Media Telling Us
The media creates an image of unattainable beauty. This image is similar for both men and women, although women are more commonly recognized for body image issues created by the media.
Women are expected to have thin waists with curvy breasts and hips. A natural occurrence such as cellulite is viewed as unacceptable; in fact it seems that it is more acceptable to be emaciated than have cellulite. Women should be tanned and toned in every part of their body.
Men are expected to be bulky, with large muscles and a squared figure. Even the sharpness of a man's jaw line is considered masculine. Men should also be tanned and toned. The bulkiness of their bodies should be through muscle and there should not be any fat seen over muscle.
Both of these images are nearly impossible to achieve for a normal human being. In fact, most of the images of celebrities that we see have been photo shopped and enhanced. The fact is that the media is using an image of unattainable "beauty" to sell us products. We are willing to buy into this idea of beauty, and many times we are willing to ignore the price the we must pay in order to obtain this unattainable image.
Shows like Bridalplasty only encourage the belief that the media's portrayal of beauty is more important than almost everything else. In fact, the plastic surgery takes precedence over the fact that these women are competing for a perfect wedding. The focus continually comes back to the competition for beauty. The women are willing to humiliate themselves on television, "working" to achieve this beauty. Media Playsa huge part in body image issues, as seen through this outside source.
Rather than focus on shows like this, it is important to focus on more positive parts of media. Although movies such as "Mean Girls" and "Little Miss Sunshine" depict mature themes and situations, the overriding message is very important: Don't focus on what other people think. Love yourself for who you are. Even if things seem bad now, things will get better.
These ideals are vital to remember, and to pass along to children. Children are incredibly impressionable, and if we continue to share the media's portrayal of beauty, we are only perpetuating low self-esteem. We need to give these children the chance to feel beautiful.