Thursday, 12 August 2010

Body Image and Beauty Ideals; What is going on?

In the good old days, everyone thought that Marilyn Monroe was the most beautiful woman that ever existed. She was the equivalent of an english size 10. She had curves and an arse and she was gorgeous.

Recently it's been all about the size zero phenomenon. Twigs and stick insects strutted down the catwalks and celebrities were poked and prodded by the media.

What now?

Apparently we're all accepting that size 12 is the best size to be and that being able to snap in half by a hug isn't actually a good thing. But obesity is still a problem.

Hmmm. Now, to me, this changing attitude is a little confusing. What am I meant to be like? A twig, curvy or chunky? Thin is actually still the ideal for many people. Just look at our celebrities. They still get criticised if they gain even an ounce of fat. Imagine what it's like in schools.

I tend to get quite frustrated in the ideals of beauty. They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but is it really? I don't think so. It is now in the eyes of the media and the personalities behind it. It is still run by the same people who brought you widespread anorexia.

They show you women with perfect skin, and you think that your should have that skin. The same goes for tiny women; they show you, you want. Like the perfect pair of shoes sitting in a shop window, ready to be bought if only you made the effort to go get them.

I know this is slightly unfair, as I have read a good few articles in lifestyle magazines that encourage women to stop obsessing about their weight and learn to love themselves. But then I see the models they use in the adverts and in the pictures themselves and wonder if this is all just a lie.

Pictures subliminally affect you more than words. You don't think about the pictures. But we are still bombarded with images of skinny models, actresses and pop stars. And if you don't believe me, take a look around.

So next time you wonder why your perfectly curvy friend is worrying about her love handles, you can safely blame it on the ads.

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