All around and in the media, everyone seems to be overly concerned with body image. I'm pretty sure you've seen Buzzfeed's video about the woman's ideal body image over time. After watching it, it's obvious that this image has drastically changed over time and that a good number of us don't meet today's standard. But who sets these standards for the "perfect body"?
Women are constantly trying to look better, feel better, be better. Some turn to working out and subscribing to healthier diets, and others develop not-so-healthy habits like starvation and consuming copious amounts of alcohol. Either way, when a woman doesn't have "that" body, society expects her to change. This should not be the case.
With this bar in place, a lot of unnecessary tolls are added on. Society puts pressure on women by placing a weight on the way not only they should strive for as individuals, but one another. Women grow more and more self-conscious about what they eat, how much they eat, what they wear, and even what other people will think when they step outside of the house. They feel like they are "too fat" for swimsuits or that they're not summertime ready simply because of their physical appearance. It's actually ridiculous how often women get criticized for their bodies just because society says they should look a certain way.
However, it's not just women who get hounded. Men are criticized for their bodies as well; it's just a lot less publicized. Men are concerned about their physical images and experience the same thoughts women do when it comes to their bodies. Quite a few men feel uncomfortable taking off their shirts at the beach and gym. They feel self-conscious about the way society views their physical bodies and the critiques that come with it.
With all this being said, I feel as though society has conditioned us to want to look a certain way. It's normal for Americans to want to look lean, muscular, and curvy (for women specifically). There are various workout routines titled along the lines of "The Perfect Bikini Body" as well as supplements, detoxes, and cleanses that both males and females take in order to lose fat and gain muscle. Although a person can strive to look a certain way, it does not always mean that they will. Everyone's body carries its weight differently. So, what works for one person, may not work for the next.
I feel as though that as long as you are healthy and you are comfortable in your own skin, it shouldn't matter what society says.