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Body image, Self Esteem and Influence of Society

Body Shaming, Self Esteem

“ That when a girl walks in with an itty bitty waist…,”
“Size zero…,”
“Lean is in…,”

The ideal image of a body perceived through media, is propagated and instilled in our veins and brains. The ideal body shapes and sizes are all over, the pop-ups of self-proclaimed influencers on Instagram or billionaire super models claiming the idea of self-love after dozens of surgeries and selling the notion of what an ideally beautiful and sexy body should look like. People consciously or unconsciously consume this content and become a victim of self-esteem issues, depression, eating disorders, stress, and lifestyle-based conflicts. Media has trapped us into believing so many things about our bodies and perception of them that are not true. That model’s body isn’t as perfect as it appears. It undergoes layers and layers of editing to make it appear so flawless! The media happily serves false body images in various ways like through movies, videos, advertisements for slimming products, etc. it is a capitalistic approach that makes one believe that one is not good enough and has to go through many medications, products, consumptions, and surgeries to fit into a certain way, to achieve the image of beauty created by the society. Since these ideal body images are not realistic and do not respect the diverse forms and size human bodies have been sculpted into. The aim is to create a sense of conflict in your psyche and to create the discomfort that would eventually make you buy all that they want you to.

Exposure to idealized body images in the media and body dissatisfaction holds for both men and women, with the effect in women being slightly stronger than in men. There is no established cause for this gender difference to date. Although it has been established that exposure to idealized bodies in the media has significant effects on how both men and women want to look. Another way of distorted body image which sets unrealistic expectations is pornographic videos. These videos are shot from certain angles to make organs look big in perspective. Sometimes fabricated parts are used to make body parts appear larger. So, if you have been comparing yourself and your partner based on what you have watched in the clips, you are living in a completely delusional world, this stands for both men and women. The pornography industry which is a billion-dollar industry reduces women (and children) into objects of sex. The cosmetics industry promotes the idea that a woman is just a body and unless she decorates herself in this way she is nothing. Women have been reduced to being just bodies – perfected through surgeries and procedures. In capitalist patriarchy, everything saleable is sold and profit predominates over people.

  • Over 70 percent of girls aged 15 to 17 avoid normal daily activities, such as attending school, when they feel bad about their looks.
  • About 20 percent of teens will experience depression before they reach adulthood.
  • Teen girls that have a negative view of themselves are 4 times more likely to take part in activities with boys that they’ve ended up regretting later.
  • 38 percent of boys in middle school and high school reported using protein supplements and nearly 6 percent admitted to experimenting with steroids.
  • 75 percent of girls with low self-esteem reported engaging in negative activities like cutting, bullying, smoking, drinking, or disordered eating.

Body image and self-esteem directly influence each other—and your feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. If you don’t like your body (or a part of your body), it’s hard to feel good about your whole self. The reverse is also true. If you don’t value yourself, it’s hard to notice the good things and give your body the respect it deserves.

“There is no worse bully than the one you create in your own head.”

The choice is yours. Accept yourself and know you’re beautiful and unique, Have a healthy diet and an exercising routine, keep a check on how you talk to yourself and how others around you talk to you, and how they make you feel. Stay away from people you do not make you feel positive about yourself, be your own beautiful, and do not try to follow up and fit in the notion of body image provided by society and media.

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