The Celebrity Culture and Body Image
In contemporary society, the use of technology has tremendously risen. Most families can afford gadgets such as televisions, which broadcast several programs. Additionally, almost everyone has a cellphone, hence access to the internet and social media platforms such as Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook. All these avenues have bred a celebrity culture, which is prevalent in society today. The average person, especially women put immense focus on celebrity culture. They obsess over what the media depicts as the ideal body image. This newfound preoccupation with celebrities with perfect bodies has changed how people body image. It has proliferated a highly charged audience with unrealistic body goals that they aspire to achieve based on how certain famous people look. The celebrity culture can have a negative impact on young women because they feel pressured to have an “ideal” body, which can lead to eating disorders and even suicide.
Influence of Celebrity Culture on Young Women
Research shows that the activities of the celebrities especially the ones broadcasted in the press media have negatively influenced young girls (Knorr, 2015). There is too much hype surrounding the celebrities. Most are influential on social media platforms and keep posting pictures of their bodies, which get into the heads their followers. This is evident when they speak of their body features dissatisfaction (Song 2015). They complain and make an ill wish. This happens because of the influence received from the practices of the celebrities, which they have watched or read (Yum & Moris, 2013). They start only with a few words. ‘I wish I could look like her,’ is the statement that bogs their mind. It makes them begin to name every bit of the features in their bodies that they hate and would wish to change them so that they appear to look like the one of a celebrity (Song 2015). The government should to come up with incentive programs that educate the young women on the value of appreciating themselves. Educators such as lecturers and even parents with their experiences should emphasize to these teenage girls the negative effects brought about by snacking unnecessarily and that it needs not to be part of their diet.
Celebrity Culture and Body Imaging
The media has set standards for women across the world by portraying them as attractive and flawless. The ideal beautiful woman as portrayed by the media has wide hips, a thin waist and breasts that are surgically improved (Gregg, 2008). Yum & Moris (2013) said that the research conducted by interviewing some few women proved that most of the girls’ have a dream to appear identical to the women they cherish. They want to be tall, skinny, long, flowing hair. The argument portrays the physical body of these famous women to be unrealistic to gain. This is simply because they have undergone lots of plastic surgery. Therefore, women need to be sensitized on the unrealistic nature of such body imaging and instead should refrain completely from imitating the celebrities.
Currently, many teenage girls are losing confidence about their bodies especially about the shape, size, and muscle tone because they have self-belief that the body is the ultimate expression of the beauty (Ehrenfeld, 2012). Naturally, it is very hard for a woman to change her body type. The smashing images of models and celebrities haunt young women, who sometimes do not even realize enhancements effected through Photoshop. They begin to feel unattractive to the point of developing low self-esteem and committing suicide.
Celebrity Culture and unhealthy body-transforming processes.
Women have gone to extreme extents while trying to gain the “hourglass figure. Some of the practices that they go through to transform their looks are cosmetic surgery and waist training. Cosmetic surgery involves going through procedures that aim at enhancing one’s physical appearance. The key goals of most women are influenced by the looks of celebrities, who have in most cases have gone through the same. Duffy (2015) believes that celebrities’ influence of how people feel about themselves is a key cause of increasing cases of cosmetic surgery. Research has proven that women who exhibit intense celebrity worship are more likely to undergo the procedures than those who do not follow up so much. Cosmetic surgery has been associated with leading to cancer.
Another current trend in acquiring the perfect body is waist training. This involves wearing a tight belt around the waist to lose some inches and acquire a leaner frame (Ross, 2015). Young girls and women who have has babies are the most common culprits of the practice. Apparently, the tight waist generates heat around the waist that fastens fat burning in the body. Doctors have warned people against the practice, as it leads to irreparable damage of the internal organs. According to Lee (2012), teenage girls who embrace the practices of celebrities’ culture, are highly bound to have very many body complications. True to his word, such practices as waist training lead to complications in the end.
Celebrity Culture and unhealthy eating habits and related complications
The portrayal of the “perfect” figure has led to the adoption of unhealthy diets, especially by young girls. People mistakably view dieting as the solution to excess weight in their efforts to look like celebrities. Most young women suffer because their bodies do not receive enough nutritional diet or they get little calories in a day. This actually pushes their physical limits hence end up in a body that no longer operates normally. It denies the teenage girls the opportunity to feed properly on the balanced died. The argument is that, for a proper body functioning, one has to improve on a healthy feeding habit (Altman, 2005). The nutritional diet should be well balanced. Young women therefore need to consider the importance of balanced diet and a healthy living.
The eventual consequence of bad diets in eating disorders. The most common one is anorexia, where the victim wastes away and becomes very weak. Most of the women being treated for food disorders are young girls who want to maintain the ‘perfect body’ shape (Ehrenfeld, 2012). Some girls even go for weeks without food not knowing that they are endangering their physical and mental systems. Rose M. Kundanis, proved that magazines have the strongest relationship to eating disorders. The South Carolina Department of Mental Health states that treatment per day can cost anywhere from $500 to $2,000. Besides, an eating disorder patient has to undergo through 3 to 6 months of treatment, costing approximately $180,000, and health insurance does not cover these expenses. Hiring of medics and purchasing drugs to bring the body back to its original status costs large sums of money (Ehrenfeld, 2012). Due to this fast-growing menace (Ehrenfeld (2012), urges parents that they need to sit and discuss with their daughters about the dangerous effects of malnutrition that affect their body health in the name of emulating celebrities.
Celebrity Culture-Not entirely evil after all?
The celebrity culture, which is prevalent on mainstream media, has undoubtedly brought enough problems on women, both emotionally and physically. However, it has also positively influenced body image among women. The admiration of celebrities with lean bodies challenges other women to embrace healthy eating and working out programs, which have tremendous health benefits. (Pant & Srivastava, 2013) contend that slimming the body by fat loss can prevent various lifestyle diseases. Maintaining one’s body to a healthy weight will enable one to carry daily chores with ease. Celebrity influence does not always have a negative impact on the body image of young people. Sometimes, it empowers them. Michelle Obama has used her influence to make a positive change through her “Let’s Move Program”, which has reduced child obesity (Straus, 2014).
Many celebrities also do not support the ideal body image idolized by the media. They have come out to bash the culture and encouraged young people, especially girls to love themselves. They have also criticized the media for setting such unrealistic expectations. Jennifer Lawrence once said, “But I think when it comes to the media, the media needs to take responsibility for the effect that it has on our younger generation, on these girls that are watching these television shows and picking up how to talk and how to be cool… I just think it should be illegal to call somebody fat on TV.” (Wood, n. d). Additionally, celebrities who have gone through body shaming and emerged confident are a role model to many teens, are going through the same. They have helped them embrace their bodies and avoided the peer pressure to go to extreme measures to cut weight. An example is Rebel Wilson, an actor who has managed to remain confident with her big body despite criticism from the media.
The media has cultivated a body culture where everyone wants to be perfect. Perfection in this case is corrupted, making women believe that they should enhance their appearances in a certain way in order to get the ideal look. This situation has led to serious problems. Young girls have developed self-esteemed issues, not convinced that they are attractive enough. Many people have adopted various measures to change their image. Dieting, cosmetic surgery and waist training are a few examples. However, the celebrity depiction has also led to positive influences. Some celebrities have realized the big problem and have taken measures to help women feel more confident about themselves. Rather than blaming themselves for not meeting the beauty standards set by the media, women are gaining more confidence in their bodies and only adopting healthy food options to lose excessive weight. It is upon every woman to develop her own self-confidence. Teachers and parents should boost their children’s self-esteem by telling them that they look perfect the way they are.