Welcome to the Beyond Body Images blog. Our body image and how we perceive ourselves has become a prevalent problem in modern society, affecting children to adults in a deeply negative way. However, has it always been an issue?
The short answer is, yes and no. Yes, in the sense that people have always had a bias towards a certain type of body ideal in their respective society. No, because a greater variety of body images were more acceptive of in the past. However, it would be a disservice to you to leave it at just that.
So, let’s first look at what the problem of body image was like in the past, and then compare it with the issues we face today.
The early 1900s
In the early 1900s, the body ideal in society was almost the complete opposite of what it is like today. Most women sort after curvy body shapes, pale skin, and clothing that enhanced and complemented this. Most men were either slim, but not muscly, or fat which was a sign of status (that they could afford an overabundance of food for their families) and sported a finely groomed mustache or beard.
Especially for women, being slim or fit (in a muscular sense) was not considered to be an attractive body shape. It even reached such extremes that "scientists" were used in the marketing of pills, medicines, and practices to do that could help women put on weight.
Fast forward to the present and it is very different today and is more likely to experience the same through adverts, social media, and marketing, but for weight loss instead of weight gain.
The problem of body image is related to what is perceived as the perfect body shape. This is nothing new, but the concept of it has changed over the years. The most important factor being how the fashion industry and the media perceive body ideals and project this. Social media is the key contributor to why people are developing an incorrect perception of their body image.
Body image and social media
No matter which type of media we consume, we are bombarded by a constant array of suggestive images that change our perceptions of people in society, ourselves, and our idols. It doesn’t just stop at adults either. Studies by the Osnabruck University Research Committee that children as early as 3 years old can start to develop problems in their perception of body image in society.
This is frightening research, as being affected at such a young age can lead to difficulties in knowing what body image is attainable in society, and what isn’t. It can also lead to a whole range of eating disorders, confidence issues, body dysmorphia, and depression.
However, there is opposite research to show that by the time they become teenagers, they are less and less affected by social media in this way – but it would be wrong to disregard it entirely. This is because people feel the negative effects related to the issue of body image throughout their lives.
So, when did body ideals become important, and become a problem?
They have always been important or a part of the way our society works. All that has changed over the years is the actual body image itself, rather than the problem.
The development of technology has exacerbated the issue due to social media, easy access to the internet, and people feeling more isolated due to their dependence on the same devices that connect us. The solution to these problems lies in the support and education of people to better understand media and the reality of other people’s body shapes, rather than what is “perfected” to present online. Which is why my brand is here to represent beauty in who you are not what you look like, because its showing off that radiant personality that resonates with people, it draws them in.
The education on body image will help prevent the negative effects.
If you’ve been following my business for some time now, you’ll probably already know this – but if you’re new, welcome to our community – I h
ave personally experienced the negative effects that the problem of body image creates. It led to an eating disorder that affected my confidence, hurt my family and friends, and even my social life as I was constantly worried about eating something that wasn't consistent with my daily routine and body image goals.
This is why it is my goal to help prevent these problems from affecting others. Every sale on Beyond Body Images gives a percentage of profit to non-profit organizations with the same goals as us. Right now, a fraction of all sales revenue is being donated to ANAD – a charity that specializes in helping being with eating disorders caused by their perception of body image.
If you’ve found this post interesting, please share it with others on social media so that they can see content that will bring positivity and confidence into their lives. Also, drop a comment if you've been affected by a negative body image, how you are dealing with it, or if you would like advice. Beyond Body Images are always humbled by the power that people can have when they take action and actively seek out to connect on a real level.
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