The pictures of female bodies are seen being displayed all over the place. These women along with parts of their bodies are used for selling everything from cars, clothes to food and more.
In the present times famous film and TV actresses are seen becoming slimmer and trimmer, taller and younger in age. Women’s magazines are seen to be full of these overwhelming articles that promise losing the last twenty pounds will turn out to be the perfect solution for situations in life - from marriage, sex, children and career.
The question that arises is that why are women being made to live up to such stringent standard of beauty? Certain analysts suggest that this approach is more economical where a steady and overwhelming growth is seen and maintained in the diet and cosmetic industry.
Youth is definitely clubbed along with this concept and standard of beauty where “thinness” is the mantra of today of being beautiful. Women are being constantly bombarded with this idea of thinness and beauty concept. If one does not require losing weight, surely she will be aging and will need to maintain a false and superficial appearance. In the world of the beautiful “age” or “aging” is a disaster that must be managed.
The stakes are high. It has been observed that women are insecure about their body statistics and facial appearances tend to purchase more of these beauty and weight loss products. In view of today the diet industry is itself worth 40 to 100 billion US dollars. Research and study suggests that this image of young, thin and ultra-model women has its links to depression, unhealthy eating habits and lack of self esteem.
The Research group of the American Nervosa and related eating disorders, Inc. reports that one out of every four college-going woman tends to have eating disorders and use unhealthy weight reduction methods such as skipping meals, over dieting, excessive fasting, rigorous exercise, use of laxatives and puking. The Canadian women’s heath network has also reported that girls as young as 5 to 6 years of age are implanting unhealthy weight reduction and diet programs on themselves.
In the year 2003, the Teen magazine reported that 35% girls aged between 6 and 12 was on at least one diet program and 50-70% or them considered themselves to be overweight when actually their weight was normal. This falsified concept of beauty and remaining young is taking its toll on the younger generation and research substantiates that almost 90% of the women are experiencing some sort of dissatisfaction regarding their image, appearance and self esteem.
The media tends to portray an image of beauty that is unattainable and perfect beauty figures and appearances can be achieved and attained only by a small section of women who are professionals and perfectionists. The rest will never reach this standard, but should strive to achieve it.
Researcher trying to develop a computerized model of a woman according to the proportions of a Barbie doll found out that women would actually die from malnutrition and weakness. It is estimated that almost 99% girls in the age limit of 3-10 years own a Barbie doll.
Seeking to achieve unhealthy standards of weight is an epidemic that can have devastating consequences on health. In 2006 a statistical survey revealed that nearly 4, 50,000 Canadian women were suffering from some kind of eating disorder.
The Culture of Thinness
Researchers have also highlighted the fact the women’s magazines have more articles and advertisements on thinness and weight loss as compared to that of men. Films and television portray the thin body of a standard and measure of the worth of a woman. It has also been reported that healthy women experienced some sort of negative comments from their male counter parts because of their bodies.
There has been an effort to change the trend where in Madrid in the year 2006, ultra-thin models were banned from walking the ramp. The Quebec magazine Coup de Pounce is continuously adding images of healthy and normal sized women. Furthermore, Spain has undertaken a project where clothes would be standardized according to normal body statistics of woman.
Despite these efforts the advertisements “Thinness is the ultimate standard and pillar to success” and “become thin to attain a perfect body” still prevails. Today models weigh 23% less than an average woman. Advertisers believe thin models sell products better than an average sized women, so the hype is all the more.
They continue to believe and remain convinced that only thin models can spur the sales figures of beauty products in the market.