Body Image: Expectations Vs. Reality

What is Body Image?

Body image as defined by a dictionary is “a personal picture of one’s own physical appearance which is the result of observing one’s own self and also by considering the reactions of others.”

This is the most appropriate definition as it entails the wording “nothing the reactions of others” which means that the reactions of others are not the actual reactions instead they are the perceived opinions as one become cognizant of it that how others will look and think about her.

Body Image and Media

The body image as portrayed through electronic media and social media has caused a serious distress and has started a quest for being more beautiful, handsome and sexy than others in the circle. This has caused much damage to our society and as well as to our body resulting in increased ratio of eating disorders and depression and anxiety disorders pertaining to body image. Nowadays, it seems like only thing around which everything pivots is the body looks, body appearance, and general guise. Modern media has inculcated an idea of PERFECT body image just letting to see us a special bunch of photoshopped and trimmed bodies of the models we see on media. This has altered the reality and left us with disgust and general disgruntlement with our body.

Everyone wants to be like some supermodel delineated on the cover page of a fashion magazine, and this causes a severe shift in reality and worsens the situation. It is good to take care of oneself and have some workout to stay fit, but it looks more like nonsense to be obsessed with the idea of appearance. There are many other important tasks to do in the world than to focus on body appearance. The reality is far away from expectations of the people, and this gap causes the real apprehension.

Body image has drastically changed when we look back in history. There was a time when a bulging body was also considered beautiful. At that time, it was not a matter of concern to conscious about the accumulating fats, but today in the modern world the body image has shrunken to a very narrow waistline almost plain hips and very small breasts for ladies whereas for men a complete muscular body with six pack abs is the trend.

This drastic change as illustrated by media has affected teenage children’s life the most as research indicates that they are the ones who compare their bodies to others in their peer group and media. Several studies indicate that comparing their real bodies with photoshopped, bodies of models has caused a dire malaise in the teens.

As in the modern media, more exposure of the body has started, and this more exposure leads to more dismay. People do compare themselves with their role models presented on TV and struggle to be like their role models, but this leaves them with nothing but grievance about their looks and body.

There should not be a conflict between expectations and reality, but we should develop a better discernment of weight perceptions and should own and contemplate our bodies no matter of what shape they are.