- British Columbia Ministry Of Education
Men and women everywhere are under pressure to measure up to a certain social and cultural ideals of beauty, which can lead to distorted body image.
Women and young girls are constantly bombarded with "Barbie Doll-like" images. By presenting an ideal that is so difficult to achieve and maintain, the cosmetic and diet product industries are assured of growth and profits. It's no accident that youth is increasingly promoted, along with thinness, as an essential criterion of beauty. The message we're hearing is either "all women need to lose weight" or that the natural aging process is a "disastrous" fate.
Images of female success and fashion portray the ideal woman as smart, popular, successful, beautiful and very thin (the average fashion model weights 25 percent less than the average woman). Pressure to measure up is great, and is constantly reinforced by family and friends, as well as advertising and popular media. Women still are taught that their looks will determine their success, and that thin equals beautiful.
Girls and women aren't the only ones with body image issues. Surveys show that increasing numbers of men and boys are also feeling unhappy with their bodies.
The ideal male look today, as shown on TV, in movies and in advertising, has become increasingly lean and muscular. Even the proportions of G.I. Joe and other action figures have changed dramatically over the years, from more normal male proportions to a physique far bigger and unrealistic.
Over the past two decades, the gender gap in media objectification has closed. Every bit as unattainable as Barbie-doll proportions and the heroin chic look are the broad-shouldered, narrow-waisted, fat-free, and muscle-sheathed male physiques littering today’s media.
The affects of negative body image can be tragic in both men and women; often leading to a lifetime of depression, anxiety, reclusiveness, chronically low self-esteem, compulsive dieting or eating disorders. 25 percent -30 percent of people with eating disorders remain chronically ill, and 15 percent will die prematurely.
We, the undersigned, call on the BC Ministry Of Education to implement Positive Body Image Education as a required course for ALL (both female and male) Elementary, Middle and High School students in British Columbia.
In order to combat the affects of distorted body image, we want to undo the assumption that only thin is beautiful and that looks always determines success. We propose to combat pressure from friends, family, advertisement and popular media to weigh less, to look different, to change in any way in order to fit into a certain societal ideal of beauty that is extremely difficult to achieve.
The Require Body Image Education in B.C. Schools petition to British Columbia Ministry Of Education was written by Rowan Hébert and is in the category Education at GoPetition.