The Right Body Image

Monday, March 7, 2011

Journalism plays a key role in shaping many minds about what their body should look like.

Magazines such as Cosmo, Seventeen, and People demand writers to show readers what the "ideal" body shape is in our society. Many times, this body shape is pressuring young women to have an extremely thin body.

Media writers have a huge impact on shaping people's beliefs, ideas, and images of themselves. People that have exposure to any type of mass media have been given what the "right" idea of an acceptable body shape is.

Faces of celebrities such as Mary-Kate Olsen, Lindsay Lohan, and Jessica Alba are plastered on
many magazines so readers can see what "real beauty" is supposed to look like walking down the streets of America.

Often times a magazine may leave out that many celebrities have been diagnosed with some type of eating disorder on his/her journey fitting into that size 0 pair of jeans, such as the three ladies listed above.

Which leaves writers with the question: How do you write a piece for readers and not offend anyone by giving them a negative image about his/her body?

Last week, Brian Steffen showed us the different angles there are to approaching a story when it is assigned.

There are many different approaches that can be used when writing about body image.

Create a human-interest story that could involve somebody who suffered from an eating disorder or put together a how-to piece on how readers can lose weight in healthy ways.

Another great tip for writers is to simply report the facts.

Don't make your story about the 105-pound celebrity with the fancy car and underground pool seem like that is what every person has to be like in order to survive.

People come in all different shapes and sizes. Know what you are reporting to readers may influence the daily life of somebody.

Use journalism as a positive tool to make readers feel good. When writing about a topic such as body image, report reality, not the celebrity world.

Photo Credit: The Chic Fashionista via Creative Commons


Nicole Dillenburg March 8, 2011 at 7:05 AM  

It is unfortunate that media plays a major role in shaping our minds as to how our body should look. Almost evey woman is affected by this, therefore, creating a piece with this different angle can allow the reader to feel more comfortable with the topic.

Kelsey Hagelberg March 8, 2011 at 10:22 AM  

I really like this blog. Kudos to Maddie. Women are expected to fit into this mold that society makes for us. This is directly linked to us from the media. These expectations that society places on us, are ludicrous. Be your own person, and don't let anyone influence you. When it comes down to it, aren't you the one that has control over your life?

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