No one can doubt that the growth of all media forms is moving at a rapid rate, prompting us to consider its effects. Mass media can be dated back to the 18th century however as technology continues to improve the ways in which we can access this media have broadened drastically. Being born in 1996 I can say that my upbringing has been directly affected by the ever-growing presence of media and technology in our society. So as these new notions are introduced it is natural that it is applauded by some and critiqued by others, but what effects is the growing influence of media really having on society? To answer this question I have decided to discuss the issue of body image.
Our society is a vast and varying representation of the human race, the majority of which access the media. Therefore I believe that media should be a true representation of this diverse society. The presence of skinny models in magazines and advertisement campaigns is a well-known issue of the media as it can promote an unhealthy body image. Clearly the Victoria Secret (Lauren Parrott 11/10/12) image below is not a true representation of the women that make up our society.
As a nation we have recognised the dangers of filling media platforms with skinny girls and improvements are being made. The dove ‘real beauty campaign’ in response to the Victoria Secret ‘love your body campaign’ successfully promotes a healthy body image for curvier women which of course is a positive.
However when tackling this issue I believe some forms of media have created another problem. The dove campaign above criticises the models used by Victoria Secret by suggesting that they don’t have ‘real beauty’, this may cause the naturally skinny women of society to feel the anxieties previously felt by curvy women. I’ve often heard the term ‘real women have curves’ used on all forms of media, however I believe that being a woman is not notion that can be measured or defined, if I don’t have curves am I synthetic version of a woman?
Images like the one above (Demotivation, 2014.01.19) that riddle all forms of social media even go as far as suggesting that skinny women will never find a nice man, they’ll just have to settle for dogs. Meghan Trainor has become a huge advocate for the promotion of a healthy body image with her song ‘All about that Bass’ (Meghan Trainor 30/6/2014. ). However with lyrics such as ‘boys they like a little more booty to hold at night…You know I won’t be no stick-figure, silicone Barbie doll’ is the image she’s promoting really healthy for everyone? If it continues like this are we going to see society do a full circle? Can we expect to see images like the one below (Caitlin O’Sullivan 21/3/2012) plastered on billboards in the future?
I believe that a wide variety of women should be portrayed in the media, of course it’s important to promote a good body image for curvier women, however in the action of doing so I believe it’s unnecessary to criticise and degrade skinny women. By including a little bit of ‘bass’ and a little bit of ‘treble’ a well-rounded representation of the women in society can be achieved, teaching us to appreciate our individuality.
Real Beauty vs. Love My Body | Life, Undefeated Real Beauty vs. Love My Body | . 2015. Real Beauty vs. Love My Body | Life, Undefeated Real Beauty vs. Love My Body | . [ONLINE] Available at: http://sites.psu.edu/lkparrott/2012/10/11/real-beauty-vs-love-my-body-2/. [Accessed 23 March 2015].
Real men like curves | Demotivation.us. 2015. Real men like curves | Demotivation.us. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.demotivation.us/real-men-like-curves-1285125.html. [Accessed 23 March 2015].
Life and Death in 1938: Part One | Caitlin O’Sullivan. 2015. Life and Death in 1938: Part One | Caitlin O’Sullivan. [ONLINE] Available at: http://caitlinosullivan.com/2012/03/20/life-and-death-in-1938-part-one/. [Accessed 23 March 2015].
Meghan Trainor – All About That Bass Lyrics | MetroLyrics. 2015. Meghan Trainor – All About That Bass Lyrics | MetroLyrics. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.metrolyrics.com/all-about-that-bass-lyrics-meghan-trainor.html. [Accessed 23 March 2015].