Monday, February 8, 2010


Since I moved to the United States, the one thing that stands out in the media is the obsession with weight. All the advertisements in the mass media talk of diets, workout plans, and complete transformation packages-- Atkins diet, K diet, South Beach Diet, the Insanity workout plan, Gillian Michael's, etc etc.
The advertisements invariably talk about a fairly heavy person who loses weight, becomes thinner, and suddenly is transformed-- they get a makeover starting from wardrobe, hairstyle, and attitude. I get that if you like how you look, then you feel good, but somehow this takes it to a whole new level. My jobless self counted that for every advertisement slot, there are 3 advertisements, and at least 1 or 2 talk about diets.

The question I have do these really work?Are they long term?
I worry about how this has become propaganda, and someone who is a bit more than the perfect 36-24-36 stereotype feels the pressure to transform themselves to fit in. Should being healthy the message as opposed to being thin?

This isn't just digital media, but magazines as well. All covers are airbrushed, even the ones of stunning models and actresses. Most of them are fairly fit, and still they have to modified to look perfect on the cover. Anytime a celebrity gains weight, or has a holiday belly, its front page covers on newsstands!

Even after we have discovered disorders like bulimia and anorexia, and the pressure body image issues puts on young adults, especially teenagers and children, there is still no control or regulation. Shouldn't there be some sort of balance to ensure there isn't societal pressure created to fit a body type? Shouldn't the media be more responsible?

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