The Media’s Influence on Bodies

In reference to this post, I started searching on the internet for how media could affect the images of young girls.  I came upon this video, and I was shocked to my very core on how the girl in the video was treated, and what she did to counter that.

This video was absolutely terrifying as I watched it.  It’s about a young girl, Nadia, who was bullied because her looks weren’t what the media and society in general considered ‘pretty’, and so she got a plastic surgery at the age of 14 to not only fix her ears, which were what people were teasing her about, but her nose and her chin as well.

I was particularly uncomfortable by how the doctor pointed out that Nadia, who hadn’t before considered a chin or nose job, hadn’t “recognized it.”  He basically says that Nadia needed not only to get her ears fixed, but her nose and her chin fixed, even if she herself didn’t know it and didn’t initially plan on doing so.  Her face was wrong in more ways than one, and the doctor was determined to fix it all, even when Nadia had only come in for one reason.

The fact that it was because of bullying at school that made her change so drastically was also scary.  Getting surgery at the age of 14?  This may be my personal opinion, but she’s too young to be doing something that drastic to her face, and she really shouldn’t have to.

I’m sure she and her family are grateful to the BabyFace Foundation, the non-profit that funded the surgery, but all the non-profit does is fix the faces of teenagers whose looks aren’t the norm and are bullied because of it.  While this can be viewed as a very generous move, isn’t this permeating the ideals of beauty that already exist in society and encouraging them to continue to exist?  Instead of funding surgeries to fix the faces of children who really have nothing wrong with them, wouldn’t the money be better spent by raising awareness against bullying, or helping children realize that no matter how they look they are all beautiful and shouldn’t be ashamed?  In a way, even this non-profit is ‘censoring’ the looks of people who look differently, fixing them to adhere to the media’s already skewed standards.

I came away from this video with the conclusion that the media does influence real life, and sometimes the changes can be truly drastic.

Further thoughts?

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