I’d like to admit something.
I’ve finally come to terms with the brutal honest fact that I am unattractive. It’s true! But thanks to the latest app I can finally Photoshop myself to perfection and then feel totally comfortable uploading it. But we all know, if I want to feel any kind of self-worth then I’ll need that 11th like on Instagram otherwise clearly that ‘selfie’ is not as hot as I thought!
The media, in all its forms and depending on how we use it, shape our world whether we like it or not.
In a study conducted at Arizona State University 157 “female undergrads were randomly exposed to pictures from magazines containing images (of ultra skinny to average sized women)” resulting in the female students feeling immense body dissatisfaction. Think about that for a second. One minute you may be feeling rather happy with yourself and then you catch a glimpse of the newest Top Shop model and ‘BAM’ you’d rather stay inside in the dark, than face the world.
Let’s also take a look at Kim Kardashian, a name we either love or love to hate. After posing for a photo shoot at Complex Magazine and then the un-photo shopped image being used, the uproar from readers was in mass; their complaint: “You can see her cellulite!”
Kim’s response: “You know what, who cares! So what I have a little cellulite. What curvy girl doesn’t!? How many people do you think are photo shopped? It happens all the time!”
It is like we have been programmed to do two things: 1. compare ourselves senselessly with others and 2. skinny is better, full stop. How is it that the media is able to shape our perception of worth? Well maybe flip that around; why do we allow it to affect us? I don’t believe it is fair to blame the media for highlighting and representing a larger world, a world where, heck yes my legs suck in comparison to the girl on Instagram whose account is ‘immahotbabe23’*. But you know what? I’m realistic and I think that’s the thing. We can blame the media for showing us our inadequacies, but we shouldn’t allow it to have the power to shape our self worth.
*Please note: No actual research was conducted into whether this is a real account, or if the owner has hot legs!
Lexie Kite & Lindsay Kite, “Photoshop: Altering Images and our Minds”, Beauty Redefined, Kite Media, 2013, http://www.beautyredefined.net/photoshopping-altering-images-and-our-minds/ (Accessed 16th March 2014)
Guilford Press, “Adverse effects of the Media portrayed thin ideal on women and linkages to bulimic symptomology”, Guilford Press, New York, 1997-2014, http://guilfordjournals.com/doi/abs/10.1521/jscp.19220.127.116.118 (Accessed 16th March 2014)
Blog Spot, Laura Christianson, “Media’s Effect of a Woman’s Body Image”, http://mediaseffectonbodyimage.blogspot.com.au/ (Accessed 17th March 2014)
Fandom Obsessed, “Stop Blaming Disney! It’s all Tolkein’s fault”, http://fandomobsessed.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/DisneyHair.jpg (Accessed 16th March 2014)