Archive for May, 2010

Article: The Pressures of Media and Society on Body Image

Copyright.

It has become hugely evident over the years the change and shift in the way women view themselves and their bodies. We’ve become a totally media dominated world and whether we’d like to admit it or not, we’re all influenced by the things we see and hear.
Body Image is something that is constantly causing a stir and creating controversy. No matter how we try to avoid it, we are surrounded by magazines bearing covers with beautiful, stick-thin models wearing the latest “trends”, with stand out headlines on how we can “Burn Fat Faster Now!” or “Lose 5kg’s by Friday!”. Television shows such as “The Hills” and “Vanity Lair” show us the only way to be beautiful, memorable and successful is to look a certain way. It seems that we’re never ever good enough.

The pressure has just been constantly increasing, whether it’s a conscious act or subconscious. There have been magazines that have tried to create more publicity for themselves by advertising that they’re starting a “body love” movement to give us the idea they’re changing and advertising “real” women. There was one magazine that advertised on their front cover that the cover-girl was untouched and realistic. Well, how realistic was it really? The cover girl happened to be the former Miss Universe, so of course she would look absolutely beautiful just as she is! What kind of message is this sending out to all of their readers? That even untouched we should look absolutely perfect?

Looks like that magazine took two steps back as opposed to one step forward.

It seems ironic to me that through all this publicity of employing a healthy body image, the media are presenting us with photos of perfectly healthy looking celebrities, and making a huge issue out of calling them “fat” or saying they’ve “let themselves go” just because they gained a few extra kilograms. How is that supposed to make us feel? Take for example, Mischa Barton. This A-lister has a love-hate relationship with the media for the different lights in which they show her. One minute they say she’s looking “frail and gaunt” and the next they claim she’s “bloated and barely recognizable”, what about those women out there who are naturally that size? How would they react to reading such things? It sounds like like the media need to make a decision about which angle they’re going to come from- healthy body image? Or over-analysing weight fluctuation and size?

My own experience with the pressures of media and society on body image has not been a pleasant one. I’ve battled with disordered eating due to hating my body shape because i’m of the curvier end of the spectrum, not one to be highly praised and sought after. I would starve myself for days on end and then become miserable and so depressed because I was hungry, tired and obviously seeing no results that I’d give up and binge on unhealthy foods that would give me instant satisfaction, but make me feel worse in the long run. It took a very long time before I was able to separate myself from the media and societal pressures to learn to love myself in the skin I’m in, and I was only able to achieve that after adopting a healthy eating and regular exercise routine. Because of the way our views of body image have been manipulated and warped, what should come so easy to us- a healthy frame of mind- now requires extensive work to achieve.

It’s hugely disheartening to see the changes that have been made to the way women view themselves over the years, it’s tragic that beautiful women are unable to recognize their amazing qualities because they’re too caught up in stressing over what they ate for lunch or whether they’ll fit into a size 8 pair of jeans.
We shouldn’t be focusing on the “ideal” body shape or weight, which is simply unattainable for the vast majority of females. How long can we sit around and allow this brain-washing to happen? When is someone truly going to take a stand and start transforming the way we view ourselves? Let’s hope it’s soon because sooner or later the damage will be irreversible.

May 31, 2010 at 9:44 am 2 comments

Day 2- Your Favourite Movie

This is EASY! There is one movie that I loved from the moment I saw it right until the hundredth, it extremely intense, stirs up huge amounts of emotion and is one that I firmly believe should be shown throughout high school all over the world.

I present to you…. Thirteen!!!

This film honestly stirs up more emotion in my heart than any other film I’ve seen. It’s so frighteningly realistic and sad… SO well done though. Here’s a brief synopsis:

At the edge of adolescence, Tracy is a smart straight-A student–if not a little naive (it seems…she smokes and she cuts to alleviate the emotional pain she suffers from having a broken home and hating her mom’s boyfriend, Brady.) When she befriends Evie, the most popular and beautiful girl in school, Evie leads Tracy down a path of sex, drugs and petty crime (like stealing money from purses and from stores). As Tracy transforms herself and her identity, her world becomes a boiling, emotional cauldron fueled by new tensions between her and her mother–as well as, teachers and old friends. Written by Miss Kittin

It’s a fantastic movie. I absolutely love it and god knows how many times I’ve seen it. There isn’t one person that I’ve shown it to that didn’t like it, positive reactions all round!

There are two that come in close at 2nd place favourites… First one is…. Girl, Interrupted!

This stars the lovely Winona Ryder who gets submitted to a psychiatric ward for “attempted suicide” which she profusely denies, claiming she had a “headache”, which caused her to follow a bottle of aspirin with vodka. It’s based off a true story and once again captures the truth and reality of some people who are in that situation, stirring up thoughts and emotions and bringing you face to face with issues you may never have considered before.

Here’s a brief Synopsis for Girl, Interrupted:

Susanna is depressed and directionless after finishing high school in the late 1960’s. A suicide attempt lands her in Claymore, a mental institution. She befriends the band of troubled women in her ward (Georgina the pathological liar, the sexually abused Daisy, the burn victim Polly) but falls under the hypnotic sway of Lisa, the wildest and most hardened of the bunch. Will Susanna “drop anchor” at Claymore and perpetually act out like Lisa, or will she finally pull her mind together and leave institutional life behind? Written by Martin Lewison <mlewison@utk.edu>

Next on the list is True Romance:

This is an exciting, action packed film about a couple in love who happen to have pretty stink luck. But true love prevails in the end, after a massive shoot up, leaving all but themselves dead.

Here’s a brief synopsis for True Romance:

Clarence and Alabama are newlyweds who acquire an unexpected wedding present. Unknown to the blissfully happy couple, ruthless gangsters are on their tail, determined to reclaim their lost property Written by Rob Hartill

So there you have it! My favourite of all time is Thirteen, that’ll never change.

What’s your favourite?

xoxo

May 31, 2010 at 4:01 am Leave a comment

Day 1- Your Favourite Song

Anyone who knows me will be aware of just how difficult this question is for me to answer. I love so many bands and truly appreciate each and every one of them and the music the create.
Amongst my favourite bands are: (first and foremost) Red Hot Chili Peppers, Beirut, Radiohead, Guns N’ Roses and more.

It’s hard to define any song as a “favourite” because each of the songs I enjoy are enjoyable because they each create different emotions in me and stir up new thoughts and feelings. Some make me nostalgic, some make me sad, some make me happy and some make me laugh.

So instead of stating just one favourite, I thought I’d list a few of my favourites (in no particular order):

1. Nude- Radiohead. In short, this song makes me feel relaxed, takes me to my happy place and makes me feel incredible comfortable just the way I am… It’s a hard thing for another to understand, but it’s an amazing feeling.

2. Wet Sand- Red Hot Chili Peppers. They are my favourite band, that’s something I just won’t compromise. This song is a melancholy song that reminds me of my best friend Emma. When I listen to it I feel like I’m sitting on a rock down and the heads in summer time with wind blowing through my hair and Emma by my side.  It also reminds me of why I love Anthony Kiedis…

3. Don’t Forget Me- Red Hot Chili Peppers. This song makes me sad and want to cry just a little bit… But it’s special because it helped me get through a LOT of emotionally challenging times. This song reminds me of Tommaso, my Italian Exchange student brother who we hosted for 5 months last year. I was distraught when he left, and this song reminds me of him. Anthony has always been there to guide me through to the sunny side.

4. You’re So Cool- Hans Zimmer. This is the theme song to one of my favourite movies, “True Romance”. It makes me think of love, affection, hope and optimism. I listen to this whenever I’m having a bad day and it helps cheer me up just that little bit.

And there you have it! My top four favourite songs. I’m sure there are others, but I’ll be here all day listing them 😛

Every one of the songs I love have a special and personal meaning to me that spark emotions inside me. I can relate them back to any experience I’ve had, some good, some not so good. But hey, that’s what make them interesting 🙂

Drop me a comment with your thoughts or your favourite song/songs. I’d love to hear 🙂

xoxo

May 30, 2010 at 5:15 am Leave a comment

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Introducing…

Hey there, my name's Jenny. I have a huge passion for cooking/baking, writing, yoga and photography. I love nature and my favourite thing to do is spend an entire day outside, breathing in crisp, fresh air. Even better if I have a pen and paper with me. I started out running in March 2009 but sustained an injury in October 2009 which has unfortunately prevented me from running. I've been experimenting with other kinds of exercise to find another one that clicks. Follow me on my journey to maintaining good health + surviving high school and pursuing a career in Journalism. I Hope you enjoy reading my blog!

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