Recently, I have noticed how influential the media is, and how destructive this influence can become.
Whenever I have scrolled through instagram one evening, there has always been a picture of a size 4 celebrity in a bikini, or an overly toned man on a beach. These celebrities are adopting an extremely healthy lifestyle which results in them achieving an ultra-slim, ultra-toned body. This lifestyle can consist of a rigorous workout regime, removing fatty foods from their diet and replacing them with healthy smoothies, salads and smaller, healthier meals. For children and young adults, eating healthy is not a desirable way of living life nor easily accessible, so what is the next best thing?
To stop eating altogether, or at least significantly cut down your eating. This is wrong. There is so much pressure on children and young adults to look good, that they adopt drastic measures of losing weight which only exacerbate health problems. Regular exercise is beneficial of course, but cutting fundamental foods out of one’s diet is dangerous. Why put your health at risk? Is it really worth it to go through all this, to put yourself through cutting out food for the sake of a body shape? Celebrities are encouraging the public to do so, unknowingly, by posting pictures of their detox diets or healthy kale and spinach smoothies.
Furthermore, I believe that the fashion industry certainly doesn’t help the situation of public image either. Models will advertise clothing online which will look incredible on them, but when it arrives through the post and one tries it on, it will not always look the same; this comes down to the fact that everyone is shaped differently which can have a considerable impact on one’s self esteem if they do not look the same as the model. There is a lack of realistic portrayal of clothing within the media and the fashion industry; not everyone is a size 8, or a tall-skinny size 8; more effort needs to be put towards changing how clothing is advertised in the media. That way society will not feel as if they have to change to become more desirable. This is one step towards recognising and tackling the issues of eating disorders and psychological conditions which devastatingly impact one’s life.
We are all unique in our shapes and sizes, and society needs to be encouraged to embrace that rather than embrace the shape and size of an actor or actress. How else will we maintain our individuality?