Thin Is In?

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.

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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”!




2 thoughts on “Thin Is In?

  1. I wholeheartedly agree with the message you are promoting in this post. I love the way you have written this blog, it is easy to read because it has personality behind it. The way it flows from one point to the next is great, and I like the tie-in to a recent media event that we can all remember. If I were to attempt to improve on it, the only thing I would do would be to change one of the longer sentences at the beginning to help it flow a bit better (the one starting with “as such”) and perhaps include a couple more hyperlinks to outside sources. This has been one of my favourite posts I have read, though I may be a bit biased as I am very passionate about this topic too!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Alanna! This post reminds me of my own media anxieties blog post, but I actually took the opposite view that the media was not the root cause of body image issues. However, reading this post and your view, it’s quite persuasive and your opinions are quite solid and well stated. It’s something we hear of a lot, but the way you write makes it easily understandable and gives a sense of personalisation. Including the contrasting ideas and images with the Kardashians and ‘that nude photo’ by Kim that caused so much backlash, along side the body positive image of the former Miss Universe was a really great way to look at both ends of the media message spectrum. While you’ve stated that many believe Kardashian’s photos are provocative and sending negative messages, you’ve also included the argument that certain media images can empower women to embrace their bodies. I think this was a great choice, as it’s really looking at all different angles here and you’ve given a really well-rounded argument.

    Liked by 1 person

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