MIXED MESSAGES

Most of us have a pretty good idea of what we think is the perfect body, right? But how many of us actually have this body? The problem is we all seem to have an opinion on body image and know what we strive to look like, but we rarely achieve it. Why? Maybe it’s because the images the media is presenting to us are unrealistic. Or maybe the media is confusing us with mixed messages about body image. It seems to me that we’re told that our body has to be just right, otherwise you’re unhealthy.

Here we have a classic example of the mixed messages the media is sending us. On the same cover of a women’s magazine we have criticisms of celebrities who are too fat or too thin. How are women supposed to be happy with their bodies when the media is telling us we have to fit an exact mould, otherwise we’re unhealthy?

Now, I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m a fan of America’s Next Top Model. At first I thought I had it figured out. Articles like this one have been telling me that models are portraying an unrealistic body image, and so when watching America’s Next Top Model I understand that the bodies on show are not representative of all women’s body types. So it came as a bit of a shock to me when Ana-Marie was eliminated from the competition because the judges decided her body promoted an unhealthy image to young girls.

This left me completely confused as suddenly I felt that the other girls in the competition, all of who were very slim, must have a healthy body. It put pressure on me to look like them as I came to the conclusion that if Ana-Marie was too skinny to be a role model that the other girls must be what I should aspire to be.

In all this craziness of the media, it’s hard to know what body is right or wrong. The idea of looking healthy doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with physical health, which is what confuses women the most. Are these images the reasons people never seem to be content with how they look?

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