Body image is the preoccupation that an individual possess concerning their outlook in the midst of the social dictation of self-image (“Body image” 2012). It reflects how and the individual feels and think about their body shape, color, texture, and size of the body as whole of parts. Interestingly body image is highly influenced and dictated by others, more than the persona can determines. The positivity or negativity of body image is a crucial factor in determining a number of psychological and sociological comfort zones. In this regard, the society has developed the mentality of having a good or bad body image, consequently influencing people behaviors towards these images.
Body images take the form into two aspects, real body image or ideal body image. The real form is the actual individual’s body image while ideal is the socially dictated body image. The discrepancy between the two extremities determines an individual’s attitude towards body image. It is advocated to develop a positive attitude towards body image and avoid instances of having negative perceptions about body image (Cahill, and Mussap 632). In the society, women are highly affected by the issue of body image more than men. The issue of beauty and the feeling of intimate likability among women compel them towards worrying about their images and how the society (peer, friend, relatives and significant others) perceives their body image.
Of the two body images, ideal body seems to obsess people more than real body image. The media play a profound role in influencing people towards the attainment of ideal body images, discounting their real body images. Society holds the ideal body image as the best and more fashionable and aesthetic image. Media programs such as fashion and design, actress and adverts use ideal imaged individuals promote their message. Models and celebrities also form a vital influential factor in promoting the way individuals’ passive body image right from a young age. However, it is a common knowledge that the differences in personalities will result to differences in perception of body images.
Ideal body image creates is crucial in determining the way people behaves and practices that they adopt to enable them conform to idealized form. Contemporary, women believe that being slim, or having an hour glass shape it the most ideal shape form a perfect woman. Women will, therefore, undertake activities that will help them achieve the shape. Pictures and photo of individuals with this shape have been praise and motivate women towards measures that reduce addition of weight. In this perspective, there are accelerated rate in conditions such as Anorexia Nervosa, and controlled eating to reduce the rate of gaining weight (“Body image” 2012). All these hustle and measures are aimed at achieving and maintaining an ideal body image. The disabled individuals face a considerable challenge when it comes to defining and conforming to ideal body image.
Ideal body image is a core motivator towards personal initiative measures that enable individuals avoids health conditions such as diabetes, overweight, excessive fat, heart problems and hypertension cases. Idealization motivate a person to engage in a healthy lifestyle where they embrace health diets, healthy eating habits, practices and exercises with the aim of targeting ideal body. Once the idea of ideal body has become an obsession, the person may significantly develop health problems inclined to psychological discomfort. Such issues include stress, depression, anxiety, social disintegration and cases of low self-esteem.
Body comparison is the basis theory behind ideal body image. Individuals will liken their bodies with those in the community that they feel have an ideal body image. According to Glebocka, and Kulbat 2007, the rate of individuals conforming to the ideal body image is directly related to the exposure and influence of celebrities in the society. In areas where celebrities have little impact and on the society setting, the communities will rarely strive to transform to the ideal shape. Interestingly, even in the society, especially at college levels, individuals have sets of people that they consider as ideal. Obsession of ideal image is notice to be high among the adolescent and the young adults. Marono, 2011 associated the rate of idealization to adolescence in since they are vulnerable to influences of the peer members. The identity factor associated with this group has a significant effect on moving towards ideal body image over real body image.
Negative attitude towards one’s body image is a critical determinant in motivating adolescent cases of eating disorders. They are so obsessed with the effect of body image that they fail to consider the repercussion that may arise in failure of eating balance and adequate amount of food.at this stage, the body is under intense physiologic and metabolic transformations. Therefore, ample energy is required to maintain these processes. Failure to provide the energy required affects the health of the individual considerably. Such people develop bulimia and anorexia, which may end up disfiguring them beyond the intended target of shape.
The issue of ideal image has also been identified by pharmaceutical and cosmetic companies. The companies are using the “idealization motive” to market their products and also release products that are aimed at helping people achieve their ideal dream. Invention of chemicals that breach the skin making is brighter, just like that of the models, is one of the many example of obsession towards ideal body image (Cahill, and Mussap 635). People are willing to forfeit large chunks of money in trying to achieve the ideal dream. Women seem to be highly obsessed by this issue in the manner that almost every product that women put on in the current world is aesthetic. The real body image no longer matters among many women, who prefer aesthetic finger nails, lips, hair, boobs and even hips. Women are undergoing surgeries to transform their bodies to suit those of their favorite celebrities. Among areas that matter most in women include the hips and the boobs. These sections are resized and likened to those of the models in the TVs, magazines, newspapers or even in the music and video world.
Though men are rarely affected by the ideal image in the society, the most common aspects that draw interest between ideal and the real image include the muscular tone, penile size and weight. Men will engage in over eating practices, gym and use of steroid to boost their muscle growth. Products deem at addressing these needs among men are availed in the market, and men are increasingly using the products to boost their image towards the ideal ones. In men, the ideal images incorporate masculinity and a gigantic body frames (Cahill, and Mussap 635). The penile size also forms common issue among men that is a determinant on the aspect of body image. Some men re obsessed about their penile size to an extent of using penile boosters to reinforce their size. This is in the wake of believing that the ideal size should be larger than their real size.
In conclusion, deal body image comprises of attributes that individuals believes they should possess over those that they actually possess. This believes moves them to adopting measures that are aimed at helping them attain the aspired qualities and attributes of body image. The society remain a key force that determines the ideal body image thus pilling pressure on individuals and wishes to satisfy the social interest at the expense of their real body image. Obsession of body image is, therefore, highly witnessed towards attaining ideal body image rather than real body image.