People go online for a number of reasons, whether it be to socialise with friends or to find information, but with the increasing development of technology we have more choice than ever with what we can do online. For example on social media sites people are increasingly using Photoshop and other photo editing software to warp their images in someway. Being able to digitally enhance body shape is a problem that can be deceiving and allows people to pretend to be something they’re not. This can cause misrepresented perceptions of what we are actually meant to look like – which in the end just creates a vicious circle. ‘Selfies’ have become a popular trend, as you choose the best angle, lighting and setting to take your photo and can upload it to your social media account. This has become peoples way of looking for approval online – to be told that they look attractive or sexy is at the forefront of everyones minds. According to YouthNet.org ‘75% of young people claimed they could not live without the internet while 86% loved how new technology helps them communicate with people.’ this shows that an increasing number of young people are using the internet, and along with this people are developing ways of changing who they are, and what they look like online. The following link shows a video starring Youtuber and blogger Cassey Ho. The video outlines body shaming, and how speaking about someone else’s appearance can effect the way they see themselves. It shows how easy it is to change our appearance using technology, but if only it could be this simple in real life.
Recently the company ‘Protein World’ released an advertisement in tube stations in London. The ad shows a tall, blonde women standing in her bikini, with the caption ‘Are you beach body ready’ written beside it. This instantly sparked up controversy on social media sites, with people retaliating and calling the ad ‘discriminating’. There has already been a petition begun to take down the advertisements named ‘Remove ‘Are You Beach Body Ready’ Advertisements’. The petition states “Protein World is directly targeting individuals, aiming to make them feel physically inferior to the unrealistic body image of the bronzed model, in order to sell their product (Change.org, 2015). People took to social media to show their disapproval with the advertisement and were tweeting pictures and hash tagging #beachbodyALREADY.
In September 2013 a popular newspaper called The Sun teamed up with photographer Jenny Francis to take photos of male readers to recreating popular advertisement photos for male models. As Dove launched their Real Beauty campaign showing ‘real women’ (as mentioned earlier in the blog), this was a chance for men to have their say. Now, we know that most models have been airbrushed in some way to enhance their chiseled muscles or darken their already unnatural tan, but what would it be like to see real, natural men doing the modelling? Well, The Sun got four everyday men to stand in the same underwear, in the same poses as the male models and put the photographs side by side. Here are the products below:
Although these images are just a bit of fun, hopefully they have and will continue to encourage men to accept their bodies and show that not everybody is the same. Read more
The short answer is yes.
It’s not just women who suffer from dissatisfied body image and low self esteem – it’s men too. Increasingly, magazines, social media sites and advertisements are using celebrities and toned men with perfect physique to promote products. Being exposed to these unrealistic images in the media can lower self esteem and cause increasing issues regarding appearance. Only over the past few years has there been an increase in larger women used in the media, to advertise products and promote companies. But it seems there has been a lack of plus sized models for men (Lovejoy, 2014). The following quote is taken from an article written by Dennis Campbell for The Guardian.
“More than four in five men (80.7%) talk in ways that promote anxiety about their body image by referring to perceived flaws and imperfections, compared with 75% of women. Similarly, 38% of men would sacrifice at least a year of their life in exchange for a perfect body – again, a higher proportion than women” (Campbell, 2012).
This staggering figure indicates just how much men are affected, and that they also face problems with body image and confidence. Marketers obviously can increase sales with skin care and weight loss products through using men with perfect skin and chiseled bodies, but it is clear this has a large effect on men. Not only that – but women love the way these men look, which worsens the problem even further. It has become a trend for men to go to the gym and get 6 packs and toned muscles, and a number of these men have probably been influenced by online media. When people feel too fat or too thin – it can lead to unhealthy things. Eating disorders and over exercising are just a couple of the many problems men (and women) face in the bid to create a satisfying body image. Read more