Over the past years, society and the media have delegated the life and self-image of most people. Many people including the older and younger generations seem to hold the media as a template of who they should be, and who they should look like. Many demands of being and looking perfect are influenced from the Internet, magazines, television, and even the people around you. As the world continues to grow, media and the lives of our society start to reflect each other. It makes many wonder if society wouldn’t put such an emphasis on beauty and looking younger, then would the human life expectancy be expanded by the large margin it currently is?
Self-image is a reflection of how you feel you are perceived by society and the world around you. It develops from all avenues of life, especially the media. It starts from childhood as you are put into a template, and everything else follows. The media has its own way of directing people. It puts you in an idealized image of how you view yourself. As the brain takes in all these subliminal messages, you start to lose track of who you are. Subconsciously, society is being reflected into an unrealistic life style, saying that if you don’t fit into a certain criteria, you don’t have mass appeal. The idealized image makes people inclined to want to improve what they believe needs some improving, sometimes leading to a more superficial side.
Life in our day and age shows how reliant our society has become to physically change a part of them. They want an “adjustment” to make them feel a way that they think they should feel, to fit what society sustains. The older generation feels they have to keep up with younger generation or at least look as good as them. The mage of a “hot mom” has been circling the past years only giving people more pressure to keep up. They don’t want to face the fact of aging and getting older creating this whole idea of mortality. The younger generations are always trying to keep up with the media and its superficial ideals. At times it comes down to trying to keep up with your parents. We have the parents that are doing all these surgeries, making it ok for you to do it as well. This would not of happened many, many years ago. People start to feel like this may be the only way to look beautiful. Society is full of immense changes, always holding this direct template. For women it tends to be more difficult because they are set to get to age and look a certain way, but for men it is much more of ease. As life keeps changing, image changes sometimes leading to certain disorders.
Eating disorders play into the same ideals. Coming from a place of control, people start to doubt their appearance. Not being able to control what you put in you mouth can lead to binging followed by purging in result of you self guilt. Most people with anorexia suffer from body dimorphic disorder, which shows a false appearance of oneself. This is greatly affected by constantly comparing yourself to other people or other images from the media. What most people don’t understand is that they are looking at airbrushed and doctored images. Women’s magazines are full of articles urging them, that if they can just lose those last twenty pounds, they will be the perfect package. So these different types of disorders come from people trying to fit into molds that are unrealistic to fill.
As we come from this unrealistic expectation, we wonder about the doll we call Barbie. Being the idealized version of a woman/ girl, we can see how it can affect society. This doll is given to children at a young age, giving off this “perfect” plastic image. It can possibly give children subliminal messages of how they should look like. As Shelly said “We know that the more time we spend with anything, the more influence it has on us. If you spend weeks studying for a test, you'll probably do better than if you just spend a few minutes studying”. We all have had different perceptions of our childhood; all ranging. One can’t deny that toys, and games have affected us greatly in either positive or negative ways.
Life has changed so much, making the media top honcho. As Judy Garland always said, “Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else”. The media has taken over the Internet, television, and even social groups. Before it was all about being proud of yourself, and being strong. Now it’s about looking the part, and fitting the perfect mold. The world has lifted off into new lights. It puts most in aw of how much the media has an effect on the everyday lifestyles of most. Cultivating this mass arsenal of bullies, the media has surpassed societies images. Society tries to reflect off of the media and the media tries to reflect off of society. It’s this never-ending tug of war, which leaves difficulty for anyone to win.
Many people are realizing the harm in the media, but in order to change this, society needs to change. Every time you change something in the world, something else changes. The psych society and mind of each individual would have to change. Society would have to accept and realize that beauty is not what you see in magazines, but what you see in yourself. Everyone would need to feel included in order for something like this to end, but I do not see that happening, in result of the world and its immense dynamics. We may not be able to fully change the world, but we are able to individually accept ourselves as beautiful, defying the media machine.