Series: “Accepting Our Appearance”
A Comparison to See: Watching the Documentaries Thin and Baby Faced Body Builders
WHAT DETERMINES OR THREATENS OUR SELF‑IMAGE?
Gender differences create socially‑accepted gender norms. The Barbie and Ken type of beauty, with men being fit and muscular and women being pretty and skinny, is prevalent in Westernized culture.
In fulfilling certain models of beauty, both men and women are at risk of living by the standards of their appearance. Men can develop manorexia, as they desire to resemble model mannequins or they can develop bigorexia, where they’re obsessed with their muscles and lifting weights because they are never satisfied with how “big” or “ripped” they are. Women tend to be preoccupied with being skinny, which highlights the notoriety of anorexia or bulimia.
When we become obsessed with our bodies, we control our appearance by either minimizing our weight or by overcompensating for what we feel is lacking. Of course, we should be aware of what we consume, how we treat our bodies, and what motivates our self‑image; however, if our body‑image becomes our self‑image, gauging how we see and value life, then there’s a problem.
The documentary Thin is filmed in a Florida clinic and follows women diagnosed with eating disorders.
The documentary Baby Faced Body Builders is filmed in the United Kingdom and follows three teenagers who live to bulk up their muscles.
Both of these documentaries present a behind‑the‑scenes look into the reality of disordered logic and restrictive habits. Many of the films’ participants confess what made their appearance a central part of their lives, along with why or why not they see their lifestyle as dysfunctional.
We have the right to live as we choose, but it’s important to note how maladaptive thinking and behaviors affect our quality of life.
We are all unique. We deserve to be appreciated for our differences. Our self‑image should not be valued by how well we can replicate imposed archetypes of perfection.
We must be honest and learn to look out for ourselves. If we know we’re doing something wrong, we should do what we can to restore order. When we face our fears, we can conquer our weaknesses.
Don’t be a victim of vanity. Value who you are.
Your life is in your hands…be kind and take care of yourself.
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