Body Image And The Media


We are surrounded by media. This could be Facebook, magazine, the internet, newspapers, tv etc. It is something we can’t get rid of and has a major input into all of our lives. More than we probably think. It’s the media that makes us so judgmental of ourselves, that it’s not being healthy that matters, it’s the number on the scales that counts. It makes us feel down about ourselves and makes us wish we were someone else. We spend ages criticising ourselves in the mirror and putting ourselves down. It’s the media that has such big impact on body image.

Reality Verse Expectation

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The average dress size for a woman in the Uk is a size 16, weighing 11st 2llbs. There is nothing wrong with that weight. There is nothing wrong with weighing less, there is nothing wrong with weighing more. Yet we are made to feel that no matter what we weigh we should be a size 0 and model material. The average waist size for a man is 38 inches weighing 13st 2llbs. Again there is nothing wrong weighing less or weighing more as long as your not making yourself ill and are healthy. Yet men are expected to be muscular with a six pack. That’s the thing though as long as we’re healthy we should be happy but that’s not the case.

 A Worrying Impact

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The scarriest thing about this is the impact it is having on the younger generation. Teen girls spend on average per week 7.7 hours a week on their appearance. Teen boys spend 4 hours a week on their appearance. 9 out of 10 British girls say they are unhappy with their body. 67% of them think they need to loose weight. 64% of under 13 year olds have already been on a diet. More than a quarter of 14 year olds say they have considered taking diet pills. 81% of 10 year olds experience a fear of being fat. The worst thing about this? Research has shown that from an early age of 8, girls are worried about being fat. That is worrying.

The Statistics For Women 

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This might not be surprising for some but it shows your not alone. 82% of women always feel like they could lose weight. 66% of women don’t like their photo taken. 59% of women worry they get judged by other people. Women also spend 6.4 hours on their appearance a week. 90% of women see their bodies as 25% bigger than they really are. According to research women spend on average a day 13 negative thoughts on their body. 97% of us have at least one “I hate my body” moment a day. When choosing an ideal body shape 30% of women chose one that’s 20% under weight. 61% of us are ashamed of our hips. 64% of us are embarrassed by our stomachs. 72% of us are ashamed of our thighs. Women overestimate the size of their waists by 25% and hips by 16%. 

The Statistics For Men 

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Although it’s not something that gets publicised as much, but men are effected too. 63% of men feel like they could always loose weight. 53% of men don’t like having they picture taken. 41% of men worry that people judge their appearance. Adult men also spend 4.5 hours a week on their appearance. 38% of men would sacrifice at least a year of their life in exchange for a perfect body. 63% think their arms or chests aren’t muscular enough. 29% think about their appearance at least five times a day. 

Its Not What It Seems 

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What causes us to think this way is the images we see which are most of the time photoshopped. Photoshop is used to change someone’s body, whether it’s to make the person look slimmer, change someone’s skin tone, remove tattoos and cellulite, create more of a muscular build, get rid of wrinkled skin etc. It is used in many different way and gives us a false outlook on things. I know I’ve talked a lot about the media and loosing weight but that’s how it is, there is nothing out there to say you should really pile on the pounds. Its about how much you should loose. It’s not fair. Why should we feel pressured to loose weight, we’ve got no point to prove. If there wasn’t media posting about weight all the time, we’d learn to love ourselves a lot more.



It is worrying how the world is going and how young girls and boys are starting to worry about body image. The media is not doing this any favours. When they see their favourite singer or childrens actor, they idolise them and want to be like them, which is fine but some of these idols are creating a bad perception of how to look. This is the same for adults. We see someone who we like as a person, as a talent and we decide in our heads that is what we call “perfect”. However nothing is perfect, there is no wrong or right size. In fact the only diet we all need is a media diet.

A x


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