The Impact Of Media On My Body Essay Example

The Impact Of Media On My Body Essay Example

People may claim that first impressions are important, but being primarily based on one’s physicality, how valid are they? Through the media, we continue to reinforce certain ideologies, specifically, those pertaining to gender and culture. These ideologies further condition us to think a certain way about people based on their physical appearance. As a result, they cause us to think dichotomously, rejecting the potential for other possibilities that object current societal norms and standards. The judgements people make about me are not driven by my body itself but rather result from a series of ideologies.The Impact Of Media On My Body Essay Example

The judgements we make based on physical appearance are a result of a combination of norms, stereotypes and social constructs that overtime, we have created and continue to create as a society. As a result of stereotypes, the colour of my skin often leads to many false assumptions about my identity. I grew up in a very multicultural neighbourhood and often found myself subjected to prejudice by several people at my school. It was brought to my attention that people who I had never even spoken to, assumed I was wealthy and spoiled. I was often told that my life was a dream and that my family and I had it easy. Assuming that all white people are privileged in every single aspect of their lives reflects dichotomous thinking. This form of thinking perceives all white people as being the same. In reality, people with white skin can come from many diverse backgrounds and financial situations.The Impact Of Media On My Body Essay Example

There is no doubt that my white skin privileges me in different ways. Through the institutional dimension of oppression, Collins confirms the varying levels of privilege among groups. However, the narrow assumptions about my white skin reflect a single story that has much more depth. I am the daughter of an Italian immigrant who grew up with little money and educational opportunity. The upbringing of my parents has shaped them into hardworking and humble individuals. They have instilled these two important values in my older brother and I. People who do not truly know me, would never know these details of my story. According to Adichie, single stories are not entirely accurate and the single story relating to the colour of my skin does not account for the sacrifices and struggles that my family has endured. In many movies, the spoiled and rich character is often played by a white male or female. Before drawing conclusions about someone based on their skin, it is important to critically consider other circumstances that can exist within their life.The Impact Of Media On My Body Essay Example

The way in which I dress and present myself makes people see me in one way as a result of. I have always taken a great interest in fashion and makeup. Growing up, I wanted to be a fashion designer. It was not until high school where I realized that fashion and makeup were solely hobbies and my true passion was in science. The day of my high school graduation was the moment in which my sociological imagination was activated. I was graduating with a certificate of excellence in Biotechnology. Feelings of honour and accomplishment were quickly replaced with embarrassment and anger as a male teacher questioned my achievements. Looking down at my dress, high heeled shoes and examining the glitter on my eyelids, he told me that I did not resemble the type of student that is fit for the sciences. To this day, I continue to ponder, what does the type of person fit for the sciences supposed to look like anyway? I am well aware that the prejudice that I experienced that day is due to a broader social issue. Females who take pride in fashion and makeup may be stereotyped as superficial, vain and unambitious. They may appear as shallow people who lack substance with a main concern on appearance. Rather than resembling vanity, I view makeup and fashion as an art, a therapy and ultimately a way to express my creativity. Just because I enjoy the practice of makeup and fashion does not mean that I cannot be passionate and good in the sciences too. In movies, science students are often portrayed as the quintessential nerd. This is typically a socially awkward male, with glasses, braces, etc. We must stop labelling people and making generalizations based on their appearance. In my late elementary and early high school years I had mild acne.The Impact Of Media On My Body Essay Example

These little bumps on my face had a huge impact on my confidence. I was often told by people to simply wash my face or drink more water. Some people with acne are even blamed for this skin condition and may be considered unhygienic. This is a common stereotype and oversimplification of acne. I was well aware that my acne was far beyond my control and rather due to my oily skin type and genetics. Although I knew that my acne was not my fault, I still felt bad and embarrassed about it. I felt as if I was judged and criticized whenever someone looked at me. Commercials often advertise models with airbrushed skin promoting skin care products. These products not only guarantee healthy looking skin but also claim to be fast acting. These commercials continue to socially construct acne into something unpleasant that should be taken care of. Equating clear skin to healthy skin is a very faulty concept that can make people with acne feel as if they are ill or diseased. Rather than emphasizing the importance of achieving clear skin, we must reconceptualise the way we see acne. It should be viewed as a skin condition beyond one’s control. Collins highlights the importance of expressing empathy towards one another. We must understand that the treatment process is long, painful and often psychologically damaging. With empathy, we will refrain from making judgements about people based on what we see in the media.The Impact Of Media On My Body Essay Example


When I first meet people, they automatically assume I am Italian. Some people say that my name gives it away, others refer to my nose. There are many stereotypes and associations that are linked to the Italian culture, big noses happen to be one of them. I have never had an issue with my nose until my early teens. I often feel as if it is too big and unflattering from certain angles. These negative thoughts about my nose still exist within my mind today. I sometimes contemplate whether I should invest in a rhinoplasty in the near future. Would it make me happier? Would I feel better about myself? But before I start putting money aside for an extremely invasive, expensive and high-risk surgery, I need to critically consider where my insecurities come from. I can activate my sociological imagination by considering how my insecurities are a result of societal issues, norms and ideals. Models on social media all seem to possess similar features. They are often tall, have big lips, tanned skin, nice eyes, are thin yet curvy in all the right places and have a cute button nose. Naturally, people have different nose shapes due to their genetics and ethnicity. These models however, likely achieved their noses with the help of a plastic surgeon. Plastic surgery is a very controversial practice. If someone can change something about themselves in order to increase their confidence and improve their quality of life, why not take the pain?The Impact Of Media On My Body Essay Example

The real question is, why and how have certain physical features been socially constructed to reflect beauty? We attach meanings, both positive and negative to different nose shapes based on a certain ideal. This is how beauty has been socially constructed in this generation. Ultimately, this beauty paradigm is dangerous, making people feel as if they need to possess these unattainable and unnatural features in order to be considered attractive.

There are many meanings attached to certain features on my body. Stereotypes, norms and social constructs influence the judgements that I receive. Through our paradigm of social constructivism, Dr. Nakamura encourages us to challenge the ideologies that have been normalized. We must acknowledge stereotypes, norms and social constructs as reasons as to why we are judged. It is important for us to be critical of these commonsensical beliefs pertaining to gender and culture. If we continue to accept these beliefs, we will never progress as a society. Human beings have the power to remake the status quo into one that dismisses common stereotypes and norms. This will allow us to refrains from making narrow judgements and instead take the time to get to know one another for who we truly are and not what we appear to be. The Impact Of Media On My Body Essay Example

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