Self-image is a big problem for many women, including myself. Many nights are spent at the gym, working out for hours, trying to sculpt the body into what society considers “attractive”. After running for thirty minutes and 500 crunches, you stand in front of the mirror in the women’s locker room in disapproval. Then you say to yourself, “I’ll be back tomorrow. ” Sound familiar? That’s because it is! Many women face problems about their bodies because of Britain’s unrealistic stereotype of what is desirable.
Forms of media such as childhood toys, magazine advertisements, and television have made a negative impact on girls and women (in particular) of all ages. Some of the anxieties that come with the entertainment industry’s perception of “what is attractive” have the tendency to lead to serious problems such as low self-esteem and eating disorders. From a young age girls have faced the pressure of achieving physical perfection even from the toys they play with; the unrealistic body-perfect measurements of the popular childhood toy Barbie.
Little girls love from Britain to Brazil love Barbie. Barbie is one of the best-selling toys in the world and could explain why Barbie has been accused of setting a negative stereotype for children in society. The big dilemma seems to be Barbie’s current figure-long legs, skinny waist, narrow hips, and ample bosom. Not only does Barbie depict what society considers attractive but She has everything little girls dream of, a perfect house, figure and boyfriend, Sending a subconscious message to society; If you get the body you can get
The guy, the Malibu beach house, with a pink convertible in the garage. As girls grow older they put their Barbie dolls to rest and, along comes a new and more extreme age of what they are exposed to new forms of media. Such as the teen magazines featuring articles about boys, beauty, and fashion. But They are sandwiched between glamorized advertisements for beauty Products, messages once again being sent of the body perfect and ‘lifestyle perfect’ Previous childhood messages of the infamous Barbie doll once again being thrusted into the faces of adolescent girls.
But this time Britney Spears is the new Barbie and she’s real. Running around in her skimpy crop tops and perfect pop star boyfriend; she has it all, doesn’t she? Young woman (under 25) are increasingly tuned in to a celebrity culture where the models’ and actresses’ bodies are considerably thinner than they’ve ever been in the past, and is seductive and appealing for young girls to resist. Since these actresses, pop stars are role models for girls nation-wide, they influence the way girls think, behave, and try to look, Scary thought…
Britney may well be the new Barbie…. Has the consequent pursuit of thinness become a new religion? And is the media responsible for low self-esteem and eating disorders? That may well be a contributing factor but inevitably it will always be down to the individual themselves. 2003 a year where there is no definite body shape or lifestyle, we should just aspire and embrace being ourselves, not want what the likes of Victoria and David Beckham have, or want Britney’s ‘perfect body’.
The only person that you will have to live with all your life is you, not Posh! It is important for women, including myself, to realize society’s standards of what is desirable are unrealistic as well as unhealthy. So, the next time I go to the gym and stare into the full-length mirror in the women’s locker room, I will accept myself for who I am. I may not be as thin as a magazine model or as attractive as a television actress, but be happy with your self as the inner beauty always shines through.