One thing that mainstream media sorely lacks is people who are not size zero. Each and every picture showcases a man or a woman who has the perfect body. It defines beauty in an extremely narrow manner. If you are not these specific measurements you are not beautiful or sexy or even pretty. At least that’s what the media wants you to think. This is extremely harmful for everyone involved.
It creates unrealistic standards that no one can achieve without taking some serious steps. For example, the 6 or 8 pack abs that many actors have are not natural. They are not achievable if you do not go a no salt diet for at least ten days and even then they just last you those couple of days. Unless of course you resort to steroid or other such stuff that has the same effect.
The most common and arguably most harmful effect that this has is that it creates a negative body image for the people who are influenced by these T.V shows , magazines and movies. It’s a common misconception that it is just adolescent girls that suffer from these beauty standards. In fact they are just as detrimental for men, who feel the need to live up to these expectations.
The studies that have been conducted on this issue are truly terrifying. In extreme cases this is also a cause of many eating disorders. Not over-simplify anorexia, bulimia or any other eating disorder, the root cause is often the feeling of not being good enough. And this is something that this constrictive view of beauty leads to. People often believe that being fat and being beautiful is exclusive of each other.
I fail to understand the reason behind doing this. Why do we have dolls with such unrealistic proportions, why are even Disney princesses photo shopped to have such tiny waists. These may seem like just toys and movies but they leave a significant impact on children. This is what they begin to perceive as normal and they are bound to be disappointed that they themselves aren’t that size.
The solution to this however is not skinny shaming. Rather it is accepting that we will always have different body types and we are all beautiful in our own way. We need more actors, musicians and frankly anyone in the public eye promoting body positivity. Meghan Trainor in her own way is doing her bit. I appreciate the message that she is trying to send but in her song she does say that it’s okay to be fat because guys like it that way.
People should be happy with their body not because other people prefer it a particular way. But because that’s just the way that you are and it is absolutely fine. No body type should be considered more desirable than others, that just doesn’t make sense. And people need to realise that beauty is a lot more than just a handful of numbers.