The main sub-topic I took away from this week’s assigned readings was the topic of comparing our bodies to unrealistic images and ideas.
The first source I would like to address is the documentary titled “Women and Advertising” by Jean Kilbourne. In this documentary, Kilbourne talks about how advertising’s mage of women affects not only women but men as well. The way most women are portrayed in advertisements objectifies women and sexualizes them to sell products. She addressed and gave many examples of advertisements, explaining how each one affected women’s self esteem negatively. Almost all advertisements are photoshopped in one way or another, making the person viewing them think that the image they are seeing is real life but it is actually not. This is what affects women the most. Women then begin comparing themselves to these false images, thinking that they have to achieve the highest level of perfection, when it is not even attainable in the first place. I decided to watch this documentary out of the three because it was easy to relate to and interesting to learn about how advertising companies have been using women and for years and years. Growing up, like every other girl in the world, I was bombarded with advertisements and commercials with pictures and videos of women who seemed “perfect” to me. Just as expected, I began to compare myself to these girls and women as well, thinking that I had to look like them to look beautiful or to get the attention of a boy. While watching this documentary, it all began to make sense to me. I like that she didnt only talk about women. Kilbourne also referenced how men are sexualized by the media but to a lesser extent and in a better way. Women are shown as weak, childish, and submissive, while men are shown as strong, powerful, and dominant.
This leads me to the second video I would like to address, which is “The Try Guys Get Photoshopped With Men’s Ideal Body Types”. I wrote another blog post specifically focusing on this video, but I thought that it would be good to mention here as well. Essentially, this video addresses the fact that men feel self conscious about their bodies as well, and also compare themselves to impossibly perfect celebrities who have been photoshopped to the extreme. I liked this video a lot because it shows another side of men that society typically does not see, since it is a stereotype that women are the ones that usually feel self conscious about their bodies and compare themselves to photoshopped pictures of models.
To tie everything up, probably my favorite video of the three, was the TedTalk titled “Plus-size? More Like My Size”, given by Ashley Graham. She began her talk by looking at herself in a body length mirror and giving herself compliments. She is a plus-size model who is proud of her size and not afraid to show it. In her TedTalk, she focused on loving her own body and telling everyone else to do the same with their own, no matter what size you are. I believe that this video is very powerful and I greatly enjoyed watching it. It was nice to hear how she grew from being self-conscious in her own skin, to becoming a model and being very confident and self-loving.