The news of today reported by the journalists of tomorrow

The Beacon

The news of today reported by the journalists of tomorrow

The Beacon

The news of today reported by the journalists of tomorrow

The Beacon

Has media over-done it with body images?

Playing, hanging out with friends, or doing school work are the only concerns a child or adolescent should have.

Instead, they worry about their body image and not being skinny enough or looking like the models on television.

Why do children and adolescents worry about these things? Because the media flashes it in their face every time they turn on the television. Staggering statistics reveal that, on average, a child or adolescent watches up to 5 hours of television a day.

Television is known for showing photoshopped images of models and passing it off as the ‘ideal body image’ when in reality it is nowhere near to what the average body type is. However, children and adolescents do not constantly see the average body type portrayed in the media and are brainwashed to believe looking like a model is what is acceptable or normal.

Seeing these ‘model like’ body images constantly thrown in young children and adolescents faces leads to harmful effects. Constantly being hard on themselves for the way they look results in unhealthy dieting or trying other negative ways to lose the weight. Three huge effects are eating disorders, mental depression and physical depression.

The reported prevalence rate for anorexia nervosa is 0.48% among girls 15 to 19 years old. Approximately 1% to 5% of adolescent girls meet the criteria for bulimia nervosa. It is not only young girls though, boys are affected as well. While girls try to get the skinny model figure and practically waste away to nothing in the process, boys try to build muscle and get lean and built.

The media has not always portrayed male and females like they do now, however, over several years the images of weight and size have drastically changed. The women’s body size and shape has become revoltingly thinner and leaner or in other words ‘skin and bones,’ while the men’s body size and shape has become stronger and muscular or in other words, ‘veins popping out of their body and supplement use being the norm.’

The media not only broadcasts unrealistic body types but also promotes weight loss pills, drinks, foods and several other ‘weight loss products’ to make people ‘feel full’ when it actuality they are starving themselves.

With these ‘get skinny quick’ schemes it can become exceedingly harmful for a person. These weight loss pills, drinks and food can have damaging effects to the body and may even land a customer that uses these types of products in the hospital. A number of weight loss pills have been recalled over the years due to putting customers in the hospital via strokes, heart attacks, or other heart related issues.

Why put your body through that type of pain? How far are people willing to push themselves to get that ‘ideal body image,’ and at what cost?

Instead of the media pushing young children and adolescents to wanting the ‘ideal body image’ they should be encouraging them to eat healthy, exercise, and love the body they have. Nonetheless, it is impractical to think that media will change in that way, it is not about helping the people and giving them positive outlooks, rather than what will sell. And at the moment overly skinny models is what sells.

Unfortunately, it is up to the consumers not to give in to these temptations of the body images portrayed in the media and to find the power within to be happy and confident with the way they are. If a person is overweight, losing weight the healthy way is the way to go, by exercising daily and eating healthy.

It is important to remember that the media is not the truth and is filled with photoshopped images that do not display real life.


About the Contributor
Mandy Stickles
Mandy Stickles, Assistant Opinion Editor
Mandy is a senior communication studies major, with concentration in Journalism and Broadcasting. She joined the Beacon Spring 2014, and she currently serves as the opinion editor. Mandy is a Dean's list student who is inducted into the National Honor Society. Mandy is also an Athlete Elite member for swimming. Her plans for the future include joining the Shelburne Telecommunications Center to enhance her skills in broadcasting.