Sunday, June 19, 2011

People, please!!

Yesterday some group members in my weekly ANAD group brought up the role that media has in creating body dissatisfaction and obsession in girls and women. From what I understand, advertisement in magazines can be extremely misleading, with many (most?) celebrities and models airbrushed and photo-shopped into shapes and forms not known to actual humans. Today I looked at this week's People magazine and saw the following:

Page 72: Jordin Sparks on "How I lost 30 lbs." See her new, sexier silhouette! Now that she's lost weight, she's sexier than ever!
Page 77: Bikini confessions: Stars pose in bikinis and talk about their bodies. Paris Hilton was accused of looking pregnant when she weighed 125. Boo hoo.
Page 82: Bikinis at every age: 22 celebrities in bikinis, ages 20 - 53.
Page 85: No shirt required: a bunch of hot hunky guys without their shirts, looking very buff and probably making lots guys feel insecure about their lack of six pack ripped abs.
Page 92: Real bodies, real sizes: more celebrities in bikinis! And they're all different sizes. My goodness, alert the media. Oh wait, People is the media. For shame!
Page 99: Looking half their age: 4 stars in their 40s in... yep, more bikinis.
Page 106: 20 Beach Ready Tips: featuring Bethany Frankel in a... you guessed it, a bikini.
Page 108: Hoda's sizes revealed!: Um.... raise your hand if you care.
Page 110: Most buzzed about body parts: guys and girls reduced to parts, from Pippa's bum to Charlie Sheen's ripped torso (is it just me who thinks he looks more like a heroin addict than a hottie?) to Cameron's biceps.

In other words, almost half this magazine was dedicated to objectifiying people as bodies. These images and concepts are saturating us, reducing people to mere bodies, equating thinness with sexiness. If an alien landed on our planet and read this magazine, he or she or it would believe that bodies alone make people interesting, acceptable, and famous.

I don't have anything against looking good (whatever that means) and being healthy. I like to think I can rock a bikini, but how I look in swimwear doesn't define me or my life. It's appalling to see people reduced to body parts, when we as humans have so much to offer in terms of creativity, humanity, intelligence, love, generosity, and spirit.

Ever watch movies from the 1940s? In those days, movie star women were women. Sure, they had curves and killer looks - and also quick wit, fierce intelligence and humor. Nowadays, there aren't many women in movies (or magazines). They are all supposed to look at act like teenage girls until the age of 60+, when they can play serious but not sexy roles as congresswomen, lawyers and the like.

The media is objectifying people and infantalizing women. Enough, already!

Comments and questions are welcome.  Please share on Facebook and/or Twitter so more people can benefit from the information on this blog.

"Like" me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter

Legal Disclaimer:  The content on this site is for educational and informational purposes only.  It is not intended as psychotherapy or as a substitute for psychotherapy advice, diagnosis or treatment.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Just found this blog...I have not read the magazine...I figured I'd just save myself 5 bucks :) And now that you've broken it down, I am glad I did lol. But I agree with your statements about body image and how our country continues to encourage the obsession with body image, size, perfection, and weight loss. I am struggling with bulimia in the LA/SFV treatment and recovering now (thank God and my self) and finishing my Psy.D.

These articles just continue to objectify and women. Make us "regular" women feel "abnormal" and fat.

I like your statement "how I look in swimwear doesn't define me or my life." I am trying hard to believe this also!

Enjoyed reading your blog!