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Body Image

Millions of Americans ? women and men ? have a secret obsession. They’re obsessed

with how they look, who wouldn?t like a flatter stomach? They worry that their thighs are too

flabby, their breasts are too small, their arms are too scrawny, their face is too chubby, their body

build is too small ? any body part can become the focus of this obsession. Quite obviously, most

people care about how they look. I have found that most of these insecurities are a prodigy of

media: television, magazines, dolls, action figures, and so forth.

Surveys have shown that many of us are dissatisfied with some aspect of how we look. In

the survey I conducted I found a few answer about the body image society paints for today?s

world. Today?s body image is set by the way Hollywood wants it. The image?s of health and

beauty portrayed by doll and action-figures are unrealistic or impossible to achieve because the

human body is not created to look like Barbie or GI Joe. We develop our ideas of health from

school, home, and media; ?home? being the most accurate portrayal. Many people think that a

healthy body is firm, proportioned, and slim. Everyone agreed that one can attain a health body

by simply eating properly and keeping active. Many also said that Hollywood?s new ultra-skinny

look is not attractive at all and. This can effect any child or adult

Every year Barbie?s waist gets a little smaller and her bust a little larger. Toys do have an

effect on a child?s perception of health and beauty. Children often learn by examples. Mattel is

making millions a day because every girl in America has a Barbie. Changing the appearance of

Barbie?s size 2 waist and D cup bust would benefit America?s young women. Changing the way

young boys perceived muscles, perhaps by decreasing the massive size of GI Joe?s muscles, would

also lower the usage of steroids and other muscle building drugs.

I went to a local Target and examined a few popular doll and action figures. These toys

had many things in common. Each item was flawless, no acne, love handles, double chins,

thunder thighs- NOTHING. In fact these so-called ?human-like? dolls were perfect! Yet, one

thing was wrong, I could not find one person that resembled Cheerleading Barbie or Surfboarding

Ken in the entire Target store. If one wanted to look like any of the dolls on those shelves they

would most likely spend many years at the plastic surgeons office because it is not realistic for the

average body to do it alone by eating right and exercising. ?Dolls might be planting in boys?

minds a template for a he-man?s body that cannot be attained without engaging tin obsessive

behaviors to build muscle and strip off fat, and then augmentation those efforts through the

consumption of drugs like human growth hormone and anabolic steroids.? It has been proven

that if Barbie was real that she would not be able to reproduce or even stand up because of her

unnaturally thin body. Sadly enough these dolls and action-figures tell those who play with them

that beauty lies in ?abs of steel,? clear skin, and dangerously thin or unattainable muscular bodies.

The methods to which people to go to change their body can often be physically and

mentally dangerous. People go to great length is pursuit to alter their bodies. Dieting pills,

excessive exercising, eating disorders, surgeries and ?muscle supplements? are among many

popular modes to changes one?s appearance. Doctors have always accented the dangers of

muscle-building drugs. These harmless drugs suppress sperm production and raise the risk of

heart attacks, strokes, liver disease, not to mention increase an increased chance of getting cancer.

It has been proven that some dieting pills have caused heart attacks and even death. All of these

methods are becoming more common everyday, but the dangers remain a threat to living a healthy


Because of society?s portrayal of beauty, we are lead to think that we’re not pretty enough

or sufficiently handsome. If we do not resemble Barbie or Ken many strive to get that often

impractical look. Who wouldn’t like smoother skin, more attractive eyes, a flatter stomach? If we

could look better, most of us would. Indeed, most of us try. We need to change to way a normal

body is depicted.


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