Netflix Insatiable Body Shaming Comedy Controversy

A brand new Netflix dark comedy Insatiable due for an August release has caused outrage with its first trailer. Debbie Ryan plays Patty an overweight teenage girl who over the summer loses a lot of weight due to having her jaw wired shut, she returns to school and seeks revenge of those who bullied her.

First of all are we really doing  high school revenge plot again? that was already done badly in 13 Reasons Why and secondly why is it another cliché she’s a hot popular girl now she’s lost tons of weight (rolls eyes).

Netflix Insatiable Debbie Ryan

This might be described as a satirical or dark comedy but how awful is the body suit for the larger Patty they could have made her body look more realistic and why must it be she can only seek revenge on the bullies when she is thin, why seek revenge at all?

A lot of people feel this show is body shaming and will cause eating disorders amongst viewers who feel that if they are overweight they’ll also be bullied or that the only way to be accepted is to be thin and popular which I can agree with as it is an overly used narrative that you must look a certain way in high school to fit in.

It may not have been the creators intentions but couldn’t it have shown a larger confident girl happy with her weight or only changing her size because she wants to and not because she physically cant eat? Yes people get bullied at school due to their weight or appearance but this is giving audiences the green light to seek revenge, making them no better than the bullies or making people feel their worth is based on their size.

A petition is spreading over the internet to get the programme cancelled before it is even aired which just proves how much of a fail it is and that audiences are not okay with body shaming.

Netflix had the chance to positively represent body image and mental health and again it has fallen short in favour of the stereotypical narrative which needs to be redefined to cater to all audiences.

https://www.change.org/p/netflix-stop-release-of-the-body-shaming-film-produced-by-netflix-insatiable

*image from Google

Advertisements

The Fall of Youtubers: From Hero to Villain

YouTube heroes are quickly declining after many popular vloggers upsetting their fans in 2017.

Zoe Sugg aka Zoella (over 12 million subscribers) suffered a heap of backlash over her festive Advent Calendar caused controversy over its ridiculous high price and poor content packaged inside. If you don’t remember it then the 12 day calendar cost a whopping £50 and contained things like stickers and confetti. Allegedly it wasn’t down to the star what the price point was but she’s happy to slap her name over the crap inside?

She’d also let down fans further at the event Hello World Live but that wasn’t all down to her it was an oversold event hyped up on the basis of a great experience but she barely saw her fans. I’ve never been a subscriber to Zoella but I have brought her merchandise in the past as gifts and to me it looks like she’s all about the money now. Usually her festive merch sells out super fast but this year the shelves are still filled in the sales so can she make a comeback this year?

Logan Paul (Logan Paul Vlogs) took things to the next level recently by publishing a video of a suicide victim found in Japan’s notorious Aokigahara Forest aka ‘Suicide Forest’. The vlogger joked with friends about finding the body and zoomed in on various parts of the victims body, showcasing it to over 15 million subscribers. He claims the reason he did this was to raise awareness of suicide or so he says…

There is absolutely no reason why anyone should film in that area for a YouTube video and it’s absolutely disgraceful that he did it for the views or whatever his motive was. It’s also a shock that YouTube allowed the upload to begin with which questions how safe is the internet really?

Both these Youtubers apologised with Twitter statements and videos but is that really good enough? Should more be done to show their sincerity?

In an online world it’s just as easy to be brought down by fans as it is to be built up.

If you need any support for Mental Health or know of anybody who does then please visit http://www.mind.org.uk to receive telephone support or to find out how else you can receive support.

*Please note I have not seen the Logan Paul Video and it has since been removed from YouTube

*Images sourced from Google

The Slender Man Murders

Cult horror figure Slender Man who has featured as fan art and within horror games is the latest video game targeted for violent influences; two 12-year-old girls from Wisconsin USA are up for a murder trial after attempting to murder a classmate to ‘please the Slender Man’. The victim also 12 was stabbed 19 times after being lured to a secluded woodland area, she survived due to crawling to the roadside for help.

The Slender Man is a horror icon with a tall and slim appearance and blank face who is believed to stalk and prey on his victims which are mainly children, of course he is a fictional character but these girls believed he was real and wished to go live with him… Of course mental health issues could play a role in this but if they are found to have sane minds then they could face up to 65 years in prison.

Slender Man GameThe girls first became obsessed  with the character after reading about him on the site ‘Creepypasta Wiki’, it’s hard to understand how the girls even came across this site yet alone being allowed to access it, parents cant monitor everything their child looks at but if their personalities changed then it’s obvious something has caused this. The girls told the courts they had thought of different ways to murder the poor victim which all involved luring her somewhere secluded just like in the games.

It is evident that games of this nature are not intended for young individuals that do not understand the difference between reality and fantasy, it shouldn’t be the game itself blamed for this tragic disaster as it clearly isn’t age appropriate but more should be done to censor games which contain strong horror and violence, and by this I mean making it less accessible, if the girls hadn’t been able to get hold of this information then they wouldn’t have committed the violent attack.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/10873464/Two-12-year-old-girls-charged-with-trying-to-murder-friend-to-please-Internet-demon.html

*images from Google

Halloween: Outrageous Mental Health Costumes

Halloween has always been a holiday I’ve enjoyed, the pumpkin carving, scary decorations and of course the excuse to dress up as whatever you like!  However In recent news supermarket giants Asda and Tesco shocked the nation with their ‘Mental Patient’ Halloween costumes, Asda’s version features the straight jacket covered in blood and a machete, the mask is pretty scary as well! Mental Health charities were outraged by the way the costume represents individuals with mental health disorders and deemed it incredibly bad taste.

mental patient costumesThe costume retailed at £20 has now been removed from sales, harmless costume or discriminating against mental health? That’s for you to decide. Asda has also decided to donate £25,000 to Mind a mental health charity.

Tesco’s orange jumpsuit deemed ‘Psycho Ward’ was a costume I didn’t see as too harmful due to it reminding me of Hannibal Lecter, famous in films and novels, again this caused outrage and the costume has been withdrawn from the site.

Hannibal LecterPersonally I feel Tesco only opted for this costume due to the rising popularity of the TV series Hannibal rather than considering the offence it may cause.

Female Costumes

Shockingly outrageous mental patient costumes aren’t only marketed towards males, even females have costumes aimed at them including ‘Anna Rexia’.

Anna Rexia CostumeIm not sure where this costume was being advertised but I feel this is the worse one of them all, Anorexia is a huge problem affecting a lot of individuals so why make it ‘gimmicky’ and into a costume, the costume even includes a measuring tape belt and choker, the fact that they’ve tried to make the costume sexy makes it seem acceptable to have the disorder.

Finally from Joke.co.uk comes the female mental patient costume, a hospital wristband is included to show the ‘patient’ has been committed to hospital. Personally this reminds me of a character you’d find in a Japanese horror film but it is still offensive to categorise it as a mental patient costume.  The doll I feel depicts the females fragile mind which could indicate she has a mental health disorder.

mental patient girlSo what do you think?

Are the costumes acceptable for Halloween?

Do you think they should have remained on sale?

Would you wear one?

It would be interesting to hear any views on the matter 🙂

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/09/26/asda-mental-health_n_3993652.html

*images from Google

Distorted Body Representations In The Media

Ideology is a media concept that individuals don’t even realise is taking place in everyday life, it is a concept that isn’t going to completely disappear due to the daily heavy consumption of media.  The definition of ideology varies between different theorists but the definition which I find more simplistic is with ideology being defined as “a systematic framework of social understanding motivated by a will to power or a desire to be accepted as the ‘right’ way of thinking” (Lacey, 2009, p.100) With the above message from Kate Moss it is no surprise that the ‘right’ way of thinking is starving yourself.

Ideology can be applied to the current issue of body image as it is a major factor of representation within the media, consumers of mass media are exposed daily to advertisements using slim models or images of celebrities with the ‘perfect’ body, the images and the underlying messages represent the super skinny body images as being perfect. It is also a false representation as a lot of the time airbrushing is put into place especially in magazine photo-shoots.

The above image of Britney Spears is an example of how this false representation is used to sway us, it is somehow socially unacceptable to present her true self to the world so fans that try to emulate her figure are striving for the impossible.

Small changes have even been made to this photo of Megan Fox, personally I don’t see why the changes have been made, but its another example of manufactured Hollywood.

Another bad representation of women is being spread through the media as young teenagers are striving for an unnatural thigh gap which of course first spiralled from the media.Social media is being used by teenagers regularly to share ‘thinspiration’ images and to inspire other young women to strive for the thigh gap look; I found many of these images on the popular image sharing app Instagram, users can easily upload images onto this app using hash tags such as #thinspiration, #thighgap and other eating disorder keywords and girls can easily view these images to be encouraged and motivated to starve themselves too so that they have this popular thigh gap, a wide range of the images will be users showing their frail bodies, the body which they wish to have or words of encouragement such as ‘eating won’t make you thin.’ Not enough is being done on social media to prevent this.

The hypodermic needle theory can be linked to this current behaviour as “This theory equates the influence of media with the effect of an intravenous injection: certain values, ideas, and attitudes are injected into the individual media user, resulting in a particular behaviour” (Fourie, 2007, P.294)The current values within the media is that young women should have a thigh gap as it is perfectly normal and is a step closer to the perfect body, women are sharing the images of ‘inspiration’ as it doesn’t seem like there is anything wrong with doing so when it is spiralling out of control and resulting in young women suffering from eating disorders.

The underlying systems of ideology make media consumers feel that striving for the deemed perfect image is the right way of thinking as it is the only body image being perceived within the media currently, celebrities are slated if they gain weight or are curvy so this is shown as an incredibly negative body image to have which is why young woman are striving for the perfect size zero body.Marxist critical theory would define thinspiration as a false reality created by a distorted vision with individuals unaware of the underlying ideological system.

The Frankfurt School links pseudo-individualization to the construction of an artist’s style, through their distinct image and identity. (Hodkinson, 2011, p.109-110) This is a relevant observation as a celebrity is famed by their image and must maintain it within the public eye and young women/teenagers often take into account a celebrity role model and are influenced by them.  Currently model Cara Delevingne is the role model that teenagers are following, she is a catwalk model that a slender frame and thigh gap and teenagers are trying to emulate her, it because of her distinct slim image that she is currently in the media eye, and if her image changed then teenagers would find a new role model to emulate.

According to the Daily Mail it was said over Twitter that in order to get this slim look users would deny themselves food as they are that desperate to copy the model.  The chief executive of the eating disorder charity B-Eat had this to say “Hardly anyone has a thigh gap without being underweight or not yet fully adult” the message is quite shocking but it is being ignored due to the new vanity inspired culture, ideology will never completely disappear but the message would change if the trend was to change, if a healthy body image was promoted then individuals would strive for that.  With the increase in mass culture being accessible through social media with the message of size zero being the perfect body image then individuals will always be exposed to this negative message, they will always believe with the use of ideology that it is the right way of thinking and until the message changes then the distorted vision will stay in place.

With her curvaceous body Kelly Brook doesn’t have a thigh gap yet she is still considered stunning which shows that you don’t have to be stick thin to be beautiful, she feels comfortable enough in her body so why shouldn’t everybody else? Personally I find her curvy body more appealing than Cara Delevingne’s and think more girls should reconsider striving for an unnatural thigh gap and just feel comfortable in their own skin.

*images sourced from Google

Bibliography

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2274227/Teenage-girls-obsessed-celebrity-thigh-gaps-starving-achieve-super-skinny-look.html

Hodkinson.P (2011). Media, Culture And Society an introduction. London: Sage. 109-110.

Fourie, J, P (2007). Media Studies Volume 1: Institutions, Theories and Issues. 5th ed. South Africa: Juta Education. 294.

Lacey, N (2009). Image and Representation. 2nd ed. Hampshire: Palgrave Macmilliam. 100.

Thigh Gap: Psychological Trap

thinspoA new dangerous trend amongst teenagers is starting to occur, it’s called the thigh gap and has been inspired by catwalk models and celebrities such as Amanda Bynes (She’s the man, Easy A) this new trend involves losing so much weight that your thighs don’t touch leaving this desired gap. I state teenagers as the audience as teenagers are highly influenced by the media and they are at the age most likely to develop an eating disorder.

What’s most worrying about this trend is that it is glamorising eating disorders and weight obsession. Individuals wanting this desired look are spreading the trend through Tumblr and Instagram, they share images of their progress and images of thinspiration and what they strive to achieve. What seems to be shown less often is the negative effects of an eating disorder, due to the celebrity culture thin is the only way in. If there were less pressures in the media to be so slim then individuals may start to accept their selves no matter what their shape or size may be. Instead they truly believe that in order to be ‘perfect’ or beautiful they must suffer until they have tiny waists and a thigh gap, this will just lead to health problems until they begin to recover.

I believe that the pressure to be perfect will continue and more and more people will suffer from an eating disorder whether they suffer from one naturally or choose to do so to follow these mad trends. A lot of people will call their selves fat and others around them when they aren’t at all, besides what is wrong with being curvy? It shouldn’t be frowned upon or even alienated.

Body pressure isn’t likely to die down until the media changes it’s approach to it, social media makes is so accessible to spread the word of thinspiration and inspire others to not give up until they achieve the fragile state. It also allows others to potentially bully those that are considered to be fat when they most likely aren’t.

What should be approached more is the negative affects of anorexia, bulimia and eating disorders, it should be educated more in schools, colleges and university. Magazines and television adverts should promote charities and support outlets to help individuals beat their problems, otherwise it could lead eating disorders being developed at a faster pace and at younger ages.

thigh gap

*images from Google

Thinspiration: Tragic Trending

Thinspiration is becoming even more accessible through the media to ‘inspire’ those with an eating disorder to achieve the perfect skinny look which is being perceived with celebrity culture. Even more worrying is that through the internet girls all over the world can access these images through sites such as Tumblr and Instagram by simply hashtaging key words such as ‘thinspo’ ‘eatingdisorder’ and ‘thinspiration’. Shouldn’t the sites take more control over their content? What right do the publishers have to try and influence such a dangerous disorder, even more tragic is that Kate Moss supposedly a ‘role model’ posed for an image quoted ‘Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels’ she should have known the dangers of this message, of course being a model the norm is to be quite slim but she shouldn’t be putting the message across to impressionable individuals.

ThinspirationAnorexia also looks like it is becoming a life choice rather than a diagnosed disorder, bloggers and members of Instagram have openly admitted that they are beginning their ‘journey’, anorexia is not a journey it is a serious problem. A lot of the girls that I saw stating this or already had eating disorders were only young teenagers yet to fully develop, they should be embracing life not counting calories and getting caught up in such a dangerous disorder. Not only is anorexia becoming so dangerously popular it is also leading to other problems such as self harm and suicidal intentions, having your bones stick out your body and match stick legs wont make you happy, weight loss becomes a dangerous cycle.

Unhealthy Publicity
Unhealthy Publicity

Unhealthy Publicity

It should not be glamorised through the media as being something girls should aspire to do, shocking images of negativity are used to make it look like that if you eat then you are or will become fat, it is a serious problem that should be educated more, you shouldn’t be made to feel guilty if you eat or are trying to get over an eating disorder. Although celebrities perceive a slim image and are publically slated if they gain weight it doesn’t mean that everybody should feel that way. ‘We live in a cultural Disneyland, where everything is parody and nothing is better or worse’ – Jean Baudrillard

Everybody is different, we all have different body shapes and unique styles, we shouldn’t push to look the same as everybody else especially when it has dangerous consequences, embrace your life and let go of the anorexia demons, losing weight to have a skeletal figure will not make you beautiful it will just make you miserable.

The right support is out there to fight your disorder and gain back your health and your life, images and websites for thinspiration isn’t the right way to go, it wont make you feel any better, don’t be afraid to ask for help from your friends and family, getting better wont be easy but small steps at a time will help you achieve your goal.

 http://www.b-eat.co.uk/http://www.samaritans.org/

*images sourced from Google

Cut For Bieber Hoax

Cut For Bieber

Sick Hoax or Cool New Trend?

Not being a user of Twitter I don’t follow the current trends or what celebrities are up to but one page that shocked me came to my attention on Facebook. #cutforbieber is apparently a new trend started by a ‘fan’ that wants to get the personal attention of Justin Bieber himself, the reason being to stop him smoking weed after images of the singer were published in a newspaper. I’m not really sure how one person could think that they could take on such a challenge. At the end of the day it’s his choice whether or not he does drugs and quite frankly why should we even care what he does? The sickening thing is that this ‘fan’ tried to turn self harm into a trend and convince other Bieber fans that doing such an awful stunt would ease his attention away from weed. Self harm is a serious matter, people who do it often have deep emotional problems and don’t need it showcased as a trend to attention seek. It is most likely that the person who started this sickening trend is an Internet troll who has nothing better to do with their lives than to ruin and torment others. Should there not be a way for social networks to target these people rather than letting something like this get out of control?

Should celebrities really have that much power over us that we’d mutilate our bodies for them? Why was this #cutforbieber page even allowed to be published in the first place? We are spending far too much of our free time consuming media that it’s now starting to change our cultural values and young people are using the internet in dangerous ways.

The majority of Biebers fan base is pre-teen girls so should their access of certain social media be restricted? That’s simply up to their parents but people should be more wary when it comes to ”trends’ like this, some are quick to join in as they really believe it will take effect and gain celebrities attention. More should be put into place to stop such things from taking place.Tackle Trolls. Tackle Bullying.