How society influences our body image - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

How society influences our body image


MADISON (WKOW) -- Studies show many women in the U.S. feel pressured to measure up to a certain social and cultural ideal of beauty, which can lead to poor body image.

Angelika Gulbis, a sociology instructor at Madison College, says our body image, our image of beauty comes from a lot of different sources.

"It comes from peers, the family, media, and that includes so many different things, billboards, advertisements, social media, you name it," Gulbis said. "We long to be accepted in our groups, and we want to look good, feel good, be cool, especially during adolescence."

Gulbis said the image of what's beautiful is portrayed as a "perfect" image. 

"Thinness is highly emphasized," Gulbis said. "Also, facial beauty, full lips, small nose, and it's a very narrow, singular image, and it's not real either."

Gulbis said the image of beauty is perpetuated by the media for advertising dollars.

"The less secure we feel about ourselves, and that we need to have an ideal image of ourselves, the more products we might buy to reach that ideal," Gulbis said.

Gulbis said this is also an issue for men.

In one study of college students, 74.4 percent of the normal-weight women stated that they thought about their weight or appearance "all the time" or "frequently." But is also found that 46 percent of the normal-weight men surveyed responded the same way.

"We need to change it all together," Gulbis said. "It's really, really important for parents to model their behaviors for their children. Do as you say, and do as you do."

Gulbis joined us on 27 News at 5 on Wednesday.

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