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Friday, 5 June 2015

The War Between The Media and Self Perception

I know its been a while since one of us has posted, as explained by a previous post, but now since my exams are finished (yay), I thought I'd give you all some food for thought.

Generally, most of us don't realise what is going on. You see an advert that asks you if your body is beach body perfect and we just walk on by, pretending as if you aren't already staring down at our thighs, asking ourselves if we are beach body perfect.

We are constantly subjected to millions of subliminal messages that tell us that unless we are a size zero, thigh gap ready, sexually appealing teenage girl, then we should do anything we can, to change ourselves.

The continual objectification of women, takes a toll on us eventually, as there is a very small percentage of girls that can tell you that they believe themselves to be 'size zero, thigh gap ready and sexually appealing'.

So what happens to the rest of us?

What do we do, when we stand in front of the mirror, pinching lumps of our flesh, and questioning our existence, based on the pictures of all the 'millions' of beach body ready girls out there, sighing at our perceived incompetence, and wondering how much more we can do to change?

When we stand there and scrutinise every 'less-than-perfect' bump, lump and scab, do you know what we are doing in truth? We are doing what the media wants us to do, we are reconceptualising our own self worth and turning it into how stick thin we can make ourselves or how bikini ready we can be.

What these messages are really telling us, is that as long as you get there in the end, it doesn't matter how you do it. And that is the real danger.

5% of teenage girls in the UK are suffering with anorexia. This statistic only concerns those girls suffering with anorexia, there are other eating disorders as well.

The media portrayal of what it means to be perfect, as a way of objectifying and degrading the self worth and acceptance of beauty being in everyone, is changing the way that we perceive ourselves.

My favourite advert is the dove advert, because it openly promotes beauty in all sizes and races. It proudly tells young girls and boys that they should be happy with their bodies and love themselves for who they are, and not what the number on the scale says.

I think what I am trying to say, is that whilst we may roll our eyes at the picture perfect, blemish free and fat free pictures and posters of women that we see everywhere we go, we need to take a moment to realise that that isn't real life.

Real life is the ugly scar above your knee from when you fell your bike when you were seven. Real life is the freckle on your arm that you work so hard to cover up, and for what? Real life is that fat that clings to us for its dear life, in places that we don't want it to.

Real life is knowing that there are things that we might not life about ourselves, but accepting the people that we are anyway. Its knowing that what we are told we should look like, is not what we look like, and that's okay.

Its knowing that the media is poisoning us against ourselves, and the best way to beat the media is to stare the media right in the face and smile at it, like a big FUCK YOU when we are happy and healthy.

The best way to show the media that no matter how many times it tries to tell us that we should look a certain way, is to look the way that you want to look, to look the way that you are and be proud.

Its about being proud of who you are and what you look like, and knowing that no amount of pathetic, unrealistic photoshopped image is going to make you doubt who you are.

There are seven billion diverse and beautiful people on this planet, it would be criminal if we all end up fitting into the same plastic mould.

-LF, LR and MG