It is widely accepted fact that women possess a stereotypical curves and beauty in their looks and bodily features. On the other hand their counterparts, men, should have a well sculpted set of abs and machoism in their features. Any individual breaching this look faces some (at times even brutal) amounts of social pressure of being a misfit by appearance- an aspect that is completely genetic and in general out of human control. We often tend to overlook this perspective settled in the mind set of our society. However, it has some serious consequences in form of mental disorders that should not be overlooked.
It is a proven fact that every one hour one person dies due to eating disorders such as Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa or Binge Eating Disorders. Debra Franko is a Northeastern University psychologist. Recently, she conducted a survey in Northeastern University. As this conflict is mostly seen amongst Hispanic females, Franko and her team completed focus groups with Latina students in the campus and asked questions about how their family, friends, culture, and the media have shaped the way they perceive their body image. Many of them found themselves at split between the cultural images of healthy, chubby women and images of thin and fit women focused on social media. Franks says,
“This is a big battle. We are saturated with these kinds of images and we have to continue to encourage women to see themselves in much broader terms than what they look like, despite what they see in the media. Women have to think about their strengths, personalities, talents, and be more critical of the media to not take these images as something they need to aspire to, but rather something they need to question.”
The concentration of these disease is more amongst young women. Society and families plays an important role in eradicating these peer pressures. We should expand our senses to be able to look beyond bodily features and view people for who they are rather than how they look.