Looks don’t matter, beauty is on the inside, right? That is something we hear everyday but yet we don’t listen. If looks don’t matter why do we care about what we look like, if looks don’t matter, why do we edit our photos to make us look better in them, if looks don’t matter why do we care about what people say? I believe that the media has a significant impact on body image and what the “perfect” body looks like.
Body Image is a big problem, that problem is caused by the media. With teenagers and even children we all are in contact with the media, the media has photos of beautiful models on billboards, magazines, advertisements and social media. But what they don’t know is that 72% of advertisements or photos they see online are digitally enhanced. With these digitally edited photos we don’t see what really goes on behind the scenes, it covers up what models really look like, according to an industry survey conducted by Model Alliance in 2012. 64.1 percent of models said they have been asked by their agencies to lose weight, while 31.2 percent admitted to suffering from an eating disorder.
Thanks to the media all the teenagers and children out there never saw the horrible downside of skinny. This is not okay, young girls and boys are comparing themselves to models whose photos are not even real!With the media digitally editing models photos this makes teenagers harm themselves and have eating disorders. More than 50% of teenage girls and approximately 33.3% of teenage boys engage in eating disorder behaviours such as crash dieting, taking diet pills or laxatives, and self-induced vomiting because they want the “perfect” body that the media portrays it to be. This is absolutely crazy, we shouldn’t be comparing ourselves to unrealistic things, we all need to know that not everything we see on the internet is true, even if we don’t believe it, we should still all know about it so the percentage of self harm and eating disorders go down.
Because young people like us care about what we look like, and harm ourselves because we don’t have the “perfect” body, we need the media to become more realistic, and Dove has made a start to this. Dove has stopped digitally enhancing their photos and advertisements, their models are also now all different shapes and sizes to help stop self harm and eating disorders to teens and children all over the world. H&M have also joined to make an effort by decreasing the percentage of self harm and eating disorders by teens and children, by promoting a healthier and more realistic body image using bigger mannequins. The average mannequin size is size 4 to 6, H&M have upgraded that by making their mannequins size 12, which is the average size American Women. This is going to help teenagers and children because they won’t have to compare themselves to these tall, curvy, skinny models and mannequins.
These unrealistic body images are a huge problem in todays society, as their affects on teenagers and children are devastating, but like any other problem their is a solution, and that solution is that the media can stop digitally enhancing their photos, have more companies like Dove and H&M to have models and mannequins of all different shapes and sizes, and to stop focusing on weight in order to have a “skinny” and “perfect” body which meets an unrealistic beauty standard, the media can start promoting the idea that all women are beautiful and we don’t have to feel pressured to look a certain way. Its time to prove that the saying “Looks don’t matter, beauty is on the inside” isn’t just a saying. Thank you.