Saturday, May 26, 2012

How Thin is too Thin?

I wrote a essay about body issue young girl face in the world.

There stands a young, blond, tall woman. She is wearing a shear black, floor length dress. Her arm, shoulder, legs and head are visible. She has a smile on her face and seems to be having a good time. It looks like she is at a party and is standing on hardwood floor. Her body is not in good shape. Though she seems to be very happy, her bones are very visible. You can see her pasty white skin hang on just her skeleton. Even in her fingers you can see every little bone in them. You can see the point of where her forearm and upper arm come together. You can see her knee cap though the shear of her dress. Her thighs have very little muscle development on them and she seems to physically appear weak with no expression on her face. 
What's your body image? Do you see yourself as too fat, too thin, too short, or too tall? Experts report that many teens do not like their bodies, no matter how healthy they really look. This negative body image can affect you in many ways. Eight out of ten women are not happy with their reflection in the mirror (Vanguard, 2011). The average American woman is five feet tall, four inches and 140 pounds and the average American model is five feet, eleven inches and 117 pounds (Vanguard, 2011). This is an image that many of young girls look up to in today’s fashion magazines. Eighty percent of children who are at least ten years old are afraid of being fat. Seven out of every ten of America’s children and young adults feel, in their eyes, they do not look beautiful, handsome, tall or thin enough to be considered normal. We as a country have the highest body image and self-esteem issues in the world. This image that is projected on us is a form of cultural myth. A cultural myth is the way that we live and by that it affects the way we think or believe.
My picture is a display of a cultural myth in a few ways. Young woman in this country look up to her and is what they have in mind that this is what beauty and healthy is. This woman is very successful at a young age. She was a model, an actress and even an author. Why would any young girl or woman want to be like her? So therefore they see that she is skinny and believe they too need to be skinny to be successful. These young women in this country are striving to become this image, this image that is not the norm. The woman in this picture too has fell for this cultural myth. The myth is that you must be thin to be anything in this world, to even be successful.
Everyday millions of girls and boys look in the mirror and say to themselves, “I am too fat,” “I am ugly,” or even “I am not pretty enough for any guy/girl.” They believe this because in their eyes the image of beauty is this young woman, who is about twenty to thirty pounds under weight for her height and has on so much make-up that the beauty they see is a false image. Children from eighth to twelfth graders view many “famous” people like TV stars, sport stars, actor/actress, singers or even models. Experts say one of the primary reasons for the obsession with body image is that the media bombards us with the idea that thin, for females, and lean and muscular, for males, is essential for happiness and success.
The picture I have chosen is of Portia de Rossi, an actress, who has struggled with multiple eating disorders. Her eating disorders started at a young age of twelve for her because she had begun modeling in Australia. As she started her career in modeling she looked to other models as her guide to how thin she “needed” to be. De Rossi would later move to America and feel the pressure to succeed even more once she obtained a job as an actress on a famous sit-comic. There she felt the pressure to be what she thought was everyone looked like. She would spend hours a day run and working out. De Rossi would even leave for work very early so that she could stop and run after only thirty minutes of driving. After suffering with an eating disorders all of her teen years and most of her young adulthood she finally realize that her image of “thin” was false. This is because her image was a mannequin. A mannequin measurement is a bust of thirty inches, a waist of twenty-four inches and hips of thirty-three inches. These mannequin measurement are so unrealistic that she was days away from death.
Michelle Obama has started a campaign in February 2010 about body image and how body images what is most important in your life. She does believe that there is a big obesity problem in the country but does not support the fact that you must be thin to be successful. Michelle just wants America’s children to be at a more healthy weight and to overall be happy with their outer and inner beauty. Obama has become a huge supporter of Body-Image Awareness week which is in the month of February. February is also the month for eating disorder awareness (Barrett, 2010). This past year Obama hosted a walk to support a healthier body image and has gone to talk to many of schools to educate student about having a healthy body image and how it is ok to be the size you are as long as you are healthy and happy.
Michelle Obama has also supported the work of Tyra Bank. Tyra Bank was a model at a young age of sixteen. She was a person who once displayed an image to young girls that you must be thin to be beautiful. After many years of modeling, many people view her as what they should look like and she decided turn what she did and what she was known for in something positive. She began teaching girl what real beauty is and how it is not just skin deep. Bank believes that you should look to no one to see what beauty is but to yourself because you are beautiful no matter what anyone tells you. Bank has also created a website called “typeF”[sic]. This website is for young woman to go to and to learn how to do their make-up, hair and even which clothes fit their own body type. Bank has also created her own talk show where she talked about issue that effected teenager. The main topic she about what how people are their worst enemy when is come to yourself looking in the mirror. She believes that as a nation we have created this myth that we must be thin and tall to be beautiful but in fact it doesn’t matter either way.  Tyra Bank has a quote that means a lot to me because I believe is say what is most important to this world, “Human is beautiful, perfect is boring.”
I, myself, have fallen victim of this cultural myth. The myth that I have fallen for must be the two Ts, tall and thin, to be close to being beautiful. From the age of eleven to about sixteen I would stare at myself in the mirror for hours and think how ugly I am. That I have way too many scars, too much fat on me, and even the wrong color eyes and hair to even call myself pretty. I would take a few years to grow and learn that what I portrayed myself as that was not all that matter in this world. This was something that no one the teach me or give me it was something I had to live through. I believe that every girl or boy will go through this at some point in their life it is just the way and how the deal with is what matters. The way that I dealt with the issue of not being what is ideal was just reinsuring myself that that in not want is normal and that it is ok to be yourself as long as I am happy and healthy. Thought to this day I still struggle with this same myth. I believe if we start teaching girls and boys at a young age that they are beautiful or handsome that they will be less likely to fell for this cultural myth.
Though there can be many arguments for this cultural myth and how is it could be right but the fact is that there is a negative. That negative is that it could change the way a girl or boy think or even believe what they should look like. Both Michelle and Tyra would support a change for false advisement and maybe implement laws for the future. I furthermore believe that there should be a change or requirements that limit the editing of ads and picture place in magazine or billboards.

Work Cited
Smith, Candace. "The Mirror in My Mind: Body Image & Self-Esteem." Booklist 1 Nov. 2002:                                           =======512. General OneFile. Web. 27 Oct. 2011.
Abramovitz, Melissa. "Mirror mirror in your head: your mental picture of your body can have a   =======direct effect on your self-esteem and your behavior. (psychology)." Current Health 2, a =======Weekly Reader publication Feb. 2002: 26+. General OneFile. Web. 27 Oct. 2011.
Barrett, K. (2010, Feburary 17). Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign neglects crucial body image =======issues. Retrieved October 27, 2011, from the Eagle: =======

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