The Influence of Society on Perfect Body Image

There is always something that people are worried about. It is in our nature to worry constantly. It can be about school, family, but most important our appearance. Too many people are being judged by the way they look. Indeed people are being judged by their looks and by their body. We all have been walking in a shopping center and turn and see our reflection in the window. Never does anyone ever say I look great today. Instead we see what we want to improve on our bodies.

Society has made it were people will not succeed if they do not have the perfect body. Having that body of a supermodel will ultimately gain recognition, power, and money. Most people think that the image of the perfect body does not affect them. For instance, I thought that, until I remembered that I wanted to look bigger, more muscles. Without even knowing it, I let society influence me into a better body.

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The perfect body affects everyone. Whether you know or not children, women and men are all striving for that perfect body. That perfect body; what is it? No one exactly knows what it is, but we have an idea of what we want it to look like. Maybe it was that huge bodybuilder at the gym last night or that famous supermodel on the front of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition.

A physician, Rama Pemmaraju Rao, in internal medicine and psychiatry at UAB Hospital said it best, What we think is ideal doesn t exist.

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People are searching for an ideal, but they will never get to it if they focus on the outside. The only way to find focus and peace is on the inside (McIntosh 2). Why are people not satisfied with their bodies? Most people believe that if their body were better looking they would have more opportunity for themselves. This may be true, but unlike women men are not more worried about physical looks, they are more worried about what their body can do for them such as being better in sports. The reason for desired weight gain in men was because they wanted increased physical strength, greater fitness, better body image, improved sports performance (O Dea 3).

Men want to gain weight so they can be stronger and fitter, to be better at sports. Most are not looking to be ideal for society. Men want better bodies so they improve in areas such as sports. Women emphasis shifted from the value of their characters and good works to their bodies as a means of expressing their individual identities (Janis 3). Despite politically correct swimsuit catalogs, despite men telling us that they prefer women with a little meat on their bones, most women, would trade in their real figures for a body of a model (1). Girls are overly concerned about weight and body shape. They strive for the perfect body and judge themselves by their looks, appearance, and above all thinness. Boys are concerned with the size and strength of their body. Boys live in a culture that showcases males as glamorous macho figures that have to be tough, build muscles and sculpt their bodies, if they want to fit in (Maynard 1). Guys are continuously in competition with each other. If you re stronger, you re better. If you feel good about your body, you automatically feel good about yourself (Maynard 2). Boys often feel inadequate if they don t excel physically (Beaurgard 1). People are always looking for that ideal body. No longer are we just satisfied with who we are.

The ideal image for women is skinny, but not like actress Chalistra Flockheart. Flockhart repels women because her physique exudes vulnerability, a childlike frailty. Yet a pre-pregnancy Madonna appears empowered in her yoga-toned body. Similarly, Aniston looks fit, not frail. Gazing at a recent photo of Monica Lewinsky scarfing down a bag of potato chips, my first reaction is, what is wrong with her? as if her being unable to stay on the Jenny Craig bandwagon is a sign of psychological weakness (Which 1). The standard has moved far out of reach. Many women feel inadequate when they consider their bodies, but the truth is that the standard is impossible for most women to reach if they are to remain healthy (Food 1). In an article written in 2000, celebrities were asked who had the best body. Yasmine Bleeth, an actress states Probably Rebecca Romjin-Stamos, since she s so curvy and tall. I wish I had another five inches like hers on my legs. I always admire women more like me, a little more boobish, not some skinny model. I ve always wanted to be a little taller like Gwyneth Paltrow; she can wear anything and look great states Heather Graham, a well know actress (Which The media plays a major role influencing people to achieve that perfect body. Surrounded by thin models and TV stars, teenage girls are taught to achieve an impossible goal. As a result, many teenage girls intensely dislike their bodies and can tell you down to the minutest detail what s wrong with it. Most teens watch an average of 22 hours of TV a weeks and are deluged with images of fat-free bodies in the pages of health, fashion and teen magazines.

The standard is impossible to achieve. A female should look like and have the same dimensions as Barbie, and a male should look like Arnold Schwarzenegger. Buff Baywatch lifeguards, the well-toned abs of any cast member of Melrose Place or Friends, and music-video queens don t help (Maynard 4). Its a combination of softness and strength. These adverts combine the New Man, with his nurturing instinct, full lips, quite a feminine face, with the muscular body (Milmo 3). It is hard to know what the ideal or perfect body really is. Everyone has a different perception of what the perfect body is. Men see it as way to help them become better, whether its at the office or on the baseball field. Women want the Barbie body to let others know they have power and are something in society. Whatever the case people are going to try and achieve the ideal body and take severe risk. The perfect body has come along way. Until the media stops producing impossible models and sets the ideal image with possible standards, people are going to strive for the perfect body.

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The Influence of Society on Perfect Body Image. (2022, Sep 20). Retrieved from

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