What is the “Perfect Image”?
To keep things uncomplicated I will be focusing on the United States in this post, simply because the vision of the “ideal image” can vary so widely depending on where in the world you are.
In America however, it is fairly common knowledge that the average “ideal image” of a man is someone who is muscular, handsome, wealthy, has a six pack, and basically every other stereotype in the book (they are stereotypes for a reason! There is always a little truth to be found within!). Women on the other hand are supposed to be thin, pretty, have large breasts, and lots of curves.
Obviously very few people in the country actually have these “ideal” features compared to the vast majority of us who are somewhat unlucky in the facet. So why then do most of the American public dream of this fantasy specimen?
Possible Causes 1: Media
Media (especially now with the emergence of the internet, smartphones, and more connectivity than there ever has been in history) is booming. With more people connected than ever in human history, online media is a very powerful tool to spread words, thoughts, and ideologies to vast populations across the globe.
Almost every single person on the planet can connect with one another from across the planet via the internet which now can fit into your pants pocket. This means that at any given moment, news and media outlets can reach potentially billions of people every single day.
Now, when your magazine reaches that wide of an audience, and you post things that say “this is what the ideal woman should look like”, “why you should lose weight” etc, it will have a very profound effect on many people. Thus, the image of the “ideal woman” slowly begins to form in peoples minds due to the constant exposure to media telling them what the criteria are.
Possible Causes 2: Peers
Everyone wants to be accepted and loved by their friends however, (especially in high school) this is not always the case.
Kids are found to be more susceptible to advertising and image related content than adults, simply because they are still trying to figure out who they are as individuals. Unfortunately, the easy-of-access to the internet is not always a good thing, as young children are bombarded early on with ideas of who they should be to be most likely accepted and loved by society. Very little is done to encourage individuality, and when all of your friends are dressing a certain way, you will more likely than not be the brunt of their jokes if you do not conform.
Why is this bad?
Many of you may be wondering, why does it matter? and to many people it does not. However, it is this authors perspective that when you decide to go get surgery to alter your appearance to please others, it has gone to far.
In some of our previous posts we have taken a look at a few of the “high-end cosmetic medical professions” that are quickly popping up these days, and in the next few weeks we will continue to examine just what drives individuals to go to such extreme lengths to fit in.