Yesterday my girlfriend and I were walking past a group of young girls who couldn’t have been older than 12. What they said was disturbing;
“I can’t eat fries, they will make me fat.”
We are educating the public to become something that is impractical. Media images are the driving forces behind this epidemic.
A recent study led by James C. Overholser, Ph. D from the Psychology Department at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, set out to examine the direct relationship between suicidal tendencies and self-esteem. The conclusion made was not a surprising one: low self-esteem is very closely related to feelings of hopelessness, depression, and suicidal ideation.
Bulimia, drug abuse, anorexia, social phobia, addiction, and hypochondriasis are some of the diseases that are caused due to wanting to attain the standard of which is set by name brands, celebrities and advertisement agencies.
When you look at a bathing suit, sun glasses, or a vacation commercial what do you see? Models who are fit, who have gone through extensive training, dieting, eating disorders and who are photo shopped. 1% of the population who actually look like this. What about the other 99%? Who are unfit, or are healthy but don’t have the ‘goddess’ look to them. The chiseled abs, broad shoulders, and the skinny toned faces.
I want to say it is unimaginable how far and distorted we have come, but that would be lying. There is always a motive behind what the advertising agencies are doing, driving consumers to buy because the idea is that they will look and feel like the models do in their commercials.
Can we appreciate the deceptive techniques? As a society we cannot, but as a business it drives people to make the purchase. Is that being selfish, looking out after profits rather than people?
Think about this theory for a moment. Imagine the mirror was never invented. What would society look like? Would we not have the self esteem issues that are becoming an epidemic in our society?
A study conducted by Boyce W.F. for the young people in Canada concluded that
“Thirty-seven percent of girls in grade nine and 40% in grade ten perceived themselves as too fat.”
He also found that;
“Four percent of boys in grades nine and ten reported anabolic steroid use in a 2002 study, showing that body preoccupation and attempts to alter one’s body are issues affecting both men and women.”
We are taught that our body image is undesirable. The scary part is that our role models are people who we strive to look like, but their image isn’t even real, it is digitized.
What are we to do?