Reality: We currently live in a world driven by the media. From the Internet, Facebook, Twitter, Magazines, TV shows, “Reality shows”, Commercials, Billboards, and everywhere.
Fantasy: We should all look like the men and women that we see in the media.
Reality: Everyday we are flooded by images and messages of the “ideal self”. The covers of magazines are consistently flashed with headlines stating “Lose 10 pounds in 10 days” or “How to have Flatter Abs.” These headlines are then plastered next to the picture of a celebrity that looks flawless. We then consciously or unconsciously compare ourselves to these same celebrities or images. The images are everywhere that they are difficult to escape even if you are self-aware.
Fantasy: If I do what the article says then I will look like the person on the cover.
Reality: These images are NOT REAL.
Reality: These images are airbrushed, Photoshopped, taken with the best lighting, the most expensive camera, and the most flattering angles. However, they leave the viewer with the message that this is what we should strive to look like. These images don’t just affect adults, but they are shaping and modeling teenagers and young children causing a drastic increase in eating disorders, adolescent plastic surgery, self-harm behaviors, and feelings of low self-esteem.
Fantasy: Beauty is looking like the people in the media.
Reality: We have no idea what an actual person looks like. We have no idea what a typical women looks like naked without airbrushing or Photoshopping. Magazines such as ESPN with it’s the Body Issues (http://espn.go.com/espn/bodyissue) and Allure (http://www.allure.com/celebrity-trends/2011/the-naked-truth-four-celebrities-go-nude-for-allure#slide=1) have done such issues on showing the human body in its naked form. However, they miss the mark again as they are portraying images of athletes and celebrities. These celebrities and athletes make their livelihood on being in shape.
Fantasy: If only I looked like that then my life would be better.
Reality: Celebrities and athletes make up a small percentage of the population.
Then why not create a magazine article or series using images of the majority of the population as your models and role models? Photos of the stay at home mothers, the business women, the teachers, the saleswomen, the sisters, the best friends, the everyday role models. Since the media is not accepting its role and responsibility in the images and messages they send us and our youth then it is up to us. It is up to us to ensure that we and our youth know the difference between REALITY and FANTASY.
Wondering how you can make a difference in yourself and others? Here are some quick tips: