Today I find myself increasingly aware of the media’s impact on how we see and define our bodies. Whether it be the constant bombardment of images of the ‘ideal’ women and male physique within advertising campaigns, which aim to convince us to purchase their goods in the drive to obtain the ‘ultimate’ body!. Or viewing images on social media, most of which have been edited by adding filters so that the true image has been distorted in such a way, that the person’s authenticity is lost and I find myself viewing a friend’s photo and asking, who is that?
In this manufacturing of ‘The Body’, the body itself has become lost and even denied. So blinded are we in this pursuit to do ‘good’ for our body, our body is often left suffering both mentally and physically. Medical procedures aimed to enhance often lead to life long complications, diets offering the ‘fix’ often break us, and the demand to be ‘perfect’ like ‘everyone else’ leaves us isolated and lacking in self esteem.
Some Clients I have worked with have been so transfixed in their pursuit to be like, ‘them’, and ‘you’ that they have lost all sense of how their body actually looks and feels, this can be medically diagnosed as Body Dysmorphic Disorder. It is my opinion, that the body of society which we live in is fast becoming collectively Body Dysmorphic. After all what is normal? What is the ideal we aim for? Surely each person’s definition of normal and ideal are influenced by their own personal history’s and life choices. If we are to continue to allow ourselves to be influenced by the social construction of beauty, in my opinion, it can lead to only one result: Mentally and Psychically unwell clones.
So I urge us all to look beyond the image and into the lived realities of bodies around us and what they authentically represent. Even into the mirror ourselves, who are we? what do we stand for? Can we accept and are we aware of how our own personal and social body, within which we live, impacts others?