The representation of obesity on television

The representation of obesity on television

Obesity on television was not very well represented. Characters on a small screen are usually associated with imposed beauty canons. Studies warn us that this lack of visibility could, over the long term, generate harassment of overweight people.

TV producers have begun in recent years to include more racial and ethnic diversity in the characters.This diversity, however, has rarely included the representation of people above average weight.

What is obesity?

Overweight and obesity are characterized by massive accumulation of adipose tissue in the body.This increase in fat necessarily involves increasing body weight. This weight gain can sometimes be due to a hormonal imbalance. Has problems with the thyroid gland, for example. Theoverweight nevertheless tends to result from a nutritional imbalance.

The human body stores excess calories as fat when we consume more calories than we spend.This is the reason why athletes can maintain diets with a high level of carbohydrates and fats. People leading a sedentary life must therefore maintain diets that are in line with their energy consumption.

Warning ! Studies warn us that being overweight increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. Obesity also increases the risk of developing diabetes, high blood pressure, certain types of cancer or suffering from embolism or heart attacks.

Weight gain is found in the most industrialized countries.The pace of life of these countries requires that individuals spend little time cooking or eating. People who are overweight because of their diet tend to resort to fast food with a high sugar content.

Beauty and fashion: no place for overweight

The notion of ideal beauty has changed over time.Women considered beautiful at the beginning of the 20th century were shaped like an hourglass. This shape was achieved through the use of very tight corsets.Beauty began to belong to thin, pale women after the world wars.The advent of commercial cinema popularized the style of the big stars. Black hair and short, styleBob and the pants are starting to be fashionable. Black eyebrows on pale skin and very red lips transformed the canon of beauty.

The bodies considered beautiful were, in the twentieth century, thin bodies.The fashion was designed for men and women of low or average weight. This may be due to the fact that there was little opportunity to gain weight. The nations involved in the various wars suffered periods of severe food shortages and weak economic power. The ideal of beauty, however, remained the same when the individual began to gain weight.Women with a small waist and thin thighs were representative of beautiful bodies for society.

Thus began the denial of real bodies in the fashion industry.Normal body shapes were rejected by the industry. The fashion designers continue today to create clothes for people who only exist on the catwalks.

Beauty on TV

Television and cinema are a reflection of the fashion industry. They accompany the latter in all circumstances. So that television and cinema maintained the same standards of beauty. Cinema and television have had a significant influence on the construction of societies. Audiovisual material provides examples and roles for its audience.

The cinema avoided showing characters whose weight did not match the conventional. So that obesity had little visibility, like racial minorities.Obesity has been a condition little shown in the cinema. She was even less so on television.

Cartoons were the rare occasion to see obese characters on television. The latter, however, were obsessed with changing or mocking.Obese people were also often harassed and ridiculed for being overweight. The 21st century was nevertheless the scene of subtle but definitive changes in the television industry.

"The obesity on television was little shown in the cinema, it was even invisible during certain periods."
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Obese characters, real characters

Television is gradually opening up to diversity.Racially diverse characters have appeared in many programs. The most popular TV series also have more real characters. Of characters answering stereotypes. Obesity on television, however, remains very underrepresented despite this advance.

It is true that more and more productions are trying to present real bodies. Many groups, however, oppose the fact of showing obesity on television. This is the case for some communication and broadcast media such as virtual magazines, or medical groups. Opinions against obesity and its representation are based on health arguments. Showing obese characters in a positive light is not adequate. This would give a false sensation to the audience. They might believe that obesity is a safe, standardized and desirable condition.

OfMany producers, however, believe that showing obesity on television is an opportunity to include them.Showing obese characters can show real characters, real people. We believe that it is important to show the diversity of societies. Only then can equality be achieved.


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