As you may have noticed, I haven't posted in a very long time... Sorry! I have been inundated with school work recently, but among my hoards of assignments was a Health and Physical Education one. We had to make a health magazine for this and, whilst writing the articles for my magazine, I came up with some great things to blog about. Today's post is all about the media.
In today’s society, many magazines and television shows are geared towards the susceptible, vulnerable and ignorant girls of today. The media is portraying to teens the image that weight and appearance is everything. Magazine covers constantly feature celebrities and models that ‘have’ perfectly sculpted, fat-free bodies. But, in reality, these celebrities have all been digitally manipulated to appear to teens as ‘perfect’ and ‘flawless’.
Look at the changes made to Cate Blanchett’s skin and hair colouring -
The media is one of the main reasons so many young girls are now obsessed with their weight and looks, and especially with what they don't like about themselves. The media is putting too much emphasis on how girls ‘should’ look – stick thin and flawless – and this pressure to look ‘good’ is the reason why so many girls have mental illnesses. In Australia alone, one in five people will experience a mental illness at some stage in their lives, and many experience more than one mental illness at a time (Mindframe – Mental Health, 2010).
Often, not looking like ‘the girls on the magazine covers’ is the trigger of low self-esteem and anxiety, which then can trigger a need for dieting. A Harvard study (Fat Talk, Harvard University Press) published in 2000 revealed that 86% of teenage girls are on a diet or believe they should be on one. Approximately 366 050 people or 2-3% of young Australian females suffer from anorexia or bulimia in Australia alone.
In recent times, people are becoming more aware of how the media is distorting our image of beauty. Dove is one of the main activists in promoting what they call 'real beauty', and has set up the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty. They have produced many videos promoting their campaign, but this one typifies their point about our perspective of beauty being manipulated.
For my health magazine, I created the following advertisement for real beauty, using Dove's campaign and the video as my inspiration.
Well, hopefully I have showed you that images in the media can be fake and can cause mental illness.
I hope your day is sweet,