I never realized how powerful societies and media from all over the world can be until now. Television is one of the primary media sources for many people. They’re great for catching up with all of your favourite programs, having a good laugh or cry but what they’re bad for is their sneaky way of manipulation through visual references. In between TV programs, on most channels, are numerous adverts of diets; weight loss tips and new weight loss techniques or substitutes for food; exercise machines; people who are well toned and, what some might call ‘skinny’ or ‘thin’. December is fast approaching and these ads are thrown at us from all angles, saying things like “Wanting to get bikini ready? Try this new [product] and drop (x)kilos within 3 months”, whilst ‘skinny’ girls and guys pounce around in the background. Without even realizing, we start questioning ourselves- maybe I should go on a diet and join the gym; maybe I could shed a few extra kilos; maybe I could look like THEM. Look, I think it’s great that people want to be healthy, I do. I’m all for it. But people are of all sizes- some are tall, some are short and some are in between; some are bulky and some are athletic; some have fast metabolisms and some have slow. Each of us are completely different to the next yet…we still want to try to be more like someone else.
As humans, we constantly look for ways to conform. I was talking to a friend of mine and he says that he always tries to conform to what is right and ‘normal’, according to society. He says he is always himself though. So what is RIGHT and what is NORMAL? Surely we should be able to define that. Sure, there are the typical, straight up accepted ‘rights’ and ‘norms’ but…are there really? I mean, isn’t a society made up of PEOPLE who all have DIFFERENT views of what is right and normal? So let me ask this again: what is RIGHT and what is NORMAL? What you think is right and normal may or may not be what I consider right and/or normal. Which leads me to WHY do we feel as though we need to conform to what SOCIETY thinks instead of what WE think of ourselves and what is acceptable??!
Why do we accept being labelled ‘skinny’ and ‘fat’ by people of society, implied, insinuated or disguised in words of TV adverts?
It’s a topic that always leaves me wondering. It’s one of the reasons why I would love to learn more about people; the reason why I want to study Psychology next year.
Until next time,