An Ideal Body- Does it Really Exist?

A society comprises of a vast number of people living together. Every individual who inhabits a society is unique in his own way. Every individual who forms a part of a society has his own hobbies, his own ideas and his own idiosyncrasies. Along with all these differences, which are discrete in nature, each person possesses a set of opinions, which are responsible in shaping the way in which one thinks, processes and interprets information. Most of the times, the onus of perceiving information and forming an opinion about any topic is on the individual itself. However, there are times when the media plays a pivotal role in fostering and influencing the opinions of the masses. Media as we all know, is a very powerful entity today, and its impact on the minds of the masses is unfathomable.

The media has been bestowed upon with the responsibility of keeping the audience aware and abreast with the happenings of the surrounding. Although the media fulfills its duties as an informer of the society, it is also renowned for creating stereotypes. It acts as a driving force in making people think in a certain way. One such paradigm that it has set forth before the public, is the image of an ‘ideal body.’ Today, every magazine, advertisement or film, vociferously builds an image of what a perfect man or woman should look like. A flawless man must be tall, brawny and fit, in order to live up to the idea of a quintessential man. On the other hand, a woman must be slim, slender and fair, so as to seem appealing to the eyes. People in today’s time and age are more obsessed with their bodies and their appearance than ever before. The desire and lust to fit in, and be a part of the bandwagon is the reason individuals are losing their own identity and attempting to change the way they look.

Some people believe that the media portrayal of an ideal body is a suitable way to encourage people to move towards fitness, work on enhancing their appearance and build confidence. However, what we fail to comprehend is that every individual is blessed with a different body, and it is not plausible for everyone to expect a similar body type. Following the path of the emphasis that the media lays on a particular body type which is ostensibly attractive, many individuals are impelled to feel uncomfortable in their own skin. They feel inferior and often end up acquiring a penurious self-esteem. A survey was credited with revealing that today, most teenagers suffer from serious eating disorders and health issues, because they often indulge in starvation, skipping meals and following crash diets, in order to achieve a desired body, which is approved by the society. Of the various cases of depression, most of the cases are believed to be of people afflicted with low dignity and self-confidence, since their bodies remained unmatched to the existing ideology of an exemplary body.

The concept of body image often begins in one’s mind and not one’s mirror. Body image is how you perceive your body and the way you evaluate its value and worth. More than a healthy body, it is obligatory to obtain a healthy body image. A healthy and positive body image enables you to accept and love yourself the way you are. It motivates you to hold your own identity and individuality high and boosts your self-esteem. It is normal for any human being to have an urge to look alluring, to resemble his or her role model and work towards it meticulously. However, when this urge transforms into a need to look or dress a certain way, in order to achieve validation from society is when one falls prey to a negative body image.

It is necessary to understand that your body is what makes you what you are. It sets you apart from the rest of the world. It needs to be treated with respect. You should take immense pride in the fact that no other human being on this planet is the same as you. We live in a world where ubiquitous media images incite impractical expectations on how one should look. It is up to us that we differentiate between what is rational and what is fictional.

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