The inspiration behind this blog post is Anne Balsamo’s “Technologies of the Gendered Bodies” coupled with the rapidly changing views on the natural body due to the aid of social media in the 21st century. A quote from her introduction goes as stated, “The examples I discuss, taken from the media of everyday life (newspapers, advertisements, television programs, magazines), signal ways in which the “natural” body has been dramatically refashioned through the application of new technologies.” (5)
The body is a social, cultural, historical production and process. In todays world, teenagers grow up watching hours and hours of television. Not to generalize the television industry, but these actors and actresses (mainly focusing on actresses) are skinny, very attractive and have figures that aren’t seen on a day to day basis. Now, as time has passed and social media has grown tremendously, these changes have become more prevalent. Just last week I saw a post on Facebook that discussed the ramifications of a Urban Outfitters advertisement/clothing article. The model, showing off new lingerie, was extremely skinny and had what I learned to be called the “thigh gap.” In protest of the general population, Urban Outfitters modified the add, but they can’t change the past. It is rare to see women who are even the slightest bit “over weight” in major advertisements, modeling gigs, sponsored Instagram posts, and dating sites. Last semester a surprisingly high amount of people watched the Victoria Secret fashion show, something that only reconfirms the notion that the body has changed. Because of this portrayal, teenagers and even older women feel as though they have to change there body figure to be good looking or to find a special someone.
On top of the effects on the “natural” body from what women are “supposed” to look like from our every day lives, technology can physically help this transformation. For some people, it is impossible to have a better jaw line or have perky breasts so procedures have been creating to compensate for this demand. However, without the aid of social media this demand would have been prolonged. Last summer, I was watching a television show similar to the “Biggest Loser.” The were several differences starting with the number of participants, there were only 2. These two participants were often family members or friends. If they lost the required weight, the show would pay for the extra skin to be surgically repaired.
That are a lot more roles technology has played in the transformation of the attractive, beautiful, and “natural” body that surrounds us. There is little that can be done, in my opinion, but I think the more awareness around this issue will only make things better. Learn to love your body.