America is many things. Some would focus on the positives while others would focus on the negatives. However, one of the most prominent aspects to America and even just society in general, is body standards. For decades, the world has placed a huge emphasis on the rules that women should follow to be considered a “perfect ten.” As a woman, I know that many people have decided to lend their opinion to this issue, but I am hoping that this article will be more than just me expressing my opinion. The world is facing a serious problem with weight and appearance. We place such an importance on these two things, that most of the time we do not even realize who this message of a certain body is reaching. This message is reaching children.
While I am technically not a child anymore, I can speak from personal experience when I say that these body standards are a huge problem. The first time I became unhappy with my body was when I was 10 years old. That age is far too young to feel like you are not appealing to others or even yourself. This perfect body has weighed on my mind my whole life. I have been teased and bullied for my weight as long as I can remember. I decided to do something about my body for myself, but that does not change the effects that society’s message had on me.
Just a simple trip to the grocery store can be one of the many examples of the judgmental and unhealthy emphasis that our society places on our bodies. The magazine aisle is filled with very thin women on the covers of magazines promoting how to lose weight or what to do to get the perfect (insert body part here). Rarely are there women or men that are pictured who just simply look normal. Society has taught us that there is something wrong with normal, and that is not the case.
These unrealistic body expectations are not only ridiculous, but they are detrimental. One example would be the news article that came out about Discovery Girls. Discovery Girls is a magazine for young preteen girls, even girls as young as seven or eight, can read it for entertainment. Think of it as a younger more appropriate version to Star or Cosmo. However, that was not the impression that parents got when they posted one of their more recent articles about swim suits for young girls. The article talked about what swim suit would look best on the type of body the girl had. This sparked extreme outrage from parents. This type of article is just another example of the message that women are sent on a daily basis.
This type of marketing does not just affect women though, it effects everyone. Men are also a part of the high expectations that are placed on people to look a certain way. While the bodies of some of these people that we all emulate are amazing, they are not the average one. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being thin, or skinny, but for some people the body that those people have is not achievable and that is OK.
I, myself am guilty of adhering to society's standards, hell yes, I wish I looked like a Victoria Secret model, but I know that is not the way I have to look. Instead of focusing on what is on the outside, we should focus on the inside and promote health, not glamour.