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Is the media doing enough to promote body positivity?

Tackling issues around body image


Written by Jordan Carroll and posted in opinion


This is an opinion of a young person and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of SpunOut.ie. It is one person's experience and may be different for you. If you'd like to write something for SpunOut.ie please contact editor@spunout.ie.


"Airbrushing as a practice is completely needless. People don’t care for it and all it does is promote unhealthy body images"

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Asking the average person what the ideal body image is to them, you’ll never hear them describe themselves. Them coming across as self-centered aside, people tend to want what they can’t have.

With Eating Disorders Awareness Week approaching body image is a sensitive topic but definitely an important one. The Department of Health and Children estimates that up to 200,000 people in Ireland may be affected by eating disorders and that eating disorders represent 80 deaths annually. With body image being a huge reason behind eating disorders and with the most common influence on girls’ body image being comparing themselves with others, Source , it’s completely baffling to me why media outlets don’t do more to promote self-confidence and body appreciation.

Today’s world contradicts itself in numerous ways when it comes to body image, few companies have begun excellent campaigns to promote healthy body image and more designer labels are using “plus size” models. But on the contrary, there’s no doubt that media, be it actors or models and even designer labels tend to spread negative imagery on what the perfect body image is.

This isn’t a piece on how media is evil, it’s not, but it is borderline at times. With every photo seen in fashion magazines or websites being airbrushed severely it leaves a lot of people wondering “Why does her stomach not roll like mine?” or “Why does my skin not look like that?”. There’s people fortunate enough to be capable of just forgetting about it, but to others it will torment them all day. Airbrushing as a practice is completely needless. People don’t care for it and all it does is promote unhealthy body images.

Body positivity for men is also an extremely important topic and unfortunately not a well talked about one. There’s no doubt that unhealthy body images badly affect men, but with men typically being uncomfortable talking about body image, the numbers in my opinion would not be accurate. Still, there has been a notable increase in body positivity campaigns for men.

Dove made a huge name for itself by using women of all different sizes in its ads and so too have American Eagle and Forsman & Bodenfors. Both underwear adverts opted for men of various sizes with Forsman & Bodenfors using the slogan “Underwear for perfect men.”. Both excellent campaigns focused on nothing but spreading positivity which is extremely heart-warming to see.

It’s not news that society is completely diverse. People will have different ideas on the perfect body and we will forever have an abundance of different sizes and shapes. But not one person should have the right to tell someone else that their body isn’t good enough or that they should look different, which unfortunately is what goes on.

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Published February 21st, 2017
Tags body image body positivity eating disorders
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