Friday, February 20, 2015

Bodies Are Not Barbies

I wanted to use this blog post to write about something that really bothers me; it's a huge issue in the United States and only seems to be getting worse.

Body image.

People constantly look at themselves and feel shameful for having a couple of extra pounds, hair that is slightly dull in color, and skin that isn't perfectly tanned. Of course, there are other things that cause people distress, and it all seems to be coming from a similar source. The big corporations.

They release barbies that have unrealistic standards and post images of woman who are photo-shopped into the unachievable body. With all this going around, how can one not feel repulsed by their own body. Society puts the perfect body on a platform that is far too high to reach.

To fix this problem we can use critical pluralism and interdisciplinary thinking. These two views are important because they will help us address the problem as a whole rather than just seeing one side of things. It will also help us see that what we know is not certain and absolute, so not all of what we try may help solve the problem.

So, the disciplines I am including that I believe would help eradicate this issue are anthropology, biology, education, history, psychology, sociology. All of these can help educate the population along with helping us understand why we think a certain way and how we can change that thought pattern for the better.

Perspectives on the Problem
Learning how different cultures give meaning to life through different ideas and beliefs
People are trying to fit in with their culture that surrounds them even if it does not fit their ideas and beliefs
Cultures vary from place to place and one should follow what they believe
Views how physical behavior is effected through genes and evolution
People do not understand that the human body “behaves” differently for everyone
There can be a positive outcome if the human body is understood
Learning about different values that
People are not gaining the proper information that they need
Properly informed individuals can help decrease body image issues
Understanding development and different changes in a chronological order
People do not realize that standards change constantly, meaning there is no perfect body
Realizing that ideas and standards change can show how unrealistic todays views are
Observes how individual minds work
People are affected negatively and need to gain a positive outlook
Getting proper treatment and help can change negative thoughts and behaviors
Views how individuals relate in any given society
People see societal views and are influenced because of them
Sharing views from all aspects can help show that people are different and no one is perfect

Image Resource:


  1. Make sure you cite your photos when you use them, and make sure you check your posts before final publishing (see Education epistemology above-- oops!). We will clarify in class the distinction between an epistemology and a disciplinary definition, since that is definitely confusing lots of folks. Overall, though, body image is a great issue to think about from multiple perspectives, so great choice on that!

  2. This is a great concept, its also something that has bother me for a long time as well. For me growing up I was just the opposite, I was a string bean that couldn't gain a pound no matter how much I ate and how hard I tried. It has bothered me so much over the years after hearing and reading about some of the misconceptions behind body image, and what corporations have to do with it. I think its important that males are included in this topic as well, the pressures that they face to be big and bulky can be worse than females just trying to be thin. And in this case a lot of the time it can lead to eating disorders. Great topic, one that I clearly feel strongly about. I love the way you broke this issue down as well.

  3. This is a great topic to look at through various disciplines! I think body image effects almost all of us in some way! Big corporations provide images that make people think they have to be just like what they see. Not only is this dangerous and unhealthy, but unrealistic as well. Every person is unique in their own way and should not have to conform to fit a certain stereotype or look. To solve this problem it is going to take many disciplines working together. The disciplines that you chose fit well with this issue. Great job!

  4. Very interesting topic! The media influenced the body image and many people suffer because they want to look like a person with a great body on a photograph. It like how you included all the disciplines that deal with this issue. I really liked the perspective on the problem from the history discipline. It is true that the standards change over the time. In the Renaissance, fatter women were more attractive because it was a symbol of wealth and health. Nowadays, it is an opposite and skinny women are considered as attractive. I think you made a good point here.

  5. I feel as though this topic hits home for almost every women, and males out there. There are so many preconceived notions on what a person should look like and the expectations are getting worse. You should definitely delve deeper in to this topic with your art therapy!

  6. Christine-
    Great job finding so many relating disciplines, this is definitely something that effects everything that has anything to do with women! I don't know any lady who hasn't at at least one point been negatively effected by the media's image of women. I did a research project once about the negative effects it has, and also how much Photoshopping actually goes into the images shown in magazines and advertisements. It's easier to look objectively at those images when you get a sense of how much they've been edited into oblivion but it's still hard!


  7. I love that you tackled this topic for this blog post! I have struggled with my body image over the years, starting from a very young age. It affected me in many different ways, which makes sense when you list out the multiple disciplines that you list. Most people just look at this issue from the psychology viewpoint, which makes the most sense to us. I love that you discussed history in your disciplines. I watched a video recently that showed women that had the ideal body type for that time period. The video is titled Women's Ideal Body Types Through the Ages and can be watched on youtube at . It is worth the watch! Another thing that might interest you is the Lammily doll. It was created to help girls understand that Barbies are not realistic and have the average woman's body structure. The dolls also come with stickers that girls can use to make the doll look more like her, such as pimple, freckle, and cellulite stickers. It is definitely worth looking into.

  8. I think the image media portrays of women is so warped and untrue that it forces people, especially women, to be ashamed of their true beauty. This is definitely a topic that touches the hearts of so many young women out there because growing up is challenging and so is finding your identity in a world that likes to tell you who to be. When you look through magazines, all you see is thin, make-up wearing, beautiful models that are presented to look like every day women you'd see on the streets; but that's just a big lie. To overcome this oppression of beauty, women must not look towards the media for support or guidance. It is much more powerful for individuals to shun the false media and look inwards to empower themselves.

  9. ABSOLUTELY loved the idea behind you blog post!!! Such a powerful message :)

  10. This is such a relevant issue that we as consumers and witnesses to the media are affected by. All of your perspectives really can help someone see how important it is for this issue to been seen through multiple lenses. One discipline that would be helpful to use is Women's Studies. This would bring up the lens of third wave feminism which would help one easily identify intersections of oppression on the contemporary woman.

  11. Christine,

    YES! This is so relevant in not only our culture but cultures across the globe. I mean look at how many comments your post has. Unreachable body standards is something that hits home for all of us. And there are so many topics that go into researching this issue like media studies and feminism theory. This is a topic that needs many different disciplines to find some sort of solution, involving many different perspective. Great, great topic choice and one that rubs me the wrong way while exciting me all at the same time. Thank you for posting about such an important topic!