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A Different Perspective

For the past hour or two, I have been pondering interesting topics I could potentially blog about for this class. As I logged onto this blog site, I realized that someone has just recently blogged about how “the perfect woman” may look in the eyes of society, so I started to think to myself. I thought since society puts such high standards on women and commercial ads show Photoshop images of women, I wondered if the same thing goes for men in society. I ended up finding some commercials on YouTube that supports my idea that it is not just women who are viewed by their looks in society, but also men. For instance, I’m sure many or you are familiar with the Old Spice commercials. The commercial shows an incredibly muscular man who washes himself with Old Spice body wash. The message of the commercial is that if you too wash yourself with Old Spice body wash, you could look like the guy in the commercial. The commercial is inferring that the perfect man should have a six-pack abs and ripped muscles.

Another example I found was with a Heineken commercial. In this commercial, this guy is portrayed as being somewhat extraordinary in the sense that he can do just about anything and everything, all because he drank Heineken. This commercial portrays the “perfect man” as being a Heineken drinker, and by being a Heineken drinker, he can accomplish just about anything his heart desires.

Now, I’m not trying to make this a gender argument that one gender has it worse than the other, but I just wanted to state that I find it interesting that we, as a society, put such high standards on the looks of the opposite sex, some of which can cause illness or illegal actions. For instance, we’ve all seen the magazine cover that says, “Get the perfect beach body for the summer!” or something of that sort. The Photoshop images of the woman in these magazines are as thin as a real, but are also so curvaceous in other areas. I feel that these images tempt woman to alter their body through surgery so that they too could have “the perfect body” or use other methods such as starvation, which can lead to anorexia, to slim down to that “perfect size.” Then on the other hand, you have the man with the incredible abs and ripped arms. From my personal experience of being a college athlete and being around guys in the weight room all the time, I know for a fact that these images make guys want to push themselves even harder in hopes to one day look like that. But the problem with these images is that they are not real, but rather Photoshop. When these guys cannot manage to put on the muscle they see in the images, they resort to illegal actions, such as taking steroids. I’m not proud to say it, but I do know people who have resorted to steroid use in order to obtain these incredible bodies that society views as “perfect.”

I think in a larger picture, if we, society, can somehow eliminate the use of Photoshop in commercials and images in magazine and what not, we wouldn’t have to worry as much about illnesses such as anorexia. If that “perfect body” standard is eliminated as a whole in society, people would start to feel much more better about themselves and have more self confidence. Once that is done, then anyone could be a model, since there wouldn’t be any standards on size.


3 Comments

  1. alemara123 says:

    I really hate how the commercials and ads represent women using Photoshop as you mentioned. I think the standards for an ideal woman and man should be their achievements, their morals, and their success instead of their looks or muscles. If we take these standards into mind, we wouldn’t see some of the illness’ that we suffer from today such as anorexia, depression, low self-esteem, and others. We need a huge campaign to educate people about this and to make the media stop influencing the bad standards of looks and muscles.

  2. maelsaye says:

    I love that you pointed out the fact that men have to work toward an impossible perfect image as well. In class, we only focus on how women are photoshopped in the media and how women’s beauty is always scrutinized, but people seem to forget that this happens to men all the time as well. Men in ads always have six pack abs, insanely huge biceps, and a perfectly sculpted jaw line. In reality, not many men look remotely close to that. I completely agree that photoshop in commercials and magazines needs to be eliminated. When we eradicate these impossible ideas of not only the perfect woman, but the perfect man as well, I believe we will start to see a decrease in the bigger problems like anorexia and depression throughout society as a whole.

  3. lysaleh says:

    I really like this post. I completely agree about the after effects of eliminating photoshop in the use of advertisements and media. Growing up I never had an issue with body image, because I was always very athletic, and I never felt the burden of having to stress about curves and whatnot until high school.You’re constantly compared and criticized by everyone around you (especially when you have co-ed swim/PE classes) throughout your high school years. I think this is the toughest time when the majority of people develop issues with their own body image. We get these ideas about having the perfect body from shows and magazines, and idolize these superficial “perfect” women. I remember walking into a friend’s room when I was younger and seeing cut outs from magazines of all these unbelievably beautiful and thin women that were her motivation to lose weight. While it is great to want to be more healthy, we need to teach the younger generation to look up to HEALTHY and fit bodies, not anorexic-looking photoshopped images of women.

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