The unrealistic body image that is deemed to

Themedia has profoundly influenced the society through the use of messages andimages that promote the presumed and almost unattainable perfect body image ofbeauty that has led to body dissatisfaction, and disordered eating that mostlypredominant among girls. Throughout the years, the media has developedunrealistic body image that is deemed to represent perfect beauty. The bodyimage is a concern to many people since the society tends to center theirjudgment on a person based on how their body looks like.

In this mediaanalysis, I chose to analyze the music video “Pretty Hurts”by Beyoncé and a print advertisement entitled “PerfectBody” by Victoria’s Secrets. Throughoutthe video “Pretty Hurts, Beyoncé illustrates the negative body image that womenstruggle with. The music video illustrates the futility of the beauty standardsset by the society in which many women struggle to conform to them. Beyoncé isseen as pageant representing the idea of beauty in the western culture which isbased on the body image. In the first three seconds of the video, Beyoncé isseen with short hair and is seen later with long hair since it is required thatshe change her image in order to contest for the beauty pageant. Anothercrucial scene that focuses on appearance in the first minute of the video iswhere we see several pageants in the dressing room, brushing their hair,whitening their teeth, spray-tanning, and scuffling with each other all in thename of seeking beauty.

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In the second minute where the song begins, Beyoncéreveals the perception of what society perceives beauty when she says that hermother tells her that what matters is not what is in her head but how shedresses and fixes her hair. This shows how appearance is used as the standardof beauty by the society. WhatI find more thought-provoking about the negative body image media standards ofbeauty is the lyrics that criticize the TV which says “bigger is better” andvogue which says “thinner is better” which are contradicting views of idealbody image. This is a depiction of the struggle that women go through in theirattempt to conform to the presumed beauty standards where the thin struggle toget bigger while the big want to become thinner.

In the middle scenes, somepageants take diet pills after failing to meet the expected body weight andsize. This reveals the ideas of body shaming which leads the contestants toadapt diet culture and eating disorders. At one scene, Beyoncé is seen kneelingbefore a toilet and walks across the bathroom stall while wiping her mouth aftervomiting suggesting her scuffle with bulimia.

Another contestant who is slimwith her ribs showing consumes cotton balls together with orange juice which isa dangerous dieting trend. The song uses the negativity of body image in orderto send a positive message that all the struggle in conforming to the beautystandards through dietary, surgery, and make-up don’t correlate to happiness.In fact, all that she can think when asked about her aspirations in life isthat she wants only to be happy. (https://www. In2014, Victoria’s Secrets released an advertisement of their lingerie saleentitled “Perfect Body.” The advertisement illustrated women who were about fivefoot and ten inches tall, unnaturally skinny, unusual curves and who seemed tohave little fat or no fat at all. On top of the images of these women, theslogan “Perfect Body” is featured. This made it seem as though the company wasdepicting the standards of how a woman with a perfect body should look like.Although below the advert they explain about bra collection underneath the ad,they do not mention bras in the advert which sends the message that the ad istalking about the women being perfect. According to this ad, a woman cannot beperfect unless she looks like the models used in the ad which is a commonperception in today’s society.

Women are struggling to lose weight in order tolook skinny. Other women wouldn’t agree that skinny is the ideal perfect body. Theadvert led to a massive uproar from customers and other people who argued thereis no ideal perfect body. Many women felt that their bodies are perfect and thead propagated a negative body image that would result in dietary disorders ifwomen were to attempt to conform to the ad’s perfect body. The Victoria’sSecret Company reacted to the upheaval by altering the mantra into “A Body forEvery Body” but never altered the images of the model women. Changing theslogan did not change the initial perception since the entire advert wasoffensive not just their slogan. By using skinny and tall models along with theslogan of the perfect body, Victoria’s Secret was suggesting the conventionalstandards of beauty that many women who suffer from eating disorders attempt toachieve.

( The Relationship between Eating Disorders and WesternCultureCulturalbeliefs have been associated with influencing the development of eatingdisorders such as bulimia and anorexia nervosa. The rates of the eatingdisorders vary across different cultures and are greatly influenced by theevolvement of cultures.

The eating disorders are more prevalent in the westernculture and is predominant among females than it is the case with males. Ithink one of the contributing factors is the dissemination of body imagemessages that suggest the western standards of beauty among both males andfemales. The blend of universal standards of beauty and eating behaviors causesa profound confusion and body image dissatisfaction, particularly among manyyoung people. In my opinion, the construct of body image is influenced by bothindividual and cultural factors and affect many people in the western society.Today, the western society is filled with ideologies of the ideal body imagethat has been developed by the media. The western movies, cinemas, magazines,adverts and many other media feature model body images that reinforce thebeauty stereotypes.

Theidealization of a slim female body by the western Hollywood is one of theprobable cause of anorexic food restriction among many women who are afraid ofgaining weight. I think it has become a contemporary trend where every womanwants to lose weight in order to have a slender body image which is presumed asa standard of beauty. The ideal beauty of a woman is not based on the slim bodyimage, and it’s unfortunate that the western society equates perfect beautywith a thin female body. From Beyoncé’s song “Pretty Hurts,” she decries thesaying that “thinner is better” which is a Eurocentric conventional beautystandard that pressurizes women to meet these conventional standards.

In orderto conform to the cultural beauty standards, many women develop eatingdisorders in the process. The print media also disseminates ads that featuresublime women who are tall and slender which suggest that for a woman to bebeautiful, she must look like that.  Forinstance, although the American Victoria’s Secrets Company sells bracollections for all women, their advert uses tall and slender females only withthe slogan “the perfect body.

” When women attempt to transform their body imagethrough unnatural means, they result in developing eating disorders. Theemphasis of the body appearance by the media is detrimental to the consumer’shealth. I also come across health diet adverts that claim to cause a massive weightloss within few days, and many women end up focusing on over-consuming suchcommercialized diets to the detriment of their health. I strongly believe thatfear of gaining weight is irrational and starvation, in order to gain a slenderbody, is unnecessary. Inaddition to mass media, there are other socialization agents in the westernculture such as peers, families, role models, and schools that influence thebody image perception. The desire to look like a particular friend who has aslender body may make someone to resolve to weight loss and dieting thatprogress to diet restriction and finally develops anorexia nervosa.

Thestruggle of the young people to fit in and gain attention makes them result inunnatural diets to improve their appearance. It is not a surprise that evenschool going children are concerned about their body image. In fact, eatingdisorders are common even in the educational institutions. Children who aretermed as fat by their friends may result in anorexic food restriction while thosewho are termed as skinny may develop binge eating. There is a great tendencyfor children who are seen as fat to have no friends which make themdissatisfied with their appearance. In my opinion, the reason why some peopleare rejected by others based on their appearance is due to the western culturewhich dictates how one should look like in order to be accepted.

Ialso think that there is a high correlation between eating disorders and thefamily environment. The parents are very influential people to their childrenand to those they interact with. Children consider their parents and rolemodels, and they tend to copy their behaviors, attitudes, and beliefs. In thecase of mothers who are constantly worried about their weight and are always ondiets, the children are likely to develop similar attitudes associated withabnormal eating behaviors. Parental advice also has great impacts on how thechild perceives beauty and diets. For example in the lyrics of Beyoncé’s song”Pretty Hurts,” she says that her mother is the one who told her that she ispretty as long as she keeps her focus on appearance and not on her intellect.

This is an illustration of the western parenting where the children areintroduced to the societal convention standards of beauty while still young.With such great negative parental influence, the western children adaptabnormal eating habits as they grow. I believe that if parents were to focus onthe positive development of their children, it is natural that they will growto accept their appearance and would have problems related to diets or eatinghabits. The children who learn to admire their positive relationship with theirparents would want to be more like them. Instead of focusing their admirationon a particularly slender and sublime celebrity model, the children wouldimitate their parents. It is my strong opinion that parents have the capacityto end the vicious cycle of eating disorders in the western culture dependingon how they raise their children.Theassociation of self-starvation with the ideal body image is a construct thathas greatly affected the contemporary generation. Although almost all cultureshave been affected by the stereotype of the ideal body image, the westernculture has been the central focus.

The cultural pressure on people to conformto the conventional beauty standards has led to an increase in diet unrealisticsolutions for weight loss and weight gain. The confusion between which is theperfect body image has made the thin to result in binge eating in order to gainweight while the fat goes for anorexic food starvation to gain a slender body.I believe if we change the stereotyped cultural belief, we can protect thepopulation from eating disorders.

The western culture is being copied in thedeveloping countries which mean that they will inherit the same problems thatare prevalent in the western culture. The media is a significant platform thatpromotes social-cultural interactions on a global mechanism. If we change themedia messages with regards to dieting and beauty standards, people will learnto accept themselves and avoid engaging in abnormal eating habits. In myopinion, beauty is just an individual perception based on the dictation of thecultural standards, and if the culture eliminated the conventional beautystandards, people would be satisfied with their looks.

Although the westernculture is not directly related to eating disorders, I believe it creates afavorable environment that promotes eating disorders.


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