Our Bodies in the Media – Tactless Transparency?

There is intense pressure on women, and increasingly men, to be thin, fit and beautiful. Are you feeling the pressure? I am. I always considered myself well above the inane vanity of the media machine, but it seems we are inundated more and more with images and content that puts even the most hardy self-image to the test. Twitter and Facebook have become literal meccas for bikini pictures and status updates detailing the minutiae of people’s lives. I have always avoided Cosmo and similar-type magazines for their unrealistic expectations of women’s bodies, sex lives and careers, but it’s challenging to avoid the same messages through social media.

My questions to you are:

  1. Is too much sharing on social media adding to unattainable standards of beauty?
  2. If so, how does this translate to organizations and publications established to promote healthy living?

Are we creating a culture tactless transparency?

Bikini and a Cheeseburger

“Just killed back to back spin classes. Eating a salad dreaming of a cheeseburger. #PopStarsDontEat #BornThisWay.” – Lady Gaga

Social media has become a popular tool for organizations to promote their message for the simple fact that people trust real people. Personally, I appreciate feeling connected to the voice of an organization, but do I need to know that the Fitness Editor of a major healthy living publication is bloated from eating too many salted nuts? Probably not.

I recently read a blog post What does Being Transparent Mean? by one of my favourite experts on social media, John Haydon. He made an excellent point, “transparency is about your fans, not you.” Even within the casual framework of social media, information should still be presented articulately, professionally and definitely within the bounds social propriety.

The point is: when searching for information online regarding healthy living, always consider the source. Determine for yourself whether the information is a tactless over-share catering the the narcissism of one poster or real, relevant fact that could realistically help you reach you goals.

My recommendation this week: www.alive.com

Next Post: Who is laura jane?

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One thought on “Our Bodies in the Media – Tactless Transparency?

  1. This is an excellent point. The media setting a nearly impossible standard for body image has been going on since the 1960’s, when Twiggy hit the scene and made anorexia fashionable.

    But there’s hope. Last summer a girl started a social media campaign against Seventeen Magazine, demanding that they stop touching up the photos of young girls to look perfect, and to publish more realistic photos of what girls should look like. She obtained 85,000 signatures on a petition and managed to get the magazine editor on board.

    If you want to read more, here’s a link:
    http://www.adweek.com/news/press/teens-petition-leads-seventeen-body-image-pledge-141493

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