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Media creating unhealthy role models

While trying to think of a somewhat interesting topic for my column this week, I stumbled upon a Powerpoint I made last year for one of my COM 103 speeches.
I looked at all the slides before deciding I could still probably rant for a while about the particular topic, so here we go.
How many times have you seen a model in a magazine or actors in a movie and thought, “I wish I could look like that”? I’d hope the number would be zero, but it probably isn’t for most of you. I certainly know it isn’t for me, and this is what brings us to my column for this week.
I absolutely hate the media’s influence on how people view their bodies.
Girls, do you realize that for most of our gender, it’s physically impossible to be a size 0? Everyone’s body is made differently, obviously, and for most of us it doesn’t matter how much we exercise and how closely we watch what we eat. If your body is made a certain way, well, you’d probably die before you reached a size 0.
I really don’t understand why anyone would want to be that small anyway. Is there something attractive about girls disappearing when they turn sideways? Didn’t think so.
And guys, most of you are unable to obtain your “dream” body, a completely muscular, sculpted body, unless you use anabolic steroids.
There is a physiological limit to how much muscle your own body can attain. Not only that, but not all guys are born with broad shoulders and a narrow waist, and just like girls with a curvier frame who want to be tiny, it’s impossible to shrink yourself down to look the way someone with those attributes looks. It’s just impossible.
Something we sometimes forget is that many celebrities are blessed with the opportunity to work with a personal trainer to pack the muscle on and a nutritionist to plan out what they can and can’t eat. Our personal trainers are the friends we have who work out with us at Markin Family Student Recreation Center, and our nutritionists … well, we have the cafeterias!
You can probably see that we have the disadvantage here.
Also, models in magazines are able to take advantage of the wonderful technology that is airbrushing.
So what if they’ve just gained a few pounds because of an ice cream binge? An editor can go right in there and edit those few pounds right out. When one of our friends takes an unflattering picture of us and it manages to work its way onto Facebook, the best we can do is untag ourselves.
The main point here is that people shouldn’t compare their bodies with those that are seen in the media. A healthy body is much more attractive than a starved or overworked one, and I think we can all agree on that.
Michelle Geltner is a sophomore English major from Naperville. She is the Scout features reporter.
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