In today’s society we are constantly bombarded by images of perfection. Billboards and posters surround us everywhere of beautiful people - whether you are standing at the bus stop, with images of Cheryl Cole staring back at you, or walking into a Newsagent to be confronted with copies of magazines such as Glamour and Vogue. It has been argued within the psychological and sociological world that these images have become our ideals and have therefore have affected the way we act and behave. Everybody wants to be perfect – even politicians are at it – we all know that David Cameron has been airbrushed in his latest poster campaign.
Research demonstrates that these images can lead to mental health issues such as, low self-esteem and depression due to us not being able to reach ‘ultimate perfection.’ Further mental health issues are becoming more common such as, anorexia and bulimia – John Prescott suffered with bulimia for quite a while. Eating disorders are extremely detrimental to people’s health – it was predicted that Brittany Murphy died from such a thing. Additionally, we all know that sunbeds can increase the chances of skin cancer, yet a majority of us still use them so that we can become one step closer to becoming perfect.
Negative body image is definitely a concern and people should be made aware of its impact, especially when it comes to young people. The Channel 4 presenter, Gok Wan, noted most famously by his hit TV series, ‘How To Look Good Naked,’ campaigned heavily last year to try and get ‘body confidence,’ on the school curriculum as over 70% of teenagers are estimated to have little or no body confidence, leading to issues such as self-harm. This needs to stop and from a moralistic standpoint, I believe that we need to start acting and campaigning on such things.
The new series of ‘How to Look Good Naked,’ begins tonight at 8.00, on Channel 4. I am very excited about this as I believe that this show is much deeper than materialistic ideals. Wan, challenges perceptions as he teaches people how to make the most of their body, by tackling self-esteem issues and ultimately increasing confidence. As a disabled activist, I am further excited, as his latest quest involves people with physical disabilities which is often overlooked in the fashion world. Wan tackles real issues to do with real people, and I think that we can all learn a lesson or two from him.
Rupy Kaur – Disability Coordinator