I am going to tell you a story, you probably all know it. There is a beautiful young woman, who lives with her evil-stepmother and three ugly step-sisters in a little cottage. One day news arrives that the Prince must marry so he throws a ball and everyone in the girl’s family is invited. But the beautiful young woman can’t go because her ugly stepsisters are cruel and lock her inside, luckily her fairy godmother finds her and magically sends her to the ball in a beautiful gown and glass slippers and she meets the Prince, they fall in love and after a few mishaps and sad turns the ugly step sisters get what they deserve and the beautiful woman and her Prince live happily ever after.
Right now, men and women, boys and girls that you know, in this country and this community, maybe even you are feeling like you just aren’t good enough.
Poor body image has always been an issue. Throughout history every culture has had a distinct idea of what is and is not beautiful, sometimes this insecurity was the cause of some serious health issues. The obsession with small feet in Asia causing deformities in women can be compared with the ideal hourglass shape in Europe that cause serious breathing problems from corset use. And in modern times issues like eating disorders, self harm, and depression are resulting from this communal lack of self esteem. This is now a global issue, because unlike in the corset and foot strapping periods women are now constantly bombarded with superficial, unnatural ideals, in magazines, on TV, the internet, on the sides of buses and buildings, I’ve even seen images on the ground and in the sky. Is there really any wonder that women are actually beginning to believe that super-thin and porcelain ideals are obtainable? Or that they should aspire to be like this?
Today, the average model weighs 23% less than an average, healthy sized woman. Finally people are beginning to recognise the huge issue that this is, we can see the change with movies like Shrek coming out, but the blame is being pinned straight to the media, and the responsibility being left to advertising agencies, fashion designers, casting directors etc to fix it.
I don’t disagree with this, yes there should definitely be restrictions on the amount of editing allowed in advertisements and minimum weight standards for models, these changes would definitely make a positive difference, but society also needs to accept part of the blame for bad body image, and take half the responsibility to fix it. Media definitely powers this issue, but...