Knowing about the problem is step one in fixing the problem. We have gathered some facts and statistics about body image and how it really affects our lives. Use or poll to gage your knowledge and then do some research to fill in any gaps! We can all be a part of ending the trend of negative body image that has been perpetuated in our society.
In the video above, Emily Zheng lays out the underlying issues that young women face everyday when they look in the mirror. In the Ted talk above, she makes several interesting points including the point that follows, “To main stream media. By acquitting a woman’s worth to her body, you are telling her that her humanity does not matter. You are telling her that starvation and plastic surgery are simply how to get ahead. You are telling her that she is simply skin….”. This is the problem in today’s society that we are here to address. We, as a society, allow media to tell both young men and women, our children, and future generations that there is a certain way that they need to look to be attractive and acceptable to society. Since there is no way to actually achieve the body that is to be considered ideal, body shaming, surgery, and picture adjustment (Photoshop) seems like the easy way out.
A vast amount of women and men are unhappy with their bodies, setting unrealistic standards for themselves. This can then lead to eating disorders and other severe medical concerns . Society’s perception of normal/natural beauty has been altered due to Photoshop and digitally altered images. In a survey conducted in 2014, it was found that 58% of all college aged women feel pressured to be a certain weight (ANAD)
Since 1846, artists have altered pictures by using paints, charcoals, and airbrushing techniques. For example, Joseph Stalin petitioned an artist to remove Nikolai Yezhov from a photo due to his other affiliations. Photo manipulation still happens today. Scott Kelby definitely lays out why we retouch and use Photoshop on our photos. By identifying that we will never look the same in 2D as we do in 3D, we will do everything we can to make sure that we look just as good in 2D as in 3D. By having photos retouched, we hope to achieve the sensations and feelings that we experienced when viewing that person, place, or thing in person (3D).
Celebrities such as Zendaya, Jennifer Lawrence, and Keira Knightly have all protested harsh photoshopping within their own ads. In spite of this trend of calling out big time magazines being fairly new, many people back the movement. These celebrities want to promote their real body, their real skin, and their real thighs. By being role models and loving their authentic features, they help younger people looking up to them love themselves as well. American Eagle’s underwear brand, Aerie, kicked off their #AerieREAL campaign a few years ago. This campaign consists of models who have piercings, tattoos, stretch marks, and cellulite. By showcasing models who have the same body image as the people who wear their product, makes the overall audience feel better about themselves.