Deep Dive on the Ideal Body Type Part 2


Hailey Thompson

I recently created a survey about the ideal body type, and what we believe to be the reasoning behind these new body standards.  One of my goals was to find out how these standards are affecting people’s body confidence, specifically in teenagers.  The first question that was asked on this survey was “Are you happy with your body”, almost 2/3 of the responses for this question said that they were not happy with their bodies.  Although this result may not have been expected by many people, personally I was expecting a result very similar to this.  As a teenager, I can personally say that when you are spending a significant amount of time on social media and constantly seeing people who have the ideal body, it can be very discouraging and make you wish that you looked more like them.

The next two questions that were asked during the survey were what the ideal body type was for both men and for women.  There were quite a few characteristics that were repeated in responses for men’s bodies and women’s bodies.  Starting with the results for women’s bodies, the most common response was “skinny”, or having an “hour-glass figure”.  Almost all of the responses for the ideal women’s body type had something to do with their figure and their weight, I personally think that this says a lot about the expectations that we have for women’s bodies seeing as how almost everyone has the same idea for what is “ideal”.  Going onto the responses for what is believed to be the ideal body type for a man, the most common characteristics were “tall”, and “muscular”.   The majority of the responses from this question were related to the men being muscular in order to have the ideal body.  I find it very interesting that almost all of the responses in the survey have quite similar ideas based on what they think that the ideal body type is.  In my opinion, this shows us how so many people are being influenced through things such as social media, and being told what they should believe is ideal.

One of the last questions that were asked on the survey was whether or not you believe that your body fits into the ideal body type standards, 80% of the responses said no.  After this question was asked, the next question was how many people do you know that have body confidence issues or do not like the way that their bodies look? The responses to this question were somewhat scattered throughout the options.  60% of the responses stated that they know more than 10 people, 26.7% said they know between 5-10 people, 13.3 percent of people said that they know only a few, and lastly 0% of people said that they don’t know anyone who has body confidence issues.  Personally, I find it very sad that out of all the people surveyed, everyone knows someone who has body confidence issues or doesn’t like the way that they look.  I was quite curious as to why this was, so the next question that was asked was “What do you think the cause for a large number of insecurities in many men and women is?”, the responses showed very similar causes.  The most common responses were social media, influencers, pressure from society, the media, and beauty standards.  These responses were not surprising to me at all, we all know that if we go onto apps like Instagram we will most likely see many influencers who fit into the ideal body type and are praised for it.  I think that these results just further show us how toxic this concept is, and how social media may be the main cause of many insecurities.  This causes me to wonder, does the way that social media do more harm than good?