Samples of the many “tracts’ that spread the ‘gospel’ about body image
Like the emerging church of olden days, there is an emerging gospel being preached throughout the world via the media. The preachers are celebrities who are blindly followed by millions of teens and young adults across the world. This emerging gospel deals with the matter of the “ideal” body and greatly affects how young people view body image. It is a known fact that the entertainment industry places great emphasis on body image, and the preachers, celebrities portray the “ideal body”; the industry dictates how we define sexy. On a day to day basis, the industry sends out the best messengers and floods the followers with effective visual imageries via ads, magazines, music videos and reality shows to convey this. A 2014 YOUGWOV survey that was conducted in the UK proves that 72% of British young people and women think that celebrity culture is having a negative effect on the perceptions of their bodies; even 46% say it is having a negative effect for men.
Earlier this year US reality star, Khloe Kardashian, gave in to ‘conviction’; she joined one of the many churches gyms in Hollywood where she participated in the service of the “no mercy” workout, took communion diet products and loss some 35 pounds. She says she thought of herself as beautiful when she was ‘bigger’, and alludes to the fact that she lost weight for herself; on her terms (Olya, 2015). Yet in her Feb 27 Instagram post, she highlighted that she’s still not where she wants to be. Am I the only one who spots inconsistency? Young people are at that developmental stage where they are still trying to shape their personal beliefs and values. The morale they will take away from these ‘sermons’ is, “my body isn’t okay as it is. I need to change it. I need to do more”.
BODY IMAGE AND SELF ESTEEM
Not all saints are converted; some are still able to actively think on their own like, Jennifer Lawrence, Adele and Lorde. These ladies have denounced the celebrity doctrine of “ideal” body image by promoting the gospel of health.
Young adults need to be careful of the ‘churches’ they join, the ‘sermons’ they heed and the ‘communions’ they partake of, because not everything “religious” is healthy.
Olya, G. (2015). Khloé Kardashian: ‘I Felt I Was Beautiful “Bigger”. Retrieved from http://greatideas.people.com/2015/09/16/khloe-kardashian-beautiful-bigger-weight/ Sept. 16, 2015.
YouGovUK (2014). Celebrity Culture ‘A Threat To Today’s Youth’. Retrieved from https://yougov.co.uk/news/2014/07/14/celebrity-culture-threat-todays-youth/ . Sept. 15, 2015