This video of the popular talk show “Ellen” portrays the obstacles that many women are currently facing in our society due to the demands made by media and society. Portia de Rossi, Ellen’s current wife, speaks about her multiple issues of anorexia, bulimia, and closeted (hiding her homosexuality). As discussed in class, these issues usually erupt around adolescence and are evolving even younger now a day due to models having to be even skinner. Due to our media, young girls are sexualized and self-conscious at a much younger age. Every magazine, advertisement, or even manikins are thinner than the society norm, as well as impossibly thin. At adolescence, your body and mind are not fully developed yet these young girls are damaging themselves both physically as well as psychologically through eating disorders. When these teenage girls should be enjoying their various aspects of life, they are actually self-conscious of their bodies, constantly comparing themselves to others, and starving themselves to reach an impossible physique.
As long as our media system continues to exist, which it will because our economy depends on it, they will continue to portray extreme thinness as the only acceptable body type. What can we as a society do to change this? The belief of any ideal is a personal choice! We can simply decide not to believe it right? We can decide to simply not conform to the society which surrounds us. However, all this is not that simple; this is why our society has reached this point. Instead I feel the possible solution to this epidemic issue is to bring awareness and empathy to our society. We also need to support one another and not accept the Media’s portrayal of what we “should” or should not look like define us or our lives. Instead of recommending thinness we should recommend health and fitness. We need to worry less of what the scale says and more of how we view ourselves in other aspects such as our accomplishments, amazing personalities, and kindness to one another.
Some advertisers have already taken these tactics into consideration. For example, “special K’s” new commercial which shows thicker girls stepping on a big scale in public (while being terrified) and the scale shows positive adjectives! Although this is still about losing weight and a beneficial new way to sell their products, they are still showing this in a positive manner. We should all try to see positive things of ourselves such as joy, peace, funny, and beautiful when stepping on a scale rather than focusing on the number which never seems small enough.
Be Happy. Be healthy.
Lastly, I would like to say that Ellen is one of the most amazing people on this earth and someone I truly admire. I am glad that Portia has such a strong support system by her side and I hope anyone who has or is dealing with any of these issues seeks support from loved ones.