Within today’s society, the media has become an overwhelming and highly influential presence, according to Elaine Napoli, “a contemporary factor in our everyday living”. The media has more channels and accessibility than ever before. The numerous ways in which we can post, repost, produce, share and edit media goes hand in hand with the increasing anxieties that amount from our media usage. As such, the media has a huge impact on the way societal expectations on beauty are moulded as a result the way we feel about our bodies, especially vulnerable teenage girls. Have you ever once asked yourself “Why don’t I look like her?” because if you have, you’re not alone. It is safe to say, that most young women don’t agree with the phrase ‘beauty is only skin deep’.
Societies standards of body shape and the importance of beauty are promoted by various forms of media, presenting young girls with an image that is totally unattainable. We as consumers buy into it, striving to achieve this image and are susceptible to judge others that don’t. Sadly, as a result of this repeated exposure, the ‘thin’ ideal, can be blamed for many mental illnesses such as eating disorders which are commonly accompanied by other psychological disorders including depression, self-harm, suicidal behaviour, anxiety and low self-esteem.
Social media superstar, Kim Kardashian, has been criticised quite recently after the posting of that nude photo. Many arguing that the act was merely a publicity stunt to gain further attention and online exposure. Fellow celebrities including Pink and Chloe Moretz have responded using their own social media accounts, slamming her nudity as something to which young girls shouldn’t aspire to, expressing anxieties which many members of the public can side with, including parents of the younger more vulnerable generation. The Kardashian’s need to evaluate the message emanating from their posts, better utilising their fame, with posts frequently including provocative poses, new plastic surgery endeavours and various dieting trends including their famous waist trainer pictures, all fuelling our negative, and distorted body image, obsessed society.
However, it can also be argued that the posting of these types of images throughout various media forms, does rather the opposite, empowering young women to embrace their diverse body shapes. Quite recently, former Miss Universe Nia Sanchez Booko posted on Instagram an extremely truthful and empowering post (which I found very inspirational)! These types of ideals are what should define a role model in my eyes.
We need to find a way to break out of this conformity and be ourselves. Why be like someone else, when you can be your own unique and individual person? Body image and the effects the media can have on us should not be taken lightly. The media does have a huge impact on the way our societal expectations are moulded, after all, what goes into a persons head comes out in their daily lives.
Nowadays, it is very rare to hear a young female say “I am beautiful just the way I am”, yet it’s extremely common to hear them saying “This outfit makes me look fat”!
With today being our last #UniversalConfidence in #Australia I think it's important to post a photo like this. As young women we often compare ourselves to other people's "highlight reel" and we don't realize that no one is perfect all the time. I don't look super lean when I'm not "posed" properly, I still have acne, I have up and down days etc. Of course I opt to post photos that are more flattering typically. But I thought it was important to remind everyone out there that no one is perfect, so let's not compare ourselves so harshly to others.💗💗 p.s. These pics were only taken 1 day apart