Figure Skating and Body Image Essay

Submitted By shruthika-jeyaram
Words: 1170
Pages: 5

Depiction of Body Images By Different Walks Of Life
The way body images have been visualized by individuals has changed over the years. Numerous media outlets, which include reality shows such as figure skating competitions, tend to show the ideal body image of a female as a slender and tall individual that lacks flaws. While the media outlets portray women whom are models or figure skaters as a size 2 or 4 the reality is that the average woman wears a size 9 or 12 (Wakewich 2000). I think the acceptance of the variety of body types have started increasing, and woman are focusing more on their body for all the right reasons. Although woman are starting to focus on being healthy mentally and physically by adapting healthy habits , sports such as figure skating still require its participants to look like the body image that is often depicted in magazines and bill boards (McGarry 2005) . The two articles analyze the definition of body image and the significance of body image within two different populations belonging to two different circles within society.
The article authored by McGarry explores the standards established by the national figure skating organization that causes its participants to go to an extent of becoming anorexic to achieve their ideal body types (McGarry 2005). The article authored by Wakewich explores the implications faced by a normal man or woman with normal body types, and their perspectives on body images, and health. The women on average are drifting away from the fake ultimately unhealthy body images represented by the media, and heading towards maintaining healthy comfortable body weights (Wakewich 2000).
These two articles hit close to home due to the fact that I am an overweight individual myself whom has been constantly fighting the weight gain battle. Hailing from a South Asisan family I have grown up watching Bollywood movies that portray female protagonists with flawless light skin with curvy bodies that lack visible fat which was always the ideal body image that was encouraged within my extended family. I grew up hearing the words from my grandma that I should model my look after these actresses, dress like them, and maintain my body in order to be attractive to future male prospects. In the article about figure skating participants described the fact that it is required by the female participants to uphold the standards set out by the organization and team (McGarry 2005). The second article written by Wakewich interviews both women, and men drifting away from the idea of trying to achieve unattainable body images (Wakewich 2000). Wakawich discusses women who have started eating healthy, and maintaining their bodies in order too feel content instead of focusing on how they are depicted to society . Women are focusing less on impressing society with their bodies, and focusing more on improving one’s self for themselves rather than to gain attention, and admiration from others. Wakewich’s study consisted of interviewing women from various types of ethnicities, careers, and ages within the city of Thunderbay that is located in northwestern Ontario (Wakewich 2000). All the woman were asked about how they visualized body image, and what their point of view was on how their body should be presented. The women all agreed on preventing from deviating from the accepted norms within the city due to being scared of ridicule or unwanted comments (Wakewich 2000). I think most of the women agree that as they age their own definition of body image changes from being focused on being attractive to being active and healthy. I can understand why while your younger, your attractiveness can be an important factor especially if you are trying to pursue a romantic interest. Due to media, and popular culture the idealistic body image that is depicted by them is what everyone seeks for in the opposite sex. I think over the years the idea of the idealistic body images have changed from extremely thin…