The Subconscious Influence

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Often times people want to blame media as being a problem on people’s perspective of beauty. Who decides who is the most beautiful person of 2016? I think, not positive on the facts of this, that we are one of the only species that judges are same species mostly on looks. What clothes one is wearing, how they style their hair, if they have all the latest trends. In the “animal kingdom” I image that wolf’s don’t judge the other wolfs on how their fur looks but rather how they hunt and what they can bring to enhance the pack.  How much does society really commit to eating disorders, or people’s insecurities, or how everyone feels they need to be on a diet? You can’t go to the supermarket, without picking up all your food and once you get to the checkout have a bunch of magazines telling you how to lose 10 pounds quick, or get your body back, or have the sexiest abs. For me, especially when I was really struggling with my eating disorder this was a for sure way to make me leave or start putting back all the food in my basket.

I think the media has started trying to change that or have appreciation for all body types. I remember an article that came out a few years ago, and I thought it was absolutely brilliant. It was about weight and how everyone believes a certain number on a scale is what all women should weigh. In this article, it was, I wanna say 7 or 8 women and they all weighed this magical number and it was how different it looked on each of the women. The articled included, very tall slender girls, short petite, curvy, white, Hispanic, Asian, black, basically every type of women you could image. However, sometimes, the media to change the perspective of beauty, they do it in a way which is still discrediting one body or the other. For example, “real women have curves.” “Thigh Gap –  so what” or in Meghan Trainer’s music video she’ll call skinny girls silicone barbie dolls and in the video they are making fun and bullying the skinny girl. Or if someone is skinny they will have people comment on how they need to eat. I had one of my coworkers tell me once that I was “awfully skinny” When for the first time in my life do I feel healthy. I feel like I am finally taking care of my body, and giving it the proper nutrients and care it needs and deserves. Also, you have constant reports on the news or on the radio about the latest diet trends or which foods are healthy or not. Living in LA, there are so many billboards for plastic surgery. One had the audacity to say “get your life back.” By changing it and getting plastic surgery, To me that is not getting your life back it is changing something about who you are. Not to mention, it is as if undergoing plastic surgery alone is going to fix ones insecurities. Or you have Facebook or instagram where we have been increasingly more narcissistic with the need for an instant thumps up or like. Taking selfies and then posting something like #nofilter #wewokeuplikethis to show one “natural” beauty. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve definitely posted things and had a moment if I didn’t get likes or check why no one liked it, or posted “give me attention please” photos. But that is another thing in my bucket lists of working on. Even Now, Barbie is coming out with a whole new line of dolls that include more barbie sizes. -Whether this is for profit, or they really are trying to be more diverse or a combination of the two. I wonder – I do wonder, as someone who struggled with an eating disorder for a very long time, having traits of it going back to when I was 8 if barbie dolls, media, tv shows, magazines influenced it. and if so how much?

I remember being 8 and having foods that I had decided I could or couldn’t eat because they were good or bad food. I would go on diets and have days where veggies or fruit was the only thing I was allowed to eat. We had workout equipment at home to, so if I wanted to eat, I had to make sure I was going to workout afterwards. I have a nephew who is 7, the thought of him being so young and having thoughts about what he could or could not eat or having all these restrictions on himself breaks my heart. I’m a waitress at a nice restaurant in Santa Monica. I hear about diets ALL day long, I hear about how carbs are evil. I chose when I want to speak up and correct someone or if I’m just going to ignore it. Today, I had a little girl who told me how she couldn’t have powdered sugar on her french toast because there is already syrup so she can’t have two sweet things. I also, remember when I was out to eat with some friends, they had a kid and my friend told her little daughter who was 4 she couldn’t eat that or she would get fat. Since, I struggle with an eating disorder and words like this can be triggering for me, it makes me wonder how it affects someone else. Or where and when these thoughts get planted in, and seek in and become a habit. Minus foods that are genetically modified or filled with chemicals and unnatural stuff, who really decides what is good or bad to eat. Balance is what it should be about, but also, allowing yourself to enjoy food or something you are craving without guilt or shame.

Then you also have the media bashing on celebrities who are struggling with anorexia. Or if they gain some weight it is blasted on the cover of a magazine near the checkout. The constant obsession with weight and body image. This also makes me wonder though, as someone who is hypersensitive to weight and body image if that is why I see it everywhere or “blasted” all around. If it is merely coincidence or it is something in my subconscious that I notice it more than others might. Regardless, seeing these magazines and not taking much notice to them, how much is getting absorbed into ones subconscious and affecting decisions one makes.

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