Body Image Essay, Research Paper
Millions of Americans ? women and men ? have a secret obsession. They’re obsessed
with how they look, who wouldn?t like a flatter stomach? They worry that their thighs are too
flabby, their breasts are too small, their arms are too scrawny, their face is too chubby, their body
build is too small ? any body part can become the focus of this obsession. Quite obviously, most
people care about how they look. I have found that most of these insecurities are a prodigy of
media: television, magazines, dolls, action figures, and so forth.
Surveys have shown that many of us are dissatisfied with some aspect of how we look. In
the survey I conducted I found a few answer about the body image society paints for today?s
world. Today?s body image is set by the way Hollywood wants it. The image?s of health and
beauty portrayed by doll and action-figures are unrealistic or impossible to achieve because the
human body is not created to look like Barbie or GI Joe. We develop our ideas of health from
school, home, and media; ?home? being the most accurate portrayal. Many people think that a
healthy body is firm, proportioned, and slim. Everyone agreed that one can attain a health body
by simply eating properly and keeping active. Many also said that Hollywood?s new ultra-skinny
look is not attractive at all and. This can effect any child or adult
Every year Barbie?s waist gets a little smaller and her bust a little larger. Toys do have an
effect on a child?s perception of health and beauty. Children often learn by examples. Mattel is
making millions a day because every girl in America has a Barbie. Changing the appearance of
Barbie?s size 2 waist and D cup bust would benefit America?s young women. Changing the way
young boys perceived muscles, perhaps by decreasing the massive size of GI Joe?s muscles, would
also lower the usage of steroids and other muscle building drugs.
I went to a local Target and examined a few popular doll and action figures. These toys
had many things in common. Each item was flawless, no acne, love handles, double chins,
thunder thighs- NOTHING. In fact these so-called ?human-like? dolls were perfect! Yet, one
thing was wrong, I could not find one person that resembled Cheerleading Barbie or Surfboarding
Ken in the entire Target store. If one wanted to look like any of the dolls on those shelves they
would most likely spend many years at the plastic surgeons office because it is not realistic for the
average body to do it alone by eating right and exercising. ?Dolls might be planting in boys?
minds a template for a he-man?s body that cannot be attained without engaging tin obsessive
behaviors to build muscle and strip off fat, and then augmentation those efforts through the
consumption of drugs like human growth hormone and anabolic steroids.? It has been proven
that if Barbie was real that she would not be able to reproduce or even stand up because of her
unnaturally thin body. Sadly enough these dolls and action-figures tell those who play with them
that beauty lies in ?abs of steel,? clear skin, and dangerously thin or unattainable muscular bodies.
The methods to which people to go to change their body can often be physically and
mentally dangerous. People go to great length is pursuit to alter their bodies. Dieting pills,
excessive exercising, eating disorders, surgeries and ?muscle supplements? are among many
popular modes to changes one?s appearance. Doctors have always accented the dangers of
muscle-building drugs. These harmless drugs suppress sperm production and raise the risk of
heart attacks, strokes, liver disease, not to mention increase an increased chance of getting cancer.
It has been proven that some dieting pills have caused heart attacks and even death. All of these
methods are becoming more common everyday, but the dangers remain a threat to living a healthy
Because of society?s portrayal of beauty, we are lead to think that we’re not pretty enough
or sufficiently handsome. If we do not resemble Barbie or Ken many strive to get that often
impractical look. Who wouldn’t like smoother skin, more attractive eyes, a flatter stomach? If we
could look better, most of us would. Indeed, most of us try. We need to change to way a normal
body is depicted.