April 14, 2015
Mirror, Mirror The idea of the perfect body has been around for centuries, both for men and women, but more so for women. Women both young and old are told they should have the perfect body, which means they need a flat tummy, slightly muscular arms and long ‘sexy’ legs. Women are depicted as sex objects if they have these things, so is having the ‘perfect’ body really worth it? In my opinion, the perfect body is not what you see in magazines and on television. The perfect body idea should be whatever the girl who owns the body thinks.
That 14-year-old girl in you remember from middle school, the one that was always bright and cheerful; she is constantly telling herself she’s not skinny enough because that’s what everyone tells her. The pressure for young girls to have perfect bodies doesn’t discriminate on race, age or size. We’ve all felt it, whether for a short period of time, or constantly. Approximately 10 million females in the United States suffer from an eating disorder due to being told they were ‘too fat’ or ‘not skinny enough’. According to Haley Moreau from The Comet, 75% of them are afflicted by anorexia specifically. As teenage girls today face too much pressure to obtain perfect bodies due to media influence, more of them fall into depression and obtain eating disorders to help gain that perfect image. Society ought to get rid of the idea that a perfect body is even obtainable before more and more girls begin to suffer. “Today more than 80% of 10-year-old girls are afraid of being fat, that child’s self-esteem drops by the age of 12 and doesn’t improve until the age of 20,” says officials from The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing in a NY Times article. We are so worried about having the “perfect body”, when in reality it’s impossible. Girls are always wondering if “this shirt makes me look fat” or “I should really go on a diet” this mindset is extremely unhealthy, and even dangerous, for a girl under the age of 23 to diet. This is because our bodies are still developing, inside and out. Instead of society making girls unhappy with their looks, as a whole, it should be encouraging us to be healthy and proud of whom we are. Some people say that celebrities, such as Demi Lovato and Jennifer Lawrence, have eased the pressure by taking a stand and saying they won’t change who they are for other people, but I would have to disagree with this because celebrities are taking medicine or getting surgery to lose weight, even starving themselves, along with magazines photo shopping their photos to create a skinnier look for celebrities.
Designer clothing labels, such as Aeropostale, Hollister and Abercrombie & Fitch, don’t help teenager’s minds either. Clothing carried and produced by those listed in the previous sentence are supposed to look appealing on skinnier and toned bodies, until just a few years ago Hollister made clothes that only fit certain small sizes leaving kids who were not feeling inferior. In a very interesting article called “The Fashion Industry Promotes Eating Disorders” by Jessica Bennett, she quotes a woman named Cynthia Bulik who says “Genes load the gun, environment pulls the trigger—and right now the fashion industry has their finger on the trigger.”
At the same time it is hypocritical that sports teams do not get any