Friday, 7 July 2017

Unhealthy Attention

What's the matter with people who radically change themselves for the worse?  Do they want their 15 minutes of fame?  Do they have some deep-seated mental issues?  Or are they being pressured into it?

A model who goes by the name of Martina Big had her breasts enlarged to the size of cantaloupe melons, and as if that weren't enough, went on to have injections that turned her skin as dark as a Carribbean native.

Bobbi-Jo Westley weighs over 500 pounds, and she wants to put on more weight just to have "the biggest hips" even though she knows this will most likely kill her.

Several women from various places around the world have spent a lot of money on surgeries just so that they can resemble Barbie dolls.  Model Pixee Fox even went so far as to have several of her ribs removed in her quest for the smallest waist.

This phenomenon isn't limited to women either.  There are men who are turning to surgery and radical body-shaping in order to attain the "ideal" form.  Singer Michael Jackson had several facial surgeries, and over time his skin became more and more white; there are conflicting stories over whether this was due to purposeful bleaching or a skin condition called vitiligo.

From the time we are children we are bombarded with products that extol the ideal form, from the TV shows we see to the clothes we wear.  Comic-book and animated characters, dolls, and action figures, are often highly disproportionate.  Ads for wrinkle-reducing creams, weight-loss programs, and impotence medication dominate the media.

Clothing retailers are constantly redrawing their size charts, and there are some who don't even produce clothing for people who don't conform to a certain size or body type.  Overweight people are shamed; fat is undesirable.  As an example: I am of average build and I am within the healthy weight range for my height.  However I was shocked a few years ago when I went to buy a pair of shorts and discovered that the "medium" size, which I had worn for years, no longer fit me even though my weight had not changed significantly.

All this causes the massive misconception that if we don't like the bodies we are born with, there is something fundamentally wrong with us that must be rectified.  There are an increasing number of people out there who purposely and dangerously alter themselves in pursuit of this imaginary ideal.  Many have died.  A society that creates an environment where people feel that they must take extraordinary measures to change their looks is not a healthy society.

(Of course there's the flip side of the coin where the morbidly obese turn to gastric bypass surgery and tightly controlled diet regimens, but this alteration is to save their lives and not for any frivolous reason.)