Katrina K-P on Bordo, Media and Body Image

Posted: February 15, 2012 in Uncategorized

Bordo has hit on many good points. Body image is a huge deal in today’s society. I bet that if you get rid of the media’s influence, the number of people (men and women) who have eating disorders will go down. Body image is continually changing. It used to be that overweight meant wealth, now it means unhealthy. However, anorexic skinny, like models, was never “in.” Young girls and boys are worried about their body image when they shouldn’t be. These perceptions get carried along into adolescence and adulthood.

Bordo mentions eating habits. It is seen as disgusting for a woman to fill up her plate when she should be eating a salad. This used to be me. Now I go out and order the biggest steak on the menu and I don’t care who watches me finish it. I’m going to eat what I want and feel good about it. Dove had it right is portraying ‘real’ women in their commercials instead of touched up celebs.  Women eating and stuffing their faces until they are full…this should be the new trend. If you want that steak for dinner, followed by chocolate cake..go for it. Your body will actually thank you for it.

What we, as an audience, sees on TV in not real…and we know its not real even if this knowing is not part of our conscious thought processing.We have gone from a Marilyn Monroe sexy and curvy culture to one of anorexic celebs. Curves are “in”! Show them off…don’t run out and get plastic surgery or try all the latest diets to shed those 5lbs…beauty comes in many different forms and sizes and we, as a culture, need to recognize this.
Here is a video that backs my claims about media and body image:

  1. Chantal Matteson says:

    While reading this article, and this comment posted, a couple of things came to mind. One was a clip from Mean Girls when Regina George went shopping for her formal dress at a store that only carried sizes 0, 2, and 4. When she gained weight she was ridiculed by the sales associate and was told to go somewhere else. She had to be thin in order to fit into the stylish clothes she wanted. I find this similar, although changing, to every day life. Many stores cater to the stick thin girls. Generally, you have to go up a few sizes because the clothes are made very small.

    Another example I thought of was pro ana sites. These sites are dedicated to inspire girls to be skinny. They give different diet trends, tips, etc… The purpose is to show how glamorous being ridiculously skinny is and that you are nothing if you aren’t that skinny. Some sites even give you reasons to starve yourself, like saving money or how fasting used to contribute to great health, etc…

    The last thought that came to mind was actually contradictory of what has been stated. Look at Marilyn Monroe. She was curvy and noted as one of the most beautiful women in history. Personally, I believe the same, and that people at a healthy weight are much more beautiful than the stick thin girls

  2. Michelle Almeida says:

    While I agree that Bordo makes good points I believe it is important to not jump to conclusions. I believe that advertising contributes to the cause of eating disorders but it is not the whole cause. In one of my classes this year a fellow student presented a seminar on eating disorders. She had been diagnosed with an eating disorder in the past and fortunately attended rehab and moved out of her disorder. During her presentation a classmate asked her about the influence of advertisements on eating disorders and she said that for her experience it played a very little role. While I understand that everyone has a different experience, and I do not mean to offend anyone, I believe that in order to develop an eating disorder due to advertisements alone is very limited, as there are a number of external factors that come into play.

    it is also important to note that while it is great that dove is showing “real” people, the dove “real beauty” campaign was a huge marketing plot. The people who own dove are the same people who own Axe. Think of any Axe commercial you have seen and I can guarantee that there is a hypersexualized image of a (skinny) female involved. Axe commercials are notoriously known for that. So when it comes down to it, I believe that the bottom line is making money.

    • ct340blog says:

      Taylor Crozier—

      I just wanted to add to Michelle’s observation between the Dove Campaign and Axe commercials. It is so interesting to note that indeed both of these products are owned by the same company, but these two products contradict the very thing that they are supposed to be promoting through the Dove Campaign. The Dove Campaign is trying to reduce the amount of girls from adopting eating disorders, and instead bringing it to their attentions that all women, from every race, any age, any size, should all have confidence and feel comfortable in their own skin. But, then this same company, turns to their other brand of products, Axe, and sends out a different message through their commercials. I have included a link to one below: watch it– you will find yourself being swarmed with images of young, fit, beautiful women who are all super skinny. There is not one single woman in the commercial who is of average size, with some curves that makes them appeal to be a bigger. So crazy to see how contradictory this company is through the messages they are sending out through their Axe Products and Dove Campaign.

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