SECONDARY SOURCE INTEGRATION
Stereotypes are confirmation that certain specific roles are specifically designed for a particular gender or group of people. Stereotype play a critical role in the process of elimination of personal choices in various matters of interest. Living to the standards of the stereotypes caused a lot of physical and emotional damage to self since most of the expectations are usually unrealistic. The women’s body image has experienced a lot of stereotypes because of the general quest for acceptance in society. Different scholars and authors share different views on the subject of women body’s image. The women’s body image issue is strongly related to both physical aspect of the matter and the psychological aspect which is related to the attitude.
Most of the cultures in the world reveal that women are greatly obsessed by the existing myth of beauty. The acceptance of these myths is influenced by the existence of various media influence that is consumed from television and social media (Stice et al., 2014). The effect of social media on behaviour and character is indisputable due to the fact that most trends in various parts of the world have been as a result of the power of social media. Therefore, most of the stereotypes on the state of the women body emanate from trending believes in the media.
Over the years, the media has fuelled the belief that slim women are more attractive than those with a lot of body flesh. Additionally, the media has always hailed the light skinned women as beautiful and looked down upon the women with dark skins (Stice et al., 2014). The repercussion of these media influences has been great and contributed to some life-threatening decisions among the women. For instance, most dark skinned women have been taking different therapies and medication with the intention of making themselves beautiful in the eyes of society.
Similarly, it is reported that most of the women who enrol in the gym program are pushed by the societal demand to slim in order to be accepted as beautiful (Stice et al., 2014). The gym programs and cosmetic industries have been booming recently due to the push from these beliefs in myths about women body. The infiltration of these myths into the hearts of the youths has been pushed mainly through social media and electronic media. The fitness programs are blended by the dieting process to achieve the desired body. It is a fact that most women strain in a quest to please the society.
The quest for acceptance in the society makes the myths about women body seem true despite the fact that they are misguided. Most of the women fight for acceptance in society and this leads to extreme measures of changing their body to suit the needs of the society. It is generally reported that most women have suffered while trying to please society.
The stereotype about women sends an unhealthy message to both men and women (Grabe et al., 2017). The women currently believe that there is a type of women that the men desire to have. Therefore, most of these women work round the clock to achieve the status of acceptance in society. Some of the measures taken by women are dangerous especially those that deal with cosmetic industries. Women have been forced to go for plastic surgeries and other beauty procedures that are not entirely healthy.
On the other hand, the agenda of women body has also contributed to the issue of violence against women (Grabe et al., 2017). The discussion on women’s body subjects people to think that somehow men have control over the looks and dress of the women. These incidences make women subjects of men and deny them the ability to control their thoughts and beliefs.
Grabe et al (2017) argue that the worst violence that has been done to women has been acceptance of the beliefs and myths about their body. This form of violence is worse than having to beat the women or subjecting them to hard conditions. While most women believe they need to look like superstars and models seen in the media, fostering acceptance of the natural body for the women would go a long way in killing the myth in the society.
The issue of dieting and use of make-ups has become one of the popular practices in the current society that influence women behaviors (Polce-Lynch et al., 2011). Make-ups have basically been a factor of copying the ideas that are seen in the media and television screens. The ladies are the most affected because of the fact that women have always been considered to be items of popularity and media display (Polce-Lynch et al., 2011). The amount of effort put in maintaining these looks and display. The effort made by the women could be considered to be draining because of the time and effort put while trying to achieve satisfactory levels.
The body image stereotypes have gone a great level of affecting the children in the society. The impact on the children has been fueled by the fact that children have been made to believe that emulating other people is part of living a real life in the current world (Polce-Lynch et al., 2011). The acceptance of the abnormal and using it to replace what was initially normal has made people who are conservatives seems as enemies of progress and good in the society. However, the biggest concern is whether there is anything the society can do currently to change the beliefs about women body.
It is believed that the societal beliefs about women body have been planted in the hearts of people in society either directly or indirectly (Polce-Lynch et al., 2011). While media is thought to be playing an important role in this influence, the reality is that upbringing and parenting play a major role in determining people’s view on the body of women. Parents play a major role in fostering the right beliefs and ideas in the minds of the children. Children become what they see and it is the duty of the parent to make them see the right things that will help them avoid bad ideas concerning women’s body.
Fighting myths about women body start by teaching the children that supporting these stereotypes is unacceptable (Grabe et al., 2017). Realization of total disregard of the beliefs about women body at a young age helps in fostering good behaviours that will help the women accept how they look and appreciate their natural beauty.
The young women are the most affected by the myths that surround the acceptance of the body of the women. It is reported that most women have been dieting with the intention of realizing the most perfect body that the society greatly desire. It is interesting to note that even men are affected by the myths about the look as most of them are always required to seem strong and realize great body that proves the masculinity. These ideas have brought great harm in society by fueling the myths and beliefs that make the young girls and women vulnerable to the snares of the men and the society.
In conclusion, the issue of women body is among the greatly controversial issues in the current society. The myths about women differ from one society to another despite the existence of general principles around the issue. Men are believed to have a major contribution to enhancing the beliefs in this myth. Additionally, social media and television also play a critical role in enhancing the acceptance of these myths. The acceptance of the myths impacts the society greatly when it begins at childhood since most of the childhood exposure determines the adulthood behaviours. Teaching the society that media personalities are not as perfect as they seem will greatly help in enhancing acceptance among the women as they will appreciate how they look without comparing themselves with other persons. The risky activities and behaviours among the ladies reduce significantly with reduction in the stereotypes that judge the women and list them in the group of beautiful or less beautiful.
Grabe et al (2017). The role of the media in body image concerns among women: a meta-analysis of experimental and correlational studies. Psychological Bulletin, 134(3), 460.
Polce-Lynch et al (2011). Adolescent self-esteem and gender: Exploring relations to sexual harassment, body image, media influence, and emotional expression. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 30(2), 225-244
Stice et al (2014). Relation of media exposure to eating disorder symptomatology: an examination of mediating mechanisms. Journal of abnormal psychology, 103(4), 836.