The “Ideal Body”

The Ideal Body

Isabella Tercero, Staff Writer

The pandemic has taken a toll on everyone’s mental health. Whether that’s anxiety, depression, or body image issues. Historically, body standards have been pressured into people, and not in a positive way. Regardless of standards or expectations, all bodies, of all genders, shapes, and sizes, are beautiful. 

Unrealistic standards and expectations have been set by society for centuries. Stretch marks, body fat, height, and many more other aspects of the human body are seen as ugly or imperfect. Not even specifically women, all genders can potentially deal with body dysmorphia. Bradley University says, “A recent study found that 1,000 Americans believe the “perfect” woman is 5’5” and 128 lbs with a 26-inch waist, proportions that are nearly impossible to match. These unrealistic beauty standards plague society and pressure women to make intense decisions in regard to their own bodies,”(Moda Magazine). 

“One study reports that at age thirteen, 53% of American girls are “unhappy with their bodies.” This grows to 78% by the time girls reach seventeen,” (NOW Foundation). Body standards have had a heavy negative affect on women, particularly younger girls, for ages. The idea that a girl of any age has had to view their body as anything other than beautiful simply because of an “expectation”, is revolting.  Body image isn’t specifically about body weight or height, it can also be about freckles, hair color, nose shape, etc. The “ideal” body is always changing, trends for body type cycle, giving all types of people image issues. 

But, women aren’t the only people that suffer with body image problems. Newport Institute quotes, “Because young people are particularly focused on their appearance, body dissatisfaction can lead to suicidal thoughts and behaviors, and contribute to other underlying mental health conditions. In addition, teen boys who experience bullying due to their appearance may continue to suffer from body dissatisfaction and related issues as they mature into young adults,”.

Because the idea of a “perfect body” has been portrayed onto young teens/children through television, school, and even simple conversations with their friends, there is no way to escape it. But, it is mainly the parents’ responsibility to sustain healthy body image ideas in their minds. “It’s difficult for women to find acceptance within their own bodies because of societal pressure to fit an ideal beauty standard. The growth of social media has escalated the intoxication of these beauty standards, telling women what they should and shouldn’t look like,” (Moda Magazine).

Almost everyone deals with some sort of insecurity regarding their body, but whatever that personal lack of confidence may be, it’s perfect the way it is.