THE TWO EXTREMES OF OUR SOCIETY

November 17, 2013

Jaslyn McCarthy

On a popular men’s website  The world’s most beautiful women of 2013 title is given to women such as Mila Kunis, Rihanna, Angelina Jolie and so on. If I am mistaken, according to my research Mila Kunis weighs as much as the average 15 year old girl as Rihanna is below the average BMI weight.  It is true that no one is perfect, but it is also true that there is no such thing as the ‘most beautiful person of 2013’. These women range from 150cm-175cm and shockingly I did not find one woman out of the 99 individuals on that list to weigh anything over 60 kilograms. It seems that weight defines the amount of beauty one can have. I personally find this immoral and unjust as weight only briefly defines a lifestyle. Us as teenagers–especially if we are female– are the victims and targets of advertising or the media. Because of this, we have all at one stage doubted if we are the correct weight or wondered if we eat too much, because come on guys we assume Beyoncé doesn’t eat McDonald’s. But then it makes me wonder, do these women and men ever not exercise for one day and ever eat what they really want?

From the day we are born our parents and loved ones want us to reach our goals, find our path in life and most importantly be happy and healthy. The individuals we grow up with and are raised by are usually the ones we carry most of our traits from into later on in life. We progress from children into teenagers in roughly twelve years and start to make our own decisions in life. We may start to choose who we are friends with, who we spend our time with and what we wear, but more importantly we have more of a say in what we eat and what we watch. This has left me with the question of; do the media really have an effect on young children and shape their personalities and/or values at such an early stage of life?

In 1995, the average Australian woman weighed 67 kilograms, and latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show she is now tipping the scales at 70.1 kilos. The average Australian man is larger too – he now weighs 85.2 kilos, compared with 82 kilos in 1995. I found these figures confusing as it seems to me that these are based on full grown women and men, not teenagers. What I’m trying to say is that, at this age we are the generation obsessed with being thin and sometimes the line is faded of what’s overweight and what is underweight or ‘beautiful’. As well as equating ugly with the word fat.

Of course there are the perks of advertising such as buying a robotic vacuum cleaner for four easy payments of $14.99, but have we really lost sight of how we should look, what we should weigh and how much we eat? The word fat is now simply just an insult used upon an individual you despise of while the terms ‘skinny’ or ‘beautiful’ can be given to somebody severely underweight. These are the two extremes of our society and sadly, more times than not, define who we are. I have personally had enough of it and believe it is time for a reality check to many young girls and boys out there today.

Although, I am not blaming it entirely on the media for people having different views on how we should look as there are many other factors such as cultural aspects, health reasons, parental input and many other reasons but it is fair to say we perceive many celebrities, sports player’s and other people on our Televisions as the ideal image and the correct weight.

Our world is filled with new fads on how to lose a drastic amount of weight in a matter of months yet surely leaves many people wondering what we are doing to our bodies to force half our original fat content to drop so quickly. Whether it is within the period of a month or a year, why must we lose so much weight? Is it really for us to appeal to our desired sexual orientation? Or is it just to make sure we look like everybody else and maintain a ‘healthy’ lifestyle. There is a very fine line between healthy and unhealthy and at the moment, we seem to be missing it. Advertisements are full of un-natural looking human beings while even our most talented role-models are conforming to our society of two extremes, being overweight or underweight. But then again, what is the happy medium and will we ever find it or be satisfied in our own skin?

– Jaslyn McCarthy

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