also unhealthy. They make them not consume the proper nutrition your body needs to survive, and these diets can lead to health problems. The diet and fashion industries are not totally to blame for society’s obsession with thinness. In today’s society, people have forgotten that it’s what’s inside a person that counts, not what’s on the outside. We need to start loving and accepting each other for who we are, not what we look like. If we learn to love and accept ourselves, we will also begin to love our bodies, no matter what size we are.
Parents need to also teach their children the value of healthy eating and not send the message that being thin is all important. Focus on learning to love and accept yourself. Seeing a lower number on a scale when you weigh yourself and fitting into a smaller dress size than what you actually wear, will not make you happy. Happiness can only come from within. They need to remind them that people come in all shapes and sizes and teach them to accept everyone for who they are. Parents have to teach their children how to value themselves. It can seriously damage their mental state if teenagers think that they will always be flawed. They have to notice that everyone has their own flaws. However, parents can try to help children develop self-acceptance by teaching children to be proud of who they are. It is important for the parents to know that they do not cause eating disorders in their children and they can’t necessarily prevent it.
Society is making children think that having a “perfect” body is the only way to get past through life. People, television, social media, and people around them are affecting the minds of everyone. Putting ideas in their brain about being perfect makes it feel important for everyone. It’s just hurting themselves. We first need to start accepting ourselves for our body shape, the way we think, and talk. Everyone is capable of loving themselves and start accepting the way they were born. Everyone is perfect in their own way. No matter what flaws they have, what body shape they have, or what culture they come from, everyone is different. That’s what makes us special.

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