Free Essay

Efects of Dick Game

In: Film and Music

Submitted By kinghale
Words 3112
Pages 13
Rachel Hoffman and Sarah Gentil
Ms. Wolverton
English 1010
January 9, 2013
Body Brainwash? From the beginning civilizations all had their own ideas of the perfect body shape; this ideal image of the body has evolved throughout time, and continues to this day. In this essay we will discuss different aspects of what America specifically believes the ideal body image should be today. The different issues we will be discussing will involve: concerns with the body image, obesity, cosmetic surgery, compulsive exercise, masculinity and models. There are heated debates about whether these topics are negative or positive. Every part of the world has some kind of ideal body image and will go to certain extremes trying to achieve this perfect image. Probably the most known would be foot binding. Some historical records claim that foot binding began its origin in the Song Dynasty 960-1279 A.D.; the practice was outlawed in 1915 (Lim). Yet some continued in secret. At that time foot binding was a status symbol and the only way for a woman to be able to get married in a decent setting. There are a couple of survivors from this practice, Zhou Guizhen, 86, now regrets binding her feet, yet understands that she had no choice. No one would have married her and at the time that was what women were expected to do (Lim).
On the other side of the world, Europe had their own opinion on what the ideal body image was. It wasn’t tiny feet, but tiny waists. In Dave Girdle’s site the author gives his input on the corset, he finds that corsets holds symbolism and power over the utilitarian aspect of shaping ones body contour. Corsets can be traced back to Greek and Minoan times; these were constructed differently and used for different purposes. The time that used the tight lacing to shape women to the accepted norm would be during the Victorian Era. Girdles definition of tight lacing is, any distortion of the natural waist that is over two inches. The corset itself evolved along with the ideas of that specific era. The Edwardian era used the corset to form an S shape, which forced the breast up and the hips back; also very uncomfortable. Further evolvement changed corsets to girdles, which some still wear to this day (Girdle). Now day’s corsets are used for and associated with fetish wear (The History of Corsets).
Today women don’t bind their feet but squeeze them into uncomfortable high heels; they dye, pluck or shave their hair and even try enhancing parts of their anatomy with surgery (Lim). Today women still try to fit these social norms, even if it means that the only way to fit the perfect picture of society ends up with surgery.
Reconstructive surgery documents were found in India dating from around 2,000 B.C. Even back then people sought to correct or restore the way they looked (Maughan). Such procedures were originally used to heal the wounded from war, similar surgeries are used today to heal the wounded. There are two categories: plastic surgery, which reconstructs and corrects dysfunctional parts of the body and cosmetic surgery, which focus on enhancing appearance (Cosmetic Surgery). Many people say that weight has had a significant spot in body image. Linda Vongkhamchanh’s article Renaissance to Runway: Body Shapes Over the Ages, discusses how in the 1800s it was ideal to be more plump and full figured. During the 1900s people became more active and it was more common for society to be slender (Vongkhamchanh). Today many people, especially women think that ultra-thin models have achieved the ideal weight. From the article Media and Body Images, Joel Miller talks about how most models average less than 23 percent of the weight of typical women and that twenty years ago it only used to be a difference of 8 percent. That 69 percent of girls based their ideas of the perfect body shape from models in magazines (Miller).
It’s not just women; some feel that men also have a place within body image; it takes the form of masculinity. Raewyn Connell an Australian sociologist, currently a Professor at the University of Sydney is the author of Masculinities. For Connell, the origins of contemporary masculinity are found at the time of increasing European and American power and the rise of global imperialism and global capitalist economy. Whenever there was a crisis, men felt like they needed to step up and prove themselves (The Cultural Studies Reader).
Exercise and fitness have been around since the birth of humankind. People had to be fit to hunt for food to be able to survive. The Olympic games have been around for 1,170 years since 776 B.C. at Mount Olympia in Greece. The Greek men were very athletic and started the Olympics to honor the gods with their great abilities and were seen as heroes. Today’s athletes from all around the world come together to compete in the different sports competitions (Gauthier). In Scott White’s article History of Exercise, he discusses how back in 400 B.C. people started to study the importance of getting physical exercise. In the 18th century workout routines became more common along with more fitness centers. In the 19th century people started to have different lifestyles and began changing their diet and routines, so manufactures began to create in-home training equipment (White).
There are many different opinions that people have towards body image; there are negative and positive sides. The negative side of body image was shown, but there is such a thing as a positive body image, “Having a healthy body image means that most of your feelings, ideas, and opinions about your body and appearance are positive. It means accepting and appreciating your body and feeling mostly satisfied with your appearance” (Kids Health). So why are there so many negative sides? Why does body image sometimes tend to lead and cause problems such as eating disorders or depression? According to Kids Health, developing a healthy body image takes time, yet on the contrary, “It can be influenced by experiences and shaped by the opinions and feedback of others and by cultural messages.” Popular media plays a huge role with this influence. Actors and models often portray what most of society considers the “ideal body.” Many women believe that they should look similar to the mass media’s models (Serdar). Media gives a powerful influence and can alter the way women often view themselves, although some people believe that it is okay for models to be very thin. It is common for many fashion designers to want their clothes displayed on ultra-thin models because they believe it makes their clothing item look best and the most ideal. Many doctors oppose to ultra-thin models because it can cause mental illnesses like depression or eating disorders.
Naturally many individuals have their own opinions regarding thin fashion models. Some, indeed, believe that there is no problem with dangerously thin models. Nonetheless some claim that the fashion industry has gone too far in pushing the thin images of women. In Nanci Hellmich’s recent article, Do Thin Models Wrap Girls’ Body Image? Hellmich discusses the issues involving thin models. Hellmich who writes for USA TODAY believes that model thinness has progressed and has become very widespread. According to Hellmich, “This unnatural thinness is a terrible message to send out. The people watching the fashion shows are young impressionable women” (Hellmich). In other words, Hellmich believes that models that are too thin are not sending out a positive message. She makes a point about how psychologists and eating-disorder experts are worried about very young girls and how they view their body image. Hellmich states, “It used to be that women would only occasionally see rail-thin models, such as Twiggy, the ‘60s fashion icon, but now they see them every day, it’s the norm” (Hellmich). Basically, Hellmich is saying that throughout time fashion models have been becoming skinnier. In sum, Nanci Hellmich thinks that models are becoming to skinny and frail, and that they are not sending positive messages to women.
Not only are women affected by the idea of body image, but so are men. Carrie Packwood Freeman is a teacher at Georgia State University and studies how the media portrays veganism and animal food production; she is active in the animal rights group. Debra Meskin teaches at the University of Oregon and does research on the media’s portrayal of women and minorities. Packwood and Meskin are the authors of Having It His Way: The Construction of Masculinity in Fast-Food TV Advertising. According to the authors, “Anthropologists have documented the historical connection between males and domination of nature and other animals, such as evidenced by humans’ traditional role as animal hunters” (455). In making this comment the authors urge us to look all the back, even up to prehistoric times to see and make the connection that food remains a highly gendered cultural object in America today. Specifically, the gendering of meat as a masculinity food. As an illustration, the authors mention a couple ads that advertise this phenomenon. The authors express their concerns that although these ads may seem harmless, that the overall message is hurtful to social injustice and ecological sustainability. And, this raises the basis of patriarchal oppression. In conclusion, the authors state, “And, while we admit that it is challenging to market products which are not particularly socially responsible, we hope that it could be done in a way that does not continue to sacrifice the rights of traditionally oppressed groups in order to further empower a dominant social group such as heterosexual American men” (473).
It has been suggested by many people that obesity plays a huge role towards body image. Many individuals believe that obesity is an epidemic and a very large problem in America. Jae Ireland from the article Why obesity is a Problem in America, discusses the topic of obesity and the causes of obesity. Ireland states, “many Americans don't get the physical activity they need, opting instead for computer games, time on the Internet, watching television and other sedentary behavior. The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute associated watching more than two hours of television per day with a higher risk of obesity” (Ireland). In other words, Ireland believes that many Americans are becoming very lazy, and not receiving enough exercise. Ireland herself writes, “Body consciousness, daily habits and relationships with food can also be inherited or learned form parents, exacerbating the problem of genetic and learned obesity” (Ireland). Ireland’s point is that parents are setting examples for their offspring and can also be held somewhat responsible by the way they feed their children.
On the contrary, many people face the opposite problem of obesity and lack of exercise. From the article When Too Much Exercise Becomes a Problem, Leanne Beattie who is a health and fitness writer for SparkPeople addresses the issue of compulsive exercise. Beattie states, “Compulsive exercise is more than a desire to get in the ultimate shape or manage one's weight” (Bettie). In other words, Beattie believes that there may be psychological problems and self-image issues that can cause compulsive exercise. In addition Beattie says compulsive exercisers build their lives around working out and it becomes one of their most important aspects. Leanne Beattie herself writes, “The scary thing about an addiction to exercise is that it creeps up gradually, usually among everyday people who start exercising, feel good afterward, revel in the calories they're burning, have a desire to get healthier or lose weight, and therefore start believing that more is better. Oftentimes, people who develop an exercise compulsion don't feel like there's anything wrong with what they do” (Beattie). Beattie’s point is that over-exercising can lead to addiction and become and un-healthy obsession.
Mary Maxfield is a graduate from Fontbonne University, with a degree in creative social change and minors in sociology, American culture studies, and women’s and gender studies. In her paper Food as Thought: Resisting the Moralization of Eating Maxfield tells us how our eating habits and what we eat has been corrupted by the media from their notion of what the ideal body image should be, that we can’t really tell what is right or wrong anymore. Also, there are so many different specialist and nutritionists that keep coming out with different ways of what they believe is the most healthy way to eat. Many experts tell individuals what to think about nutrition, and the best way to stay healthy, since health is essential for a happy well-balanced life. Maxfield states, “Americans need this protection, we are told, because we’re a nation stricken by heart disease, diabetes and cancer. According to this line of thought, each of these maladies is tied to our diet and essentially to our weight” (443). In conclusion, Maxfield gives people her own “formula,” according to Maxfield, “Inherently, food is ethically neutral; notions of good and bad, healthy and unhealthy are projected onto it by culture. Staying mindful of that culture (and critical of the hidden interests that help guide it) can free each of us to follow a formula we have long known but recently forgotten: Trust yourself. Trust your body. Meet your needs” (446). In other words, Maxfield believes that all we need to care about is ourselves, and not what everybody else thinks, to just trust, listen and act upon.
The U.S Department of Health and Human Services wrote an article titled Cosmetic Surgery, in this article it talks about who should and who shouldn’t have cosmetic surgery. It gives examples of who would be a good or bad candidate for this surgery, reasons as to why people want it. For example, in the government’s view, two categories that would be suitable for cosmetic surgery would be, “The first includes patients with a strong self-image who are bothered by a physical characteristic that they'd like to improve or change. The second category includes patients who have a physical defect or cosmetic flaw that has diminished their self-esteem over time” (Cosmetic Surgery). In making this comment the government wants people to be aware of the consequences of receiving cosmetic surgery and that it is a critical decision that will affect many people’s lives. The article states, “It’s important to remember that cosmetic surgery can create both physical changes and changes in self-esteem. But if you are seeking surgery with the hope of influencing a change in someone other than yourself, you might end up disappointed” (Cosmetic Surgery). In other words, cosmetic surgery may not solve many people’s problems, and that it could possibly worsen the situation.
Many individuals would suggest that the authors should have gone into further inquiry about each of their topics. A discussion that was not brought up was the other side of the debate in cosmetic surgery in the U.S Department of Health and Human Services article. The negatives were only mentioned and elaborated upon. The article should have covered the discussion concerning successful cosmetic surgery. There has to be some that got cosmetic surgery for the “negative” right reasons suggested by the government, and come back out loving what they did. What about the surgeon’s side? Although many individuals believe that if no one went to get cosmetic surgery, many people would lose their jobs. These are the other sides that need to be considered.
This comes back to body image. There must be some body image set by the media that might actually be beneficial. There are good and bad role models, it’s just up to society to choose which are which. There should have also been further suggestion in Nanci Hellmich’s article concerning ultra-thin fashion models. Many people might believe that Hellmich should have discussed the fashion worlds view on thin models and why they prefer their clothes modeled on ultra-thin women.
Jae Ireland could have further discussed more solutions for obesity and ways to solve the unhealthy problem. Many obese people wonder about good ways to become healthy and active. Many individuals would want to know more about what it is that may be causing them to be obese and receive important advice to help them achieve their weight goal.
From the data collected one can conclude and predict that body image will continue throughout the progress of History. It will evolve, and take different ways to achieve. Ultimately, at the end of the day, it’ll be up to us to choose what we believe and choose to act upon.

Works Cited
Beattie, Leanne. "When Too Much Exercise Becomes a Problem." SparkPeople. SparkPeople
Inc, 08 Feb. 2012. Web. 09 Jan. 2013.
"Cosmetic Surgery." Womenshealth.gov. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office, 22 Sept. 2009. Web. 17 Dec. 2012.
"Cosmetic Surgery vs. Plastic Surgery." American Board of Cosmetic Surgery. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Jan. 2013.
Freeman, Carrie. “Having it His Way: The Construction of Masculinity in Fast-Food TV
Advertising” They Say, I Say. E.d. Gerald Graff, Carly Birkenstien, and Russell Daust.
2nd ed. New York, Norton, 2012. 454-479, Print.
Gauthler, Michael. "Why Did the Ancient Greeks Start the Olympics?"LIVESTRONG.COM. Demand Media, 26 May 2011. Web. 02 Jan. 2013.
Girdle, Dave. "A Short History of Corsetry." Corset History. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Jan. 2013.
Hellmich, Nanci. "Do Thin Models Warp Girls' Body Image?" USATODAY.com. McClatchy
Tribune Services, 26 Sept. 2006. Web. 09 Jan. 2013.
Ireland, Jae. "Why Obesity Is a Problem in America." LIVESTRONG.COM. Demand Media, 05
Jan. 2011. Web. 09 Jan. 2013.
"KidsHealth." Encouraging a Healthy Body Image. Nemours, n.d. Web. 03 Jan. 2013.
Lim, Louisa. "Painful Memories for China's Footbinding Survivors." NPR. NPR, 19 Mar. 2007. Web. 01 Jan. 2013.
Maughan, Jennifer. "A Brief History of Cosmetic Surgery." - Life123. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Jan. 2013.
Maxfield, Mary. “Food as Thought: Resisting the Moralization of Eating” They Say, I Say. E.d.
Gerald Graff, Carly Birkenstien, and Russell Daust. 2nd ed. New York, Norton, 2012. 442-447, Print.
Miller, Joel. "Media and Body Image." AdMedia Online Ad Network. Admedia, 2012. Web. 02 Jan. 2013.
"The Cultural Studies Reader.” R.W. Connell â "Masculinities: The History of Masculinity. Blogger, 7 July 2011. Web. 01 Jan. 2013.
"The History Of Corsets." Essortment. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Jan. 2013.
Vongkhamchanh, Linda. "Renaissance to Runway: Body Shapes over the Ages."IVillage. IVillage Inc., 06 Aug. 2009. Web. 02 Jan. 2013.
White, Scott. "History of Exercise." Personal Power Training. N.p., 2011. Web. 02 Jan. 2013.…...

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