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Ideal Body Image

As Khloe Kardashian has said, “There is no such thing as perfect. Nobody attains perfection. But if you keep trying, you grow and evolve, and to me, that’s the point: To be a better person today than I was yesterday; to become the best possible version of myself.” In this work, I have analyzed four peer-reviewed and two popular works on the topic of body images and an ideal body.

The article by F.L. Brown and V. Slaughter focuses on the image of a perfect body; it intends to find out whether this ideal image forms in childhood or develops through ages. To find this out, the researchers have invited children and adults as participants. The scholars discovered that children already had the image of a perfect body in their imagination and carry this image in their minds through the years (Brown and Slaughter 119-125). This article had a strong impact on my understanding of this topic. I used to think that children are unaware of the concept of the ideal body. The experiment of the authors let me know that such an image forms in childhood. The authors of the work are known specialists in the field of psychology. The research is frequently cited and published on such trustworthy resources as ScienceDirect.

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The work of K.P. Morgan is devoted to the problem of cosmetic surgery and the standards that make people, most often women, believe that their bodies are not perfect, and they should “modify” them with the help of cosmetic surgery. Morgan analyzes the problem of cosmetic surgery in the context of contemporary culture and technology. She also explains what factors influence women when they make a choice to change their bodies (Morgan 25-53). Morgan’s article helped me to organize my knowledge regarding cosmetic surgery. The researcher also introduced me to the technological context of this problem, which had been an unknown topic for me. The paper has been cited in numerous works on gender and media studies. The author is a known specialist in gender studies.

The chapter is written by A. McRobbie for the collection All about the Girl: Culture, Power, and Identity focuses on the contemporary standards influencing body image. The author takes the image of Bridget Jones, a popular movie protagonist who has been struggling with her weight, as a symbolic representation of women who spend their time and money in order to fit in the standards of body image. The author analyzes the implications of such a situation for contemporary feminism and presents her reflection regarding the possible solution of this problem that can be proposed by feminists (McRobbie 3-14). This work allowed me to get acquainted with the feminist perfective on the problem of perfect bodies. The author is a professor of communications and a well-known scholar. Her research is frequently cited by gender and communications specialists.

The work of Dittmar and others focuses on a significant problem related to body image: the way in which adolescents see it. The authors have conducted a study among English teenagers. During the study, the researchers analyzed the preferences of the teenagers regarding the “ideal” male and female body (Dittmar et al. 887-915). The work has allowed me to enrich my knowledge on the adolescent perception of body image, which is an essential aspect of my topic of interest. It allowed me to understand how the perception of body image can change with age. The article is a strong piece of research and is frequently cited not only by media specialists but also by those in adolescent psychology. The authors are known psychologists.

The article written by K. Stryker for Everyday Feminism magazine discusses a serious barrier that prevents many people from considering their body perfect: fatphobia. Stryker explains what fatphobia is and why it is a kind of discrimination with negative consequences. She analyzed this phenomenon from various aspects: media, clothes production, discrimination in everyday life, medical industry, professional discrimination, and the impact on romantic preferences (Stryker par. 1-19). This work allowed me to systematize my knowledge about fatphobia and learn some new facts about it (such as the discrimination in the medical industry). K. Stryker is feminist activist and blogger whose articles are devoted to the problems of discrimination, especially fatphobia.

The article written by A. Sheek for Lifestyle intends to prove the notion “all bodies are beautiful” true. Along with convincing rhetoric, the author presents a detailed rebuttal of the most widespread arguments that forbid fat bodies to be called perfect such as the “health” argument. Sheek explains that there is nothing unhealthy or ugly in a fat body (Sheek par. 1-10). The article helped me to remember what strong arguments exist to support the opinion that all bodies are perfect. A. Sheek is a blogger and fashion specialist who writes on social issues and considers beauty standards one of such issues.

The works presented above helped me to understand my topic of interest further. They assisted me in the analysis of various aspects of body image.

Works Cited

Brown, Felicity B., and Virginia Slaughter. “Normal Body, Beautiful Body: Discrepant Perceptions Reveal a Pervasive ‘Thin Ideal’ From Childhood to Adulthood.” Body Image 8.1 (2011): 119-125. Print.

Dittmar, Helga, Barbara Lloyd, Shaun Dugan, Emma Halliwell, Neil Jacobs and Helen Cramer. “The ‘Body Beautiful’: English Adolescents’ Images of Ideal Bodies.” Sex Roles 42.9 (2000): 887-915. Print.

McRobbie, Angela. “Notes on Postfeminism and Popular Culture: Bridget Jones and the New Gender Regime.” All about the Girl: Culture, Power, and Identity. Ed. Anita Harris. New York City, New York: Routledge, 2004. 3-14. Print.

Morgan, Kathryn Pauly. “Women and the Knife: Cosmetic Surgery and the Colonization of Women’s Bodies.” Hypatia 6.2 (1991): 25-53. Print.