By Marie Fernandes |Staff Writer|
People will always be too big or too small according to the standards that our society has set.
According to ourbodiesourselves.com, the average American sees three thousand ads per day.
Everything in the United States is based off competition.
The biggest competition of all for the general population is centered on how close to perfection you can get your body to look and your body size.
We are all exposed to images in the media of models that are photo shopped to look more thin and proportional on a daily basis.
These distorted images have become desensitized to us since there is no way to avoid them.
It is not often that a person with an average physical appearance is called beautiful by the American media or by people in our society.
The problem here is that everyone have different standards of perfection.
I may say that I am content with my body but someone else may look at me and think that I look too small when I am healthy.
“When I look at the covers of magazines and at commercials it makes me feel like I am overweight because the models in the pictures have perfect bodies,” said student Melissa Stapp. “But in reality, I am average weight and it just so happens that I have curves.”
This past week I came across various scales, ads, books and magazines that were telling people how to drop pounds in days and how to get flat abs among other things in just one hour of shopping.
For me, it was unsettling to see that there were so many different types of messages about losing weight.
I would like to see messages about being happy with who we are as individuals and what we have achieved rather than about how we can get a six pack of abs in a week.
Famous philosophers have helped explain the phenomena of our society becoming desensitized to images distributed by the media.
Philosopher Jean Baudrillard has talked about simulacra and simulation in terms of how our current society has replaced reality and meaning with signs and symbols.
This means that people have replaced average images of the human body with images of photo shopped models.
Baudrillard came to the conclusion that human experience is a simulation of reality.
He is describing to us how society has become accustomed to a false sense of reality when it comes to physical appearance and weight.
“It gets depressing to think about all the messages that are thrown at us about our bodies not looking perfect and it is even more depressing to think that the younger generations think those messages are normal,” said student Freddie Ramos.
I believe that the media in our country is somewhat to blame for our nation’s distorted view of our bodies because we are continuously presented with two opposite body types.
An average model was a size two or smaller before plus size models were introduced to the industry.
You may have noticed that lately the term “plus size” model has become more popular, but an average plus sized model is a size eight .
According to a 2011 Women’s Wear Daily report, the average dress size for American women is a size fourteen.
We are made to believe that the models that we see and the messages that we are told about our bodies and weight are average, but that could not be further from the truth.
Two people may weigh the exact same amount but when you stand them next to each other they may look different because there are other factors at play such as their sex, height, and body shapes.
I think that everyone should try to avoid comparing themselves to the way other people look because what is most important is how you feel about yourself and that you are healthy.
If you are serious about wanting to lead a healthier lifestyle make sure you are doing it for yourself and not to appease societal norms.
We should stop letting society dictate what is normal and beautiful and start redefining societal norms together.