Social Media and Body Image

I have decided to relate the keyword “body” and The Bluest Eye with a video posted by Common Sense Media. In the video, the narrator said “girls feel more pressured to be camera ready”. This made me think of The Bluest Eye and the idea of being “ruined”. Frieda and Claudia begin talking and Frieda picks up that Miss Dunion tells her mom she is “ruined”. Frieda thinks of being “ruined” as being “big and fat” which is something she dislikes. Claudia suggest to Frieda to exercise and not eat. It was interesting to see how girls think of changing their body image by starving instead of resorting to healthy means. Today’s society is focused around social media. A big trend in society is selfie’s. Selfie’s are people’s first impression of you on social media. Through your selfie’s, you can get likes on Facebook and Instagram. How do you think social media would have affected how Frieda felt about herself being ruined?

In lecture, we discussed that bodies exhibit signs of self-identification. It is up to us to take care of our bodies. Talking about the body is a very vulnerable subject for girls as in Frieda’s case. Young girls go through bodily development and body image issues. However, it is important to be comfortable in the skin that you have. Do you think the video gives good advice to parents who have daughters with body image issues?

Some girls try to conform to social norms and identity or what they think is expected. This expectation of identity and body image can come from the models they see in magazines and celebrities. The ideal of body image that magazines and media portray causes girls to change how they appear to achieve certain looks. Sometimes girls resort to starving, like mentioned before, to achieve the so called “look”. Do you think that beauty is something to be achieved or something we already possess? Furthermore, how does body image affect girlhood?

6 thoughts on “Social Media and Body Image”

  1. I think you bring up an interesting point in that Claudia suggested to Frieda right away to not eat, instead of maybe just eating healthier. Relating that to the video with social media and body image, I think girls sometimes resort to extremes when trying to fit the narrow beauty standards that our society promotes. People jump to things like fad diets and look for acceptance on social media accounts. The video said “beauty is only achieved by changing your appearance.” I think that is an unhealthy but common thought. Instead, people need to realize that their beauty is already within themselves and that they just need to figure out how to express it.

  2. I think this is a very important video for not only children, but also parents. Recently there has been an increase in awareness for children that the media’s portrayal of women is unrealistic. However, the impact of parental influence on a child’s body image may have a more detrimental effect. When a parent does not follow the advice given in the video, such as setting an example for their child, and instead succumbs to the media’s representation of beauty, they add to the unrealistic expectations. Even a simple comment like “are you sure you want to wear that shirt?” makes a young girl self conscious of her body and feel as though she must look like a celebrity in order to gain approval from the people in her life.

  3. The point you bring up to think about Frieda and Claudia in a current-day context is a very interesting one. I believe it likely would have just heightened the sense they feel that they need to live up to a very strict standard of beauty. It’s a story we unfortunately see all too often even today, young women being so pressured by the images put out by advertising and marketing specifically made to heighten their insecurities that they resort to extreme practices to attempt to achieve societally-defined “perfection”.

    Unfortunately, I believe the advice given in the video is over simplified and too idealistic to truly combat the reality of what is going on. Something I feel they should have suggested is to further body-positive campaigns and media, which in recent years has been growing drastically. There are now a lot of alternatives to the more traditional media and marketing promoting an idyllic body image in a detrimental way. Perhaps I’m too cynical, but I believe even a mom’s attempt to “redefine beauty” by reminding her “true beauty is not skin deep” isn’t an effective way to fix the problems. I feel that “beauty”, whether physical or in a more figurative sense, should not be the end goal of one’s journey to self-acceptance. Comfort in one’s own skin comes from within, but doesn’t necessarily have to equate to a gold standard of “beauty”.

  4. I thought this video was really insightful. Women and even adolescent girls are constantly reminded of the ideal body image thanks to the constant intrusion of social media. If Facebook and Instagram existed in Pecola’s age, it certainly would’ve reaffirmed the ideal blonde hair, blue eyed woman with a perfect hourglass shape, which likely could’ve sprouted even more insecurities for her. Unfortunately, it’s posts like these on social media that spark higher rates of eating disorders in young adults.

  5. It is sad that girls feel as though they are not pretty without having “the look”. The look is something that society, along with the media, has made up. There are no concrete definitions of what beauty is, yet there is only one look that girls see as beautiful (i.e. skinny, tall, long hair, clear skin). The fact the media has forced young girls into thinking that this is how they need to look in order to be beautiful is disturbing. No girl should ever feel like she needs to starve herself in order to conform into what society lets everyone believe is beautiful. Girlhood and womanhood are not about looking a certain way, they are about a state of mind and maturity.

  6. I really like this video and the points you made because they show that media sets unrealistic beauty standards for girls. The idea that only one body type is really considered beautiful has a very negative effect on young girls and teens and I believe that this phenomenon needs to change.

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