**TRIGGER WARNING** Body image and eating disorders discussed
So sorry in advance… this is a bit of a rant. I was not originally planning on writing bout this topic, but after a conversation began on a comment I left on this HuffPost Women article, I realized I had to share with you my feelings and frustrations about the response.
To sum up the article – it was the coverage of a possible new legislation that would limit and in some cases prohibit the use of photoshop in ads to change and improve a model’s appearance. This is proposed because of the growing dangers that these highly impossible beauty standards are placing influential young people into – from severe body image self-consciousness to full on eating disorders. The same way that glamorizing smoking in an ad was made illegal because of the harm proven to cause to the human body, these highly photoshopped ads are harming our youth.
Well, I commented on this article expressing my praise and approval of the law for these reasons of improving realistic standards and role models in image, and was surprised by the response I received, as well as many other negative comments the article was receiving.
Many people commented along the lines of why is congress wasting their time with such a stupid issue? and the likes.
And the man who responded to my comment (whose name I will keep anonymous) wrote:
Oh, okay. So I’m calling teens stupid and am not giving them enough credit for realizing someone is “faking” them. And apparently I also take ads to seriously because they’re not really “reality.” CLEARLY I am mistaken, and this middle aged man knows more about the influence of media on young teenage [mostly] women than I, a young, self-conscious, twenty-something woman, do.
Sorry sir, but I disagree. I just don’t understand how people can be so blind to what is happening with the youth nowadays in regards to the media. To say that congress is “wasting their time” by dealing with a very real and harmful/damaging issue with American youth, is like saying we schools waste their time by teaching. Is it not [one of] congress’ job to oversee and engage the government in positive changes in our society meant to protect and improve life in America?
So to you haters of improving the realism of advertisements in order to promote self-happiness and healthiness in our youth, I respond:
I am not saying that teens are stupid, but they are in a developmental phase of their life where they are easily influenced by the beauty-perfection standards the media is constantly throwing in their faces. Whether or not ads are based on reality, they ARE setting this standard purely for their frequency in the media which is paraded in front of young people much more (and at much younger and more influential ages) than any generation before could understand or compare it to. It IS a very real issue that is causing many eating disorders (see my last blog post on horrific body-image statistics) and in general affecting the esteems of our youth and therefore, an important issue for congress to look at improving.
And to you anonymous-man-responder: If you can’t see the affect that these standards are having on youths and think that I’m understimating teens ability to realizing their being “faked”, then maybe you’re not giving the media and their influence ENOUGH credit.
…I know people are entitled to their own opinions and all, but this one really got my blood boiling. What do you all think? Is it simply a generational divide, or are people really being persuaded to believe that body image created by the media is really not a real issue? Comment and let me know you’re feelings on reader’s responses to the new legislation!