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Ideal Body Image - Article Example

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Summary
Women have been fighting the long lost battle to get a perfect figure for times immemorial. But, alas there is no such thing as perfection in this world. We simply are not happy with what we have so even if we get what we want at a particular time, our need would change after we get what we desired…
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Ideal Body Image
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Ideal Body Image

All people are different but generally speaking men and women are at odds about the perfect shape of a woman. Women are willing to go through various 'hardships' in order to lose weight and become skinny while men actually admit that they prefer curvier bodies. This is the dilemma that will be discussed in this article. [20]
The society plays an integral part in shaping up a persons belief and sense of right and wrong. Unfortunately it is this very society that breeds insecurities and self-consciousness just because a person is a little different from the rest. The society has created a 'need' for women to get skinnier to remain socially acceptable. The ideal body today is, after all, several sizes smaller than what nature intended for most women. Marcia Hutchinson, a psychologist, says "We live in a culture where it's normal for women to feel we should be thinner, prettier, firmer, and younger, so it's normal for us to have body-image problems". [5] [6] [12]
The portrayal of women in advertisements, dramas and movies are the real influence to the society's perceptions. A chubby woman seeing models like Jennifer Lopez or Kiera Knightly moving around gracefully in movies would feel put off when she compares herself to these models. The fact is since we are bombarded with so many images of thinness and perfection that women, regardless of their weight, are often unhappy with their bodies. They stand in front of their mirrors judging and comparing themselves, and they feel shamed because they feel fat. 'Their legs are too big, their breasts too small, their stomachs are too round'. They dislike the bodies they live in, and as a result, end up disliking the person who lives in that body. [4] [5] [6] [12] [17] [19]
Cases of depression are widely known to be associated with a woman's feeling of being 'fat'. Discussing this problem with a family friend, she informed me that 'we just want to look good'. When I emphasized that she was smart looking, her face turned surly and she ended the conversation telling me that 'guys don't know anything!' This is just one case. There are plenty of women who fall into this category of wanting to 'just look good'.
The fact is that women are more conscious about their weight than men are. There are way more fat weight-conscious women than fat weight-indifferent men. The study was done by Kristen Harrison, associate professor in Speech Communications, along with Laramie D. Taylor of the University of California at Davis, and Amy Lee Marske of Libertyville High School in Libertyville, exposed students on the campuses of two large Midwestern universities to slides of 'ideal body images', selected by a randomly chosen panel of students beforehand, for men and women separately. The conclusions derived from the study were that the ideal body for men was perceived to be big and muscular. To achieve such a body, men considered not eating anything not really a useful strategy. Harrison concluded that eating more makes the men feel a little bit better, and portray a more masculine image to other guys. [8]
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