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Below are the 7 most recent journal entries recorded in Media and Body Image's LiveJournal:

Saturday, October 27th, 2007
5:00 am
yo what da go..
eheh this a good thing but no1 post anymnore?

ahah that's with al things of real valeu&beauty
they  burn easily
into ashes
into da black

yeh and media not only influence our body shtx
but most of all Ur brain$$
they way we believe
what's good or not
our hole focking way of living

work till dead
so u can buy what they want U
slavery but with nice gifts
produce and seduce

and we are da fools
Friday, June 8th, 2007
8:54 am
Reflective Journal

What Are You Going To Do About It?

Stephanie Tuskovich


            For my term-end project in Media and Culture I looked at how the media affects our self-esteem and body-image. I created a community on LiveJournal and despite the fact that it still doesn’t have any members (it’s slow to get people to join communities on LiveJournal); the opportunity is there if people do want to join.

            I’ve been posting quite a few times a week, mostly on school days where it’s easier to find time to access a computer. The criteria for posting in the group is to post about how the media, being TV, magazines, movies, etc make us feel about our own personal body image.

            Most of the time media doesn’t really affect my sense of self TOO much, but when it does, oh man it hits it hard. Some days I’ll watch TV and when I’m done, I’ll feel like I need to do about a hundred sit ups before I’m allowed to leave the house. Other days, depending on what’s on, I’ll watch TV and end up feeling great. They days I like best are when I’m not affected at all. I don’t think it’s too good for society that media can affect us like that.

            And it’s obvious that something is indeed concerning us enough to make changes to ourselves. According to sadd.org, about one in one hundred teenaged girls will have anorexia, and four in one hundred will have bulimia. According to http://www.hopewell.on.ca/eds.htm, eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness.

            Now we must ask ourselves: what is causing all of these issues in our teenaged girls? I think that, among other factors, media is the most concerning. Media influence is preventable and changeable. It shouldn’t be used for evil, to influence girls to lose weight and achieve a ‘perfect’ body image.

            That’s what I see on the cover of magazines. Specifically, on magazines aimed at teenaged girls. Think of Seventeen Magazine, or Cosmogirl, or TeenVogue. The headlines always run something like “lose weight in 10 days!” “Get rid of excess belly fat!” or something to encourage us to be thinner. It’s gotten a little bit better in recent days, but mostly, magazines still preach skinniness. There’s never a fashion spread of a plus-sized model, or even a regular-sized model. I understand that fashion media is about extremes, but to go to such an extreme all the time as to make girls forget what normal is? I think that’s wrong.

            To have such extremes in the media as to only see “too thin” or “too fat” has a huge effect on a young girl’s mind. Instead of knowing and accepting and liking the norms of body types, she ends up seeing only two things: skinny or fat. Yes, there are naturally thin people, and yes, there are naturally big people. But where are the naturally average people?

8:14 am
So, I'm on this message board site called gaia. Gaiaonline.com. It's a really cool site, I go there every time I'm on the computer. The thing that makes Gaia great is the little avatars you get. They're pixilated people that you can dress up with clothes you buy from gold you get from posting messages. There's been a bit of a dispute a few times about the look of these avatars. Some people say they look too thin and some people say they look chubby. I think they lean towards the chubby side just because of the style they're drawn in. But I don't mind. The clothes you can get for them are really great. They can wear stuff I'd kill to have. It makes me kind of doubt the stuff in my own wardrobe and whether or not my fashion sense is all that great, but then I think - hey, they're just little computerized anime figures. It so doesn't matter. So I've come to the conclusion that the widely disputed Gaia avatars make me feel....kind of good about myself, really. I can dress them up with clothes that represent my sense of style, and they're a little bit chubbier than me and STILL look good, so that's got to be a good thing, eh?
Tuesday, June 5th, 2007
9:28 am
Grad Dress
I tried on my grad dress yesterday to make sure it still fit, which it did. So that's good. In the magazines lately there's been a lot of that "get ready for prom" stuff going on. I hope I look half as decent as those girls.
Friday, June 1st, 2007
8:37 am
So You Think You Can Dance
Last night I watched So You Think You Can Dance. Very amusing show, excellent from the media point of view. It was, surprisingly, a show that made me feel.....good about my body. It may be harsh to write this, but there were a lot of extremely unattractive people who auditioned. A lot of them got through, but some of them were really out of shape and obviously couldn't dance. Me, I'm a horrible dancer. Can't dance to save my life, really. So what is cool for me watching a show like that is seeing people who are in a lot worse shape than me being able to move so well. A lot of them came on and I thought "oh man she's going to SUCK" but then they were awesome. It really surprised me.
Thursday, May 31st, 2007
10:43 am
Canada's Next Top Model
As an introductory post of mine, I'll say that I watched the premiere of Canada's Next Top Model last night. That show in itself is a huge way for the fashion industry to connect and get through to young (12-25 year old) girls. Almost all the girls who try out for that show are stick thin. That in itself is a little bit of a letdown for normal sized people, but then to see these girls posing nude with guys and having their pictures not only taken, but judged in front of a whole NATION? That would be terrifying for me. I hate having my picture taken when I'm wearing the best clothes, having to do a nude photoshoot would make me feel horrible.

There was one girl, I can't remember her name, but she was told she needed to 'tone her legs.' Then they made a huge deal about how they didn't want her to lose weight, they wanted 'only healthy girls on their show.' I thought her legs looked fine...I mean, if someone with  legs like hers can't make it and be deemed attractive, I guess the rest of us should stick to baggy pants.
Wednesday, May 30th, 2007
11:45 am
Hey everybody, and welcome to the community. As I said in the bio, this is a place for us to post about how media influences our body image.

Have at it, I'll post again when I get time later on today.
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