Feb 052014

Body image continues to be a sensitive topic. It breaks my heart to see some of the things I see on Facebook about what people say to each other; and yet I don’t think not being free to talk about it at all is healthy either.  Please, can we just be kind and honest?

Browse body image books.

Some people have been wounded by messages from their parents; others from teachers, babysitters, relatives, or “friends”. And then there’s popular media.

Much has been made of media influence on self-image. It certainly adds fuel to the fire of comparison:

But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding.  2 Corinthians 10:12, ESV 

When I was growing up, I read alot of fashion magazines. (See Vildy’s comments on previous post for a great illustration of that influence.) But media delivery has undergone radical change in the intervening years. What would you say is the source of the most dangerous body image messages today?

  4 Responses to “The Media and the (Body Image) Message”

  1. I hope this post gets a lot of response because I’m curious as to the answers people have.
    I don’t read fiction, watch tv other than snippets online, use Facebook, follow Twitter other than the occasional breaking news.
    I used to check out the Fug girls but I don’t remember much body snark. I think they’re too commercial to indulge in that.

    Most of what I do see – and doesn’t seem aimed at young girls – is the Daily Mail online sidebar stuff that gasps over how fit or thin some celebrity looks right after birth, or how much younger than their age, or how much older without makeup, or how grownup some almost-child star looks now in her revealing evening wear or short shorts. The articles have a heavy focus on what new thing you can do/buy in order to take years or pounds off.

    Apparently, there is still a heavy focus on how to get in shape for swimwear since you have a deadline. There are always articles on Femail comparing High Street garments as to how they influence your perceived shape but these tend to use grown and older women. They are represented as being happiest over looking taller, thinner. Most style information available, whether online or in books, still does seem to equate looking good with looking taller, thinner, younger. How Not to Look Old, How Never to Look Fat Again, Kendall Farr’s column of color.

    I’m aware that music videos are probably the main fashion directive for young girls but that’s not the same thing.

    I suppose now that boomers are aging, that’s why you see so much evidence of older women who “don’t look their age” or continual reviews of products (or even surgery) that will cause you to “appear” younger. Perhaps younger becomes the new thinner for awhile.

  2. oh you know, I thought of one thing that’s marching in lockstep: how your bosom must be high and how most people’s bras don’t fit right and the first thing you should do is get a bra fitting.
    You know what is a major difference between misses and juniors sizes? The bust is higher.
    I’m sick of constricting bra bands and I kept thinking about those women in the 30’s, perhaps, in bias cut dresses with low bosoms. And then recently Lisa Pippus featured an older grey haired model who, in many photos I looked up of her, seemed to have a lower bosom. I’ve been wearing my bras looser. I like the look of it and who says that the bosom has to be half way between your shoulder and elbow? Well, that’s the point, they all say it.

  3. I was thinking that reality tv is a big one now. Stuff like ANTM. Also, I think for young adults Pinterest has largely replaced fashion magazines, at least for the visual images, like the ads, not the articles.

  4. After not getting as much response here as I would have liked, I asked on Facebook. I didn’t get alot of response there either; inconclusive. I guess I think the influence has diffused.

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>