Body Image and the Media

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Seriously? What on earth does she have to do with the car?

Every day we are bombarded with images in magazines, on TV and cinema screens, on advertising billboards and commercials – slim, beautiful, smiling people who ooze confidence and sensuality.

Why?

Because sex sells.

It’s true – how many adverts for cars have we seen that have a scantily clad young woman lying on the bonnet with a “come hither” look in her eyes? We’re not buying the car – we’re buying the image. “If you own this car, beautiful women will want you! People will see you as desirable and successful!”

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You want a beach body? Get your body on the beach! Your body IS beach ready!

Unfortunately, not many of us are the size and shape of the people portrayed in the media. There are precious few of us that naturally conform to the “ideal” they sell. We are not perfect and can never be – we even know that the models themselves are airbrushed beyond all recognition, but we buy into it anyway, and feel bad about ourselves and our bodies because we don’t “fit”.

Every now and then, someone steps up and speaks out for those who aren’t perfect. Sometimes it’s impossibly gorgeous people like Jenifer Lawrence who are, by Hollywood standards, practically obese. She’s a healthy size and shape and promotes a positive body image message, but she still looks pretty perfect to the rest of us, am I right?

Then there are those bold and beautiful people like Jes Baker of The Militant Baker, who are not perfect, but who step up and show us that people of any shape and size can be, and are, incredibly beautiful, desirable, sexy, and just plain fabulous!

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I love Jes Baker – I agree with her stance on media portrayal. Obviously it’s always better to be healthy, but some people are large and healthy, and some are slim and unhealthy. It’s about health at any size more than anything else. We all are different shapes and sizes – were not shop mannequins – and the sooner the media stops bashing those who do not conform to their idea of perfection, the better, because the western media “ideal” is far from healthy for most people.

We can all strive for perfection – but that perfection is different for everyone!

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