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Simply too much? (1 Viewer)

Sunshine_Haze

Senior Member
“Body image”, not one of the most popular of discursive essay topics and maybe not regarded as highly as the common controversial issues such as euthanasia, xenophobia or capital punishment. However, many who appear to look or dress differently are stereotyped and judged, but those who simply do not approve. In the 21st century body image is becoming a more and more critical issue, but should people be condemned for having- I’ll put this as delicately as possible- unusual taste? Or has so-called “style” surpassed even its own limits?

Open any magazine dedicated to teenagers, women or even men. Practically every page is littered with catwalk fashions, gorgeous skinny models or the latest accessories. Women’s magazines are especially bad, “10 ways to quickly lose weight”, “5 steps to perfect skin” and “Get that catwalk look in under 30 minutes”. What has happened to individuality? Has it evaporated? Have we all become mindless supermodel wannabe’s? Are we merely copy-cat clones of two-dimensional airbrushed figures that appear before us in magazines and on television? I hope not. Let’s face it, if we realistically want to look remotely like them we’d need to have a healthy bank balance to achieve such perfection, as silicone would need to be purchased and surgeons would need to be consulted. Obviously we all want to be pretty. We all want to be gorgeous. We all want to look our best, and dream of being as good looking as Jennifer Lopez or Catherine Zeta Jones, and those who say they don’t, well they’re lying. The media has a significant influence on millions, making some feel ugly, unwanted and depressed. Even supermodels, Naomi Campbell for example, feel miserable due to the pressure from the media, most models have drug habits which have derived from their insecurity and depression, and in severe cases even suicide. Some are even driven to diets, or just not eating at all causing anorexia or bulimia. It’s one thing to be gorgeous on the outside, and quite another to beautiful, happy and content on the inside, as this proves.
As TLC, popular American girl band, said in one of their songs titled “unpretty”

“You can buy your hair if it won’t grow,
You can fix your nose if he says so.
You can buy all the make-up
That Mac can make
But if, you can’t look inside you
And find out, who am I too?
You’ll be in a position to make you
Feel so, damn unpretty.”

Of course your own body image is altogether your own decision and nobody else can dictate what you should and shouldn’t look like. In this day and age, which is the year 2004, isn’t our century all about innovations, independence and individuality? After all when applying for a job, nine times out of ten it is the person that stands out from the crowd that gets it. When a new band or artist comes out, their success is determined by whether or not they hold the X factor, which initially makes them different from anybody else. Thank goodness individuality still exists. This is evident whenever you abandon small village lifestyles and encounter city life. In small villages colouring your hair, piercing your body or getting a tattoo doesn’t go unnoticed and is considered a sin. Although when you experience the freedom that city life allows it is simply acknowledged as well, I was going to say “normal” but more your own choice.

In cities as multi-cultural as Glasgow, Edinburgh or London people can dress or wildly or discreetly as they wish. Whereas where I live I would think twice about wearing a certain pair of boots for fear of what people might say. In large cities it is easier for instance, for men to wear make-up? To some this seems bizarre and indeed, I suppose in a way it is, but surely it is their decision? And, why not? Our idol male Hollywood stars do. Even men wearing women’s clothes, shouldn’t bother us. If women can wear trousers, men can wear skirts. But society doesn’t allow it to be as black and white as that. The previous statement sound a bit candid, but in this age you have to be if you want to be heard. David Beckham, he wore a skirt- or “sarong” as it is properly named. Yes, he was criticised but nobody is disputing his footballing skills or debating his masculinity, are they? We have to expand the minds of our next generations, not limit them to certain ways of thinking, that’s not fair.

We think the style of many in our generation is outrageous? God forbid what the next generations will wear? Hopefully, whatever they feel comfortable in. Hopefully, by that time society will have freed itself from the stereotypical chains of how a person ought to be, that it currently owns. I am not saying I approve of all fashions (flat shoes I’ll never understand), and don’t get me wrong I am in no way shape or form an outrageous dresser (with the exception of Halloween of course) or an out and out exhibitionist (although it has been known on a Friday night whilst wearing my rose tinted vodka goggles). However, I am a strong believer in our civil rights, such as our right to freedom of speech. Democracy is such a versatile thing, you can pin point any issue and link it to democracy. Body image is how an individual wants to look and in theory under the terms of democracy we are within our rights to look how we want, obviously with the exception of indecent exposure, naturally
 

Stacy

Senior Member
This has a really interesting topic, but it reads more like a rant than an analytical essay or article. I think there's a lot to like about this piece. It's very important as it is an issue most women have to battle, but you need to stay away from generalizations and use a more professional tone.

Examples:
However, many who appear to look or dress differently are stereotyped and judged, but those who simply do not approve.

Not only does this seem to be a generalization, I'm not entirely sure what you are getting at. Dress differently than what?

Open any magazine dedicated to teenagers, women or even men. Practically every page is littered with catwalk fashions, gorgeous skinny models or the latest accessories. Women’s magazines are especially bad, “10 ways to quickly lose weight”, “5 steps to perfect skin” and “Get that catwalk look in under 30 minutes”. What has happened to individuality? Has it evaporated? Have we all become mindless supermodel wannabe’s?

Lacks specfics here. Gorgeous skinny models? Define skinny. Maybe if you could the BMI (body mass index) of an average model and prove it to be unhealthy. Also by calling them "gorgeous skinny models," you are confirming the belief that you are fighting: that skinny equals beautiful.

Also maybe you could pull one or two specific magazines and go into detail on your analysis here. Maybe you could show "love your body" articles contradict other articles that focus on becoming the skinniest you can be.

Also the use of so many questions gives this a bit of an amateurish tone.

Obviously we all want to be pretty. We all want to be gorgeous. We all want to look our best, and dream of being as good looking as Jennifer Lopez or Catherine Zeta Jones, and those who say they don’t, well they’re lying. The media has a significant influence on millions, making some feel ugly, unwanted and depressed.

More generalizations.

I like the use of the TLC song. Funny thing. If you look at songs that promote healthy body image (Unpretty, Bootylicious, Video), they are all written by black women. In African-American culture, there is a different attitude towards curves and beauty in general. A couple years ago, I found myself trying to explain to an African-American coworker just why white girls feel fat unless they look like they just walked out of a concentration camp. "What?! It's okay to have soft places on your body?"

In cities as multi-cultural as Glasgow, Edinburgh or London people can dress or wildly or discreetly as they wish. Whereas where I live I would think twice about wearing a certain pair of boots for fear of what people might say. In large cities it is easier for instance, for men to wear make-up? To some this seems bizarre and indeed, I suppose in a way it is, but surely it is their decision?

It's funny that you bring yourself in so late. Either make your presence in the text known at the beginning, or don't do it at all.

Um, hope this helps.
 
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