The influence of mass media is a topic discussed over and over again. But the tides have turned and people are becoming smarter about how the media impacts their everyday life. Once upon a time, pictures of rail-thin models could be blamed for young girls developing eating disorders. Now childhood obesity is a raging epidemic in most of the developed world. Years ago, celebrities were admired for their thin physique and strict work ethic. Now, they’re bitterly condemned for portraying something ethereal and unachievable. It’s like a switch has been flicked and society is desperately avoiding conformity by pursuing the exact opposite of what social media dictates.
I understand this is a controversial issue but it’s time to step back and look at what is really happening. Sure, some children still succumb to social pressures to be “perfect” but a far greater majority are overweight and doing nothing about it. Celebrities also face similar crackdowns. When their weight plummets there is an outcry that they’re terrible role models but when their weight fluctuates social commentators immediately jump in gloating. I’m not encouraging anorexia but the current secular trend of obesity is not the way to go either. There needs to be a halfway point.
A while ago, I read an article online that really alarmed me. The winner of an Australian modelling competition was a healthy size 10 (an American size 6) yet the comments were all denouncing the description of her as a “fuller-figured model”. One particular comment stood out to me, a woman claiming that the average woman was a size 16. Since when has being overweight become the norm? In the history of mankind, what happened to make a state of being with increased risks of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and a severely reduced lifespan be seen as healthy?
People need to wake up and realize the truth. Instead of seeing “them” as too thin and “us” as normal, maybe it’s time to think of it as “them” being slightly underweight and “us” as obese. What has happened to the world to make it so cynical and avoidant of responsibility? So much so that accusing someone of anorexia is an insult yet people tiptoe around the topic of obesity. We need to stop shifting blame from the modelling industry to Hollywood to social media and point it at ourselves. We need to stop attributing perfection to good genes and Photoshop. We need to stop criticizing and start doing.
“The media's the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that's power. Because they control the minds of the masses.” - Malcolm X
About the Blogger:
Hi there, I’m Cindy and the name of my deliberately misspelt blog is Oriental Expresso. For me blogging is an outlet to vent my feelings and share pictures of the moment without spamming everyone on my facebook newsfeed. I’m a Dentistry student, which might sound kind of boring but it’s actually…yeah not that interesting. My hobbies include eating, shopping and fangirling over various people in the many TV shows I follow obsessively.
Blog: Oriental Expresso