- April 18, 2020
Pressure for a Perfect Body
Pressurefor a Perfect Body
Pressurefor A Perfect Body
Inthe 20th and early 21st century the society was criticized for itspatriarchal nature that suppresses women. The vibrant feministmovement worked hard to improve the position of women in the society.The most prevalent issues of the early 21st century includedagitating for equal pay, getting a platform in political decisionsand eradication of the glass ceilings that existed in workplaces. Inmost countries, women enjoy equal freedoms and protection as men withthe exceptions of a few in the Middle East. However, the pressure onthem to have perfect bodies has taken root all over the world. Thesocially constructed perception of a perfect body has sunk in theminds of many, and again, the world has assumed a male approach toissues regarding women (Brewster, 2016). Surprisingly, women havetaken the issue seriously, and the majority of the have strict weightobservations and dieting. There is a lot of pressure for women tohave a perfect body shape that has been perpetrated by the mediathrough a massive advertisement that has consequently affected theself-esteem and confidence of those who do not live to the expectedappearances.
First,it is noteworthy that the problems begin during puberty when thegirl’s bodies assume new appearances. Unfortunately, the younggirls have a pre-conceived image of how their bodies should look likemostly from the materials they access in the shops or from theinternet. During this age, women become conscious of the skinproducts they use, their weight and clothes they wear (Brewster,2016). The information regarding such issues is readily found inmarketing and promotional magazines.
Thecompanies promoting various products single out ladies who are slimand curvy and present them as constant users of their products.Although there is nothing wrong with using such models, the problembecomes evident when all companies use individuals with suchcharacteristics including those dealing with cosmetics, clothes, andfoods. When the information bombards the youth from all sides, theyare left with no option but to struggle and achieve such body shapes(Brewster, 2016). Considering that more than two-thirds of theAmericans are obese, a majority of the girls do not achieve theirobjectives, and this has been a major source of depressions.Additionally, a significant number of girls in puberty have sufferedfrom anorexia nervosa as they dangerously strive to get the shape ofthe models portrayed in the magazines and newspapers.
Secondly,women are not only supposed to be slim but also to have curves thatare attractive to men. This includes having about 100lbs, maintainingdecently sized and firm breasts and rounded hips. For a majority ofthe women, such combinations are nightmares, and they are notachievable (Gozalez, 2015). The entertainment industry has beeneasily consistent in presenting women with such characteristics asthe most appealing. For example, the dancers in hip hop songs and thewomen who appear in movies have curvy shapes which they sometimesreveal to the audience. Such appearances confirm that the male eyehas again gained dominance over the women body.
Themassive profits reaped by the entertainment industry are evidencethat people, especially the youth, are thrilled with their content.The consistent depiction of a modest woman as one with curves, a slimbody and round bottoms directly affect the self-perception of theaudience. Some plump women undergo depression when they realize thatthere is nothing they can do to achieve the socially appraised figure(Gozalez, 2015). On the other hand, those with the characteristics ofmodels walk with a straight gait, and they have no problems being inthe public arena for various reasons. The pressure lacerates women’sconfidence and participation in activities that may require appearingin public.
Womenare also under pressure to achieve specific looks their desiretransforms into being a chore. The cosmetic industry is reapingbillions in profits for the sale of skin enhancing products. The useof the products start in middle school, and it continues for the restof their lives. The presentation of women with flowing hair, redlips, sticking eyelashes and manicured nails has been perceived whatevery woman should look like (Rosen, 2013).
Today,most women have makeup kits that they carry to work and other socialfunctions and they spend a significant number of their time applyingthe products to get a given look. The trend is, even more, demandingamong populations without the light hair. Women spend hours in salonshaving their hair made to appear like white models whose hair floweffortlessly. According to Brewster (2016), the pressure leads towastage of thousands of hours of a productive workforce. In addition,health experts have cited health concerns rising from overusing theproducts. However, despite the red flag, women continue using theproducts on every day to fit in a society that has a rigid definitionof beauty (Rosen, 2013).
Womenalso face constant pressure from bullies who have assumed the role ofsetting the threshold for beauty. Although this is not common withwomen in the middle age, it is rampant in colleges and high schools.The bullies, mostly males, are known to make detracting remarks overwomen’s body. Those with curves and “perfectly” slim areapplauded and appreciated I the social circles. The plump ones endureheartbreaking comments when they walk around (Bordo, 2013).
Althoughfew institutions address the problem, it has been a major source ofdepression and low self-esteem. The women’s ability in variousactivities including acting, swimming and athletics have beensuppressed due to the pressure from the bullies. Some of the physicalengagements including swimming and athletics necessitate wearingclothes that expose some parts of the body. Showing up with abuilding tummy and big breasts would only make a woman the center ofmockery. To avoid the embarrassment, most of them opt to stay awayfrom the activities. The events are, therefore, dominated by slim and“good-looking” women. It is unfortunate that thousands of talentsremain untapped as a result of the presumed perfect body that womenought to have (Bordo, 2013).
Womenare also under undue pressure to achieve and maintain the perfectbody from their role models. For young women, motivation plays animportant role in their careers and decision in life. The narrativehas shifted from ideas to body shape. In reality shows andmotivational magazines pages, the images of women who are painfullythin are not a rarity. The analogy has also shifted from beauty andfashion magazines to all the other media materials that have nothingto do with beauty. Ladies, therefore, associate the ideas beingpresented with the body image to the extent of believing that theyare complementary (Gurrieri, Previte & Brace-Govan, 2013).
Theinability to naturally achieve the desired features instigates someof the women to undergo surgery and procure breast implants to lookappealing. According to the American Society for Aesthetic PlasticSurgery, more that 20,000 girls below the age of 18 years get breastimplants annually (Gurrieri, Previte & Brace-Govan, 2013). Dr.Susan Sabin, the director of Renfrew Center in Philadelphia, notesthat the girls appear happy and content with their life after gettingthe shape of their dreams. This shows the intensity of the pressurethat they have to deal with and the relieve that comes with beingsuccessful in overcoming it.
Themost unfortunate thing is the media, and advertising agencies do notinform the women that an average woman cannot achieve the imagescaptured in the various magazines. The rationale for this is thatthey are objectively realized through endless hours of makeup andspecial lighting to create a preconceived appeal. The consumers ofthe products make futile efforts to achieve such colors and shapes,and they are usually disappointed when the bar seems to be too highfor their reach (Brewster, 2016). Also, the companies target bodyenthusiasts who use artificial methods to get a perfect shape to actas models. Since not all women can afford the huge costs to havetheir bodies reconstructed, they live under pressure to achievesomething beyond their reach.
Conclusively,women are under coercion to get a specific body image that isappealing and attractive to a society that has socially constructedthe threshold of beauty. The numerous advertisements in magazine andtelevision target women who are slim and curvy to promote theirproducts. The entertainment industry influence women to strive toachieve the body shapes of the actors and dancers who appearappealing to the audience. The pressure results in depression andhealth complication from overusing body enhancers andself-starvation. Those who do not live to the standard become thecenter of criticism, and they prefer staying away from the publicdomain. Since not all women can have that “perfect” body shapeit is outrightly unfair for the society to set the threshold forbeauty.
Bordo,S. (2013). Not just “a white girl’s thing”: The changing faceof food and body image problems. Foodand culture: A reader,265-76.
Brewster,G. (2016). Society’s pressure to be perfect. TeenInk.Retrieved fromhttp://www.teenink.com/hot_topics/what_matters/article/690519/Societys-
Gozalez,E. (2015). There is too much pressure on girls to have the ‘perfect’body. TheReporter.Retrieved fromhttp://www.thereporter.com/article/NG/20150420/NEWS/150429963
Gurrieri,L., Previte, J., & Brace-Govan, J. (2013). Women’s bodies assites of control inadvertent stigma and exclusion in socialmarketing. Journalof Macromarketing,33(2),128-143.
Rosen,J. C. (2013). Body image disorder: Definition, development, andcontribution to eating disorders. Theetiology of bulimia: The individual and familial context,157-177.