Submitted by Adera Preston
Ask yourself, on a scale of 1-10, “How important is my appearance?”
Follow that question with, “How come my appearance is this important to me?” Shockingly, approximately 80% of American women struggle with, or have struggled with, severe body-image issues. The outcome of this struggle is often a lack of self-esteem, which can impact: diet, exercise, mood, happiness and other things.
The role that judgment plays in the phenomenon, however, also is significant. Much of our self-esteem is determined by external influences, including those of advertising and media and opinions of peer groups. Pressures to conform, weight-wise, are not only about health. They often veer into the extreme.
Have you ever seen someone “sketchy” and changed directions, locked your car doors, or moved to the other side of the street? Recent studies in the Orlando Sentinel underscore that our prejudices and presumptions can cause us to take measures, such as the examples previously listed, to avoid any potential danger or conflict. At some point in our lives, we have all judged a book totally and completely by its cover. And at some point, we have all been wrong.
This is not a lesson about being judgmental, but hopefully it helps you become more aware. Our constant assumptions about others is what is continually endangering us as a society.
There are no definite causes of eating disorders, however along with biology and phycology, society is recognized on having a major influence. The culture we live in today affects us more than we know. The media that highlights a body-type natural to 3% of all women is the same media that is constantly influencing us, editing pictures us celebrities we strive to be like. Studies show that women who have more exposure to fashion magazines have a higher rate of body image issues. This is because these magazines and media ads often portray unrealistic as beautiful, and then label it normal.
So, it’s time to be more aware of the influence of our media today subliminally and lightly weighs appearance over health, pun definitely intended.