Thursday, March 10, 2011

We are our Biggest Critics

Jessica Herrera
Professor Wexler
English 114B
10 March 2011
                              We are our Biggest Critics
        When you think of the ideal body what is the first thought that comes across
your mind? Is it a specific person or a specific feature? Reality is, almost no one has the
perfect body and it is just a standard that is set way too high for both women and men.
Media is the major influence in our lives from the way we dress to what we eat and even
the way we act. It determines almost every aspect and detail of our everyday lives. The
major issue we are facing in media today is body image and thinking we all have to look
a certain way in order to fit in with society. From Lady Gaga to Brad Pit to Beyonce, if
we don’t look like they do then we aren’t considered what society deems “cool”.
          36-24-36, these are the measurements of what a woman’s perfect body should be in
the hip, waist, and breast area. A woman should also be 5’9 and no more than 120 lbs.
The men’s standard is simply the chest circumference should be 10 inches larger than his
waist circumference. These numbers and expectations are the things that cause eating
disorders and lead to unhealthy eating and exercising habits. There are a variety of eating
disorders from Anorexia to Bulimia to Body Dysmorphic Disorder. When considering
Anorexia and Bulimia we realize that not only are we depriving our bodies from the
nutrients it needs to function properly, but we our depriving ourselves from living a
normal and happy lifestyle. Each woman is born with her own special shape and
body type, which is why you would be hard pressed to find two women with the exact
same measurements. Some women look beautiful even with a smaller, bulkier shape.
Other women look stunning even if they are petite or average in height. However, many
believe that women who are skinny and tall are beautiful as well. However, different
people have different ideas of which shape is the most beautiful. Ironically, less than 5%
of all the women in the world have achieved these so-called perfect body measurements. Looks are what determines whether you are beautiful or not and what is seen as beautiful is what is seen in the magazines or on television and movies.
                Men and woman take drastic measures in order to lose or gain weight to achieve that so-
called perfect body. It is ironic how women want to lose weight meanwhile men want to gain it.
Men will take massive amounts of protein and creatine in order to gain mass and help them build
muscle which affects their bodies in a negative way. “Creatine gives muscles energy. You can
only use that energy with exercise. If you pack on the creatine so much, you can only use so
much energy. What do your muscles do with that extra energy? Well, it probably distributes it
throughout your body, messing up your entire system. This isn't like an O.D. on drugs, where
you can kill yourself, but you can get sick and mess yourself up.”(Teen Body Building). Another
suplement men take which damages the body are steroids, which are actually illegal to purchase
without a prescription. A lot of athletes use them which allows people to think it is okay and if
we see famous people using a certain product that inhances their lives then the general population will follow and do the same. Women also take dietary suplements that are harmful towards the body such as diet pills and laxatives. Commercials and magazines provide example of celebrtities with great bodies endorsing diet pills for example Kim Kardashian and her sisters have come out with their own brand. This is a big factor in a young lady’s life because by seeing how beautiful Kim is and wanting to look like her, this will lead to extreme dieting and taking diet pills. Celebrities shouldn’t endorse being skinny or sexy, they should influence natural beauty as well as loving yourself in your own skin. Tyra Banks is one strong supporter of being
thick and curvy and not having to look a certain way by stating in an interview that “Women, you see, look at models for a number of things but also, essentially, just entertainment, just female fashion entertainment, which is the way I think it should be. Entertainment. And then close the magazine. Close the Magazine. It's just fashion.”
          We are our biggest critics. Studies have shown that self-criticism is a natural part of our individual quest of personal excellence. Except that it is meant to be a positive idea which helpsus grow and avoid future errors. Somehow it so easily gets distorted into making ourselves feel bad. We compare ourselves to every person out there and this leads to a feeling of self-consciousness. People do judge and criticize a person’s looks but it’s up to that person whether or not it’s going to affect them. This is some thing that can be changed but when it’s that person who is judging and criticizing themselves it’s worse because they seem to be even harder on themselves and instead of being pleased with the way they look they become un happy and self-conscious about what they see in the mirror and this can lead to Body Dysmorphic Disorder. This is a mental disorder in which “no matter how much weight is lost, or no matter how much food is thrown up, a person with anorexia or bulimia will constantly see the same overweight, vile, failure in the mirror. This usually leads to very harsh and even deadly methods of weight loss in a desperate attempt to lose the distorted perception”.
              The most beautiful woman in the world probably doesn’t even have the perfect measurements. True beauty is how you feel about yourself. Your body shape or measurement has very little to do with it. It is the confidence that you have within that counts most. It isn’t wrong to try and figure out what the ideal female body measurement is and to try to achieve it for yourself, but it is important not to waste years of your life
thinking that you aren’t beautiful if you can’t achieve that perfect measurement.

Works cited

"Body Dysmorphic Disorder: When the Mirror Lies - HealthyPlace." –
Trusted Mental Health Information and Support - HealthyPlace. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Mar. 2011.

"Protein and creatine … here's the scoop … it's time to clear up the confusion surrounding these
must-have supplements once and for all! - Men's Fitness Articles
Find Articles at CBS" Find Articles at BNET
News Articles, Magazine Back Issues & Reference
Articles on All Topics. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Mar. 2011.

" - Creatine Smarts!." - The #1 Site Dedicated To
Teenage Bodybuilding!. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Mar. 2011.

Banks, Tyra. "The supermodel turned spokeswoman." The Guardian 14 Apr. 2007: n. pag. Print.

"Wellness - Body Image - Shocking Statistics." University of Colorado Boulder. Web.
10 Mar. 2011.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Media, What Has It Done To Us?

Brittany Forney

            You’re sitting at home, relaxing in front of the TV, like every night and not even realizing that it is unconsciously telling you what you should look like. No one can escape the images of being skinny. Skinny models are shown on billboards, TV shows, commercials, magazines, and movies. “Today we live in a society obsessed with thinness and youth” (Psychology of Ideal Body Image Part One). Because we cannot escape from thinness, it is ingrained in our heads that it looks better than average looking women. Everything in the media like video games, models, TV, and movies affect one’s body image.
            In most video games, the male character is well built, while the female character has curves but is skinny. In Resident Evil 4, Leon, the main character is very good looking and has a lot of muscle, and Ashley, the girl Leon has to protect, has big breasts and is skinny. The zombies and the villains are all small, or chubby. The video game programmers make characters like that, because who would want to play a game where the main character is ugly and fat? But when people play those games, they feel that their body isn’t good enough. In this one case study, “Professor Richard Harris had two study groups: the men played WWF Wrestle Mania 2000; and the women played a beach volleyball game. Participants were questioned prior to playing the video game, then after playing for 15 minutes. Both genders, of course, had negative notions of self-image after playing a complete cycle” (Games Effected By Body Image). It may still be cartoon generated, but it still effects the way they see themselves and what they think is the perfect body.
            The most known cause of loathing one’s body is models. Their everywhere and a majority of them are stick thin. “Because [so] many models and actresses are so thin, it makes anorexics think their emaciated bodies are normal” (Do Thin Models Warp Girls’ Body Image). Because those girls see that their body is just like the models body, they’re going to keep starving themselves. A teenage girl just wants to fit in, and if starving themselves works, they will keep doing it. In one YouTube clip, there was a scene where the narrators talk about pictures of models and those pictures are retouched to make the models look skinnier. Those girls are trying to be as skinny as the models, but if someone were to be that skinny they would die. Your body cannot sustain with little nutrients. Girls “who were more exposed to the most fashion magazines were more likely to suffer from poor body images” (Do Thin Models Warp Girls’ Body Image). Girls are idolizing these models that are not real. Because we think skinny is beautiful, they believe they need to be skinny to be beautiful. So many girls worry about their weight and watch what they eat, because their afraid of getting fat. Young girls are starting to even go on diets to get thin. It is sad because their bodies are still growing and their cutting off vital nutrients to their bodies. Models are the picturesque body type and a majority of girls and teenagers strive towards those bodies.
            Without even knowing it, we take up habits we see on TV. “[…] children may begin modeling the dieting and exercising behaviors they see on television even before they actually begin to internalize the thin-body ideal” (Counseling Corner). These kids do not even know what they’re doing, their just watching what their eating and how much their working out. If their  starting to work out now,  what about when they get older and they start over exercising and dieting on top of that. ‘In 1995, television arrived and within three years the percentage of girls demonstrating dissatisfaction rose from12.7% to 29.2%” (Super Skinny Women on TV). Because these girls do not really know what a perfect body looks like because they have only seen their mom, but once they start watching TV, they notice the more pretty girls and want to look like them. Once girls notice the way they look, and if they think they’re not pretty enough, they will start not liking their body. “[…] television viewing increases children’s exposure to dieting images, ideas and behaviors” (Counseling Corner). Models and Actresses are role models for these girls and teenagers. If they see or hear them doing something, these girls are going to do it too. There is a diet pill commercial out starring Ronnie from The Jersey Shore, by using Ronnie; more people are going to buy these diet pills. Because he is using those pills, and he is well built, other people are going to use them. People do not think about it, but watching TV does affect how one does see them self.
            Movies, which are a lot like TV, affect body image in negative ways. In that same YouTube clip, the narrator talked about Gabourey Sidibe, the actress who played Precious, was made fun of my Howard Stern because she was fat. He said her career would end there and no one will want to hire her because she is fat. But that is how we tend to be, we don’t like the fatter actresses and their not as popular because they’re not as pretty. After her movie Hair Spray, Nikki Blonsky has not really had much of an acting career. She had a show but it tanked. Our society pays more attention to skinny actresses more than we have of world leaders who had more of a shape to their body. Even actresses have to deal with the pressure of being skinny.
            There are many causes as to why many people have problems with their body. Because we think being skinny is beautiful, many girls are unhealthy. There are eating disorders, dieting, and over exercising these girls do because of models, or the people they see on TV. Video games, models, TV, and movies effect many people’s body image. We may not know it, but wanting to be skinny is everywhere, and it effects everyone.

Works Cited
 "Gamers Affected By Body Image in Video Games -" Video Games, Game Reviews & News - Web. 09 Mar. 2011. .
"The Psychology of Ideal Body Image-Pt. 1 ©Barbara A. Cohen Ph.D." Center for Healing the Human Spirit - Barbara Cohen Ph.D. Web. 09 Mar. 2011. .
Author. "How Super Skinny TV Stars Are Harming Our Health -- Health & Wellness --" Signs of the Times News for Wed, 09 Mar 2011. Web. 09 Mar. 2011. .
"TV's Effect on Body Image." Associated Counselors & Therapists. Web. 09 Mar. 2011. . - Do Thin Models Warp Girls' Body Image?" News, Travel, Weather, Entertainment, Sports, Technology, U.S. & World - 26 Sept. 2006. Web. 09 Mar. 2011. .
 "YouTube - the Media's Influence on Body Image." YouTube - Broadcast Yourself. Web. 09 Mar. 2011. .

Monday, March 7, 2011

diet pills....helpful or harmful?

There are many different diet pills that are on the market day and it is a multi million dollar industry. Companies feed off of people who have body issues and distorted body images of themselves by making certain pills and other diet products that "melt the fat away". but is it as simple as swallowing tablets? Of course not. Dietary supplements can have many different side effects such as hypertension, dizziness, addiction, depression, insomnia...these are just a few. How many bottles do we need to consume to achieve our perfect body? One? Two? or is it an endless cycle? And what happens when we finish the bottle? Do are bodies remain the same? Of course not. Dieting is simply in the mind. It's up to you and your healthy eating and your exercising that determines the way your body looks and dieting shouldn’t be a change for a week or a month, but a change for a lifetime.

The Truth About Fat Burning Diet Pills

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Ladies expect the unexpected...

      You think that guys are only into the "ideal" girl... Well guess what; it's not for ALL guys. Just because you are curvy doesn't mean a "HOTT" guy won't be into you. The clip below shows a perfect example of this; in the popular show GLEE Puck (Noah Puckerman) falls for  Lauren (Ashley Fink). Now it's weird you think that she would be all over him right? Well she's not... That maybe one of the reasons why he is really into her because she is a challenge to him... Anyways this actually happens. If you think otherwise well think about it... Everything on TV is based on ideas in life; so yea it does happen... Hope you enjoy the clip...

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Guys have body issues too???

   Yes, it is true guys do feel insecure about their body too. Guys stare at their bodies a lot and look at their flaws. Some people believe that it's not as bad as girls, but i think they are right. If guys cared more about their looks than why would they "let themselves go" when they are old. Females are always worried about their weight even if they pretend they don't. However, why do guys have issues? Well, it's TV shows like Jersey Shore, The Hills, Athletes, Models, and Celebrates who look amazing and make guys feel insecure. They are not the average guys, but girls are attracted to them. Guys want to feel good about themselves and want to get heads turned. Sound familiar? Guys and girls go through the same thing. However, we approach it differently. Guys work out on average three to four times a week. While girls go on diets and barely work out. Anyways, the ideal guy is the "ken barbie": hot, tall, nice tan, muscular, washboard abs, firm butt, full head of hair that you can run your fingers through, and a smile that last a lifetime. People like: Usher, Will Smith, Chad Michael Murray, Kobe Bryant, Channing Tatum, Johnny Depp, Justin Timberlake, Michael Sorrentino (aka The Situation), and Paul "Pauly D" DelVecchi are looked upon as hot guys today. These are some of many guys that are considered "hott" because they have some of the stereotypical characteristics that a guy apparently should have. I'm not going to lie i love my men to look like that; especially if he is an athlete. But just because he is "hott" doesn't mean he is a good guy. He can be an amazing athlete that is self-absorb; that is a turn off ladies and gentlemen. I get it; your hot, you know your hot, but there is a limit to everything. So this might be the "ideal" guy for many girls, but is that fair? Ladies try to look outside the outside; if that makes sense. There are the "average" guys that are sweet, kind, funny and i fall for them easily as do many other girls. I love to laugh and joke around and if a guy can make me laugh, he is one step closer to my heart, even if he's not an athlete. I believe every guy is cute in someway. I think we should help each other out; men and women by looking past of what you imagine your guy or girl to be. As long as your happy and healthy. If you are not healthy; go out and help yourself first because your health is extremely important. I am not saying to look like a barbie doll or GI Joe; just healthy. Don't give up on happiness; we all deserve to be happy. But by doing that we should get rid of what the "ideal" person and be happy with your body. As long as you can look at a mirror and say to yourself "damn i look good" that is all that matters. If you say "ahhh i look good, but just maybe loose a few pounds and look HOTT" than go for it. Key thing is to be healthy and maintain a healthy weight for as long as you can. It is also good to go twice a year for a physical check up with your doctor; it's not going to kill you, but might save you. So in the end ladies and gentlemen both sexes deal with the issue of body image, but don't let that stop you from being who you are.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

What is Beauty?

Hey everyone, it's Brittany. I was thinking about body image and I think because of the media every girl feels insecure about what they look like. I know I have felt like I didn't like my body. I have always thought I was too skinny. I don't like being a stick, I would rather be a little bit bigger. I know people would die to have my body because of models who are sticks. It doesn't matter if you are skinny or fat, people are going to think their body isn't great and want to change it. But I've realized that the media doesn't know what beauty is. I learned that beauty is truth. My Chicano studies professor taught me that. We were talking about what beauty is and he asked a couple girls including me if we thought we were beautiful and each and everyone of us said no. He finally asked the class if anyone thought they were beautiful and one girl spoke up and said that she thought she was beautiful. She was getting choked up because so many of us didn't think we were beautiful. Because I learned the real definition of beauty and because of her reaction, I have really thought about what beauty means to me and accepting that I'm beautiful. It's still hard thinking I'm beautiful sometimes though, I still have insecurities but because of that one conversation, it has changed my perception about beautiful things. I want other girls to realize that and stop worrying about what they look like, I think there would be a change in what the "beautiful" woman would be. It would be every type of women, big, tall, skinny, big. If that would have a big impact on other woman and I think their would be a decrease in eating disorders.