The World Has Curves

Julia Savacool embarked on a world tour of body image issues that became her new book called, “The World Has Curves:  The Global Quest for the Perfect Body.”  She discovered that globally, most women, beauty comes from more meaningful things than cosmo.  The following three countries are on the top of this list for having good body image.  South Africa, Jamaica, and Afghanistan.

South Africa has a pro body image.  If you lose weight there, people think your sick.  Levi’s begun selling a special cut jeans to flatter curvier person.

In Jamaica it is socially essential to have a little “junk in the trunk”.  Thin women are occasionally driven to consuming high-fat “chicken pills” to gain weight.  How different is that from the United States.  

Afghanistan embraces curves for women.  The longer the woman’s hair, the better.  Afghani beauty is more defined by a pretty face than a toned body.  


I found this book exert to be very beneficial for this blog because the United States has such a different view compared to these countries.  I would love for once to see the Levi Jeans like the ones offered in South Africa to show up in America.  Why not change it up.  Lastly, I conclude this by saying that I feel this article proves that the media has a lot to do with what is socially acceptable because in other countries it is acceptable to be curvier.


Shape: Most inspiring before and after weight loss photos

Shape magazine is one of those Health and Fitness magazines that was just ridiculed in my last post for being the worst type of magazine that causes BIED.  Well on their website I found something inspiring that this magazine offers in each issue.  They offer personal stories of women and men that worked hard to lose the weight and explain how they did it.  The before and the after photos don’t make me feel like I am not satisfied with myself.  It makes me feel motivated.  Each story explains their faults before losing the weight, how they got inspired to lose weight, and what helped them stay motivated to keep the weight off.  


I feel like when health and fitness magazines talk about ways to improve on exercise or ways to get flat abs can sometimes sound negative and the pictures that they put with these articles would make you feel bad about the way you look but these real life stories are completely different and add encouragement to those who are trying to lose weight.

Magazines, Media, and teen body image

This article gave some really insightful information.  This was published in 2011 and was from Neurotic Physiology.  This was based on four hypotheses.  First I need to explain what this article means by BIED.  BIED is the increased drive to be thin, increased anorexia and/or bulimia, increased muscularity, and decreased body satisfaction.  This article also deals with not only the usual female perspective but also the male perspective.


The hypotheses tested were:

H1:  Reading fashion, sports, and health magazines will predict increased BIED (explained above).
H2 / H3:  Social comparisons with magazine images will predict increased BIED.
H4:  Increased critical body image processing will predict increased BIED.  

The results are actually quite surprising in a couple of ways.  First when it dealt with the three types of magazines, most surprising was that Health and Fitness magazines had the worst impact on body image and eating disorders.  Health and Fitness was correlated with increased anorexic behaviors, increased bulimic behaviors, and increased drive to be thin in girls.  It was also correlated with increased muscularity in boys.  While Fashion magazines (the one everyone thought would be the worst) having a small correlation with bulimic behaviors but not other correlation between image and magazine reading.  Sports magazines also had a quite shocking results because for a sports magazine it was correlated with increased muscularity with girls, not boys.  The next two hypotheses results actually made sense.  Girls who compare themselves with the images in magazines suffered more often from decreased body satisfaction and eating disorders than those who didn’t.  This was also true for boys, but boys also had increased muscularity.  Lastly, the article results for hypothesis four was that the more images that girls and boys compared themselves to, the more likely they were to have problems with body image and eating disorders which makes sense.  

What I did find interesting was that more people that spent time reading the articles and less time looking at the magazine images actually felt better about themselves.

I truly feel that article was very honest and came out with appropriate results for the study it was running.  Some of the results I felt were unexpected but after thinking about them it really made sense.  From now on, stop looking at the images and read what’s important, the articles themselves.  As much as the images give off the wrong sign, the articles actually might be helpful and want the reader to feel good about themselves.

Thin models affect on body image

The link below is to an article from Walden Behavioral Care about how poor body image comes from ultra thin models in advertisements.  This article talked about how the average height and weight for a model is 5’10” and 110 pounds where in reality most people are 5’4” and 145 pounds.  When there is that much difference and the average person looks at thousands of advertisements and articles with these women on them why wouldn’t the average person have poor body image.  I also want to show what I mean by posting some images of these ultra thin models to prove my point.  Those images above would be what I mean about thin model advertisements.

Today show video: Body image and photo retouching

The Today Show: Body Image and Photo Retouching

This video is what every young girl, teenage girl, and adult woman needs to hear about when looking at a model on television or in a magazine.  It’s hard to believe how much the media can do to make these models look perfect.  In reality this former Miss Australian Model wants people to know the truth.  You can change anything on a woman to make her look perfect.  The media manipulates photographs to make real women feel terrible about themselves.  If you look at the statistics, so many young girls, teens, and adults suffer from anorexia and bulimia to make themselves look like the models and actors in magazines and television.  In reality, this is not what the women in the magazines and on television  look like.  Like the editor for the SHOP magazine pointed out they make changes to every picture especially the front cover to make the person look better.

Models today are 5’11” and are under 120 pounds and yes that does make them look extremely skinny.  Average woman are 5’4” and 160 pounds according to Center for Disease Control and Prevention.  When that’s the average height and weight for American women why wouldn’t looking at a photo retouched image make us feel insecure about ourselves.  Looking at a non retouched picture of a model at 120 pounds would already make the average American women feel insecure.

I wish today more news stations, and televisions shows would talk about the truth when it comes to body image.  It would be nice to see what these people actually look like and how they feel about themselves.  Magazines should show real women like the women in the Dove Ad Campaigns.  I also wish that I could pick up a magazine that doesn’t depict actresses on who gained weight and who didn’t.  Because in reality you never know the truth because of photo retouching.  I have to contemplate how those actresses must feel knowing that the media does this.  I know what it does to average girls and women but what about the ones that have to worry about what there image is.

In the end, the media needs to lay off whats the perfect image.  Who cares as long as these women are happy with what they look like and are healthy than it doesn’t matter.  No women, whether a model, actress, or an average girl or woman, should have to be retouched or look at retouched pictures.  Everyone is beautiful in there own way and everyone has there favorite part of there body that makes them, them.