Beauty Is Pain

March 27, 2012
By Anonymous

Picture this. You walk into a room and see a person staring at themselves in the mirror, bone-thin, with tears in their eyes. This person thinks they are fat, ugly, and not good enough. It could be your mother, brother, sister, or father. It could be your uncle, cousin, or aunt. It could be your grandmother or grandfather. It could be your best friend or a complete stranger. It could be YOU. Anyone can fall under the pressures society creates to be ‘perfect’. What is ‘perfect’ anyway? According to the Webster’s Dictionary for Students perfect means meeting the highest standards or having no mistake, error, or flaw. Such a goal is unreachable. Everything has flaws, and that is okay. The media has a significant impact on body image.

It has been documented on multiple occasions that adults and teens tend to suffer eating disorders. But, did you know that children are suffering as well? A study showed that children as young as five are taking weight control measures. Think about it: if the age has already dropped to five, how much longer until it drops to three or four?

A great example of the media’s twisted view on beauty can be shown through the figure of someone we all know and probably once loved; Barbie. In 1965 the Slumber Party Barbie was introduced. She came with a bathroom scale permanently set to 110 pounds and a book entitled How to Lose Weight. Once you opened the book there were instructions that read ‘Do not eat’. Not only is there that morbid example but you can also include Galia Slayen’s life-size Barbie model. If Barbie was a real woman she would stand at about 5’8” with a 39” bust. She would have an 18” waist, 33” hips, and a size 3 shoe. Due to her proportions she would be forced to walk on all fours and would eventually die from malnutrition. Who would have guessed that Barbie would promote an unhealthy body image?

Society killed the teenager. The pressures to be perfect are all around us. When you see a ‘sexy’ commercial (i.e. Victoria’s Secret) nine times out of ten, you are staring at bone-thin women with make up caked on their faces. Images of such women are everywhere. They’re in books, on television, in magazines, movies, ads, and much more. When shown images of plus-sized women, the most common responses are ‘disgusting’, ‘fat asses, and even laughter. Do you notice a relationship between these? They are all negative feedback. Society has distorted our views of beauty.

Exposure to bone-thin images plays a role in women and men placing a value on the size and shape of their body. Not only can it lead to low self esteem but it can also lead to eating disorders, depression, as well as other physical and psychological issues/problems. Instead of providing fact and research to back up this information, here is my own personal story:

The real issue began in my seventh grade year of schooling. I began to notice that girls were prettier than me and thus got boyfriends. I would look at myself in the mirror and hate the thing staring back at me. I thought of myself as being fat, although I was barely 100 pounds at the time. I would pick out every single thing I hated about myself and list them. Soon enough, my eating habits took a turn for the worst. There were days when all I would eat was two or three crackers. I kept a food journal and always made sure I never ate much. My clothes fell off of me and I was basically swimming in them. After awhile, I slipped into depression. It was a constant battle and I still struggle with it to this day. My low self esteem and depression led me down a dark road of self mutilation and suicidal thoughts.

In conclusion I would like to point out that this issue is real and happening everywhere. Not only is it dangerous, but it can have long term effects. It could even take your life. Society should portray more realistic images of beauty. Who wouldn’t want to be skinny in a world that tells you it’s the only beautiful thing?

The author's comments:
This is an assignment for my English class. We had to write an argumentative essay. I chose to write about Body Image and the media.

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This article has 1 comment.

on Apr. 2 2012 at 12:47 pm
DreamersWorld BRONZE, Bradford, Other
1 article 1 photo 7 comments

Favorite Quote:
You were born as an original, don't die as a fake. Unlike Barbie, you weren't 'Made In China'

If being skinny is the only beautiful thing. Then screw that. Reading your story made me realise that it's not a one country thing. It's a war that you constantly fight against yourself. And who will win? 
If Being skinny is the only beautiful thing. Then screw it. I wouldnt ever think of myself being Psychologically Ill just because I wasnt beautiful in anyone's eyes. 
The turn this generation is in worries me because I've just turned 13 and if all this is going on. Then what will happen in 10 years time?


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