36-24-36: Debunking The Social Construct Of Beauty

body image

Nobody will deny that teenage is a confusing period in one’s life. All one seems to be doing is trying to strike the balance between being who one intrinsically is and fitting in with the rest of the crowd. And teens tend to take extreme measures to fit in with the crowd.

One pressure that teens have is the need to be a certain weight. If you weigh any more than the weight socially defined, you are deemed unhealthy and lazy. Many teens suffer from eating disorders due to this unrealistic expectation. Fat shaming is something that is prevalent in many places, including schools and homes.

Media plays a crucial and disappointing role in this issue. It portrays beautiful as tall, fair, high cheekbones etc., with special emphasis on weight. Whether you are a man or a woman, you absolutely need to be a certain weight to be deemed desirable by the opposite sex. Women HAVE to have the perfect hourglass figure and men HAVE to have the 6 or 8 pack abs.

Mainstream media refuses to acknowledge that beauty comes in all forms and sizes. There is not one clear-cut formula to beauty. In fact, beauty is something that is culturally, psychologically and socially constructed. Interestingly enough, in Mauritania, fatness is considered attractive, and thus, women are force fed thousands of calories to gain weight, which again, isn’t justified.

Many actors and actresses go on no-salt diets for days. Sometimes weeks before a shoot they start starving themselves in order to fit the bill. Not only is a natural 8 pack next to impossible but the pictures of women are also often photoshopped so that they seem much thinner than they actually are. So, why is something that is unattainable showcased as the pinnacle of attractiveness?

It is a common misconception that only the adolescent girls suffer from eating disorders. This not only ignores the pressure boys feel but it also oversimplifies the problem at hand. Eating disorders are not just about becoming thinner; they are also closely linked with the self-esteem and self worth of the individual.

All said and done, it is not fair, however, to say that media ignores this problem all together. Recently, there have been a number of celebrities including Megan Trainor and Jennifer Lawrence supporting the cause of body positivity. But it is often seen that in the attempt to acknowledge the fact that you can be beautiful while being overweight, people tend to shame those who are rather skinny. People need to realize that we all come in different shapes and sizes. All we need to be is our own kind of beautiful.


Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article does not reflect the views of The Viewspaper and The Viewspaper does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.


Mahira Dasgupta

Image Source: http://www.nevermindthebuspass.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Ideal-Waist-To-Hip-Ratio.jpg

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