Does Hollywood Create Unrealistic Body Images?


Angelique Taylor

Nowadays, almost everyone wants to look like one of their favorite movie celebrities with their “ideal” body; however, we don’t often realize these are expectations that we just cant uphold. Hollywood isn’t true to reality and it has drastically affected many peoples mindset on what body standards should be.

Maximus Hemming , Staff Reporter

For a long time, the beauty standard in Western cultures has been centered around Hollywood. What the rich and famous wear, do and look like has been a source of inspiration for people everywhere, who strive to emulate their favorite celebrities. Unfortunately, this has created an unrealistic expectation of what beauty should look like and in recent years, this has become especially apparent as Hollywood is often seen promoting unhealthy body images on the big and small screen. 

“I think nowadays it’s really bad especially since for women there’s like a lot of expectations for how we should look according to these movies and I think it’s unhealthy for people who look up to these celebrities to try and meet these standards that are not always realistic,” Danielle Weik (12) said. “Instead of trying to be someone else, stop doing that and be who you really are and reach for something that is fit for yourself.”

Through the use of airbrushing, editing, and casting calls centered around looks, Hollywood has perpetuated an image of extreme thinness, or even other actors who have roles where they are portrayed as being extremely muscular with little to none imperfections which has in turn created unrealistic body image ideals for both men and women. Movie stars, models and celebrities not only appear to be almost perfect in their appearance, but also have access to personal trainers and other medical treatments to help maintain these looks. This is an unattainable standard for most everyday people, yet continues to be held as the ideal for what people should hopefully strive towards.    

“A lot of people have someone like an actor or celebrity they really look up to and sometimes they might have that ‘ideal’ body type that they compare themselves to and it really has a negative effect on not only their physical health but also their mental health too,” Noah Harris (12) said. 

The impact of such luxurious body images can be devastating, leading many people to feel embarrassed or inadequate in comparison. An unrealistic need to have an unattainable, sculpted and “perfected” body that can cause people to take extreme measures to do everything it takes to get to that body type even though this is not necessary or healthy. Bulimia, anorexia and other issues with body image can arise and ironically, this very culture has even created a new branch of the cosmetics and plastic surgery industry to help people feel secure and “fulfilled.”

“…there are just tons of accounts and influencers who have this seemingly “perfect” physique which sometimes you might feel like, ‘Man why don’t I look like that?’ but then you remember that that isn’t what you should be focusing on and the focus should only be on yourself with nothing else,” Justin Carranza said (12).

The good news is that despite Hollywood’s influence and promotion of unrealistic body images, there is a growing trend towards movements such as body positivity, which promote self-love, accepting all shapes and sizes, and rejecting the idea of changing your body to meet some arbitrary standard. Instead of trying to reach that impossible standard, start aiming for something that will actually benefit you and your goals in the long run.

Seeing realistic body types reflected on the big screen may help people to embrace and accept their own shapes and sizes and love themselves for who they are. When we stop comparing ourselves to some unattainable ideal and start seeing beauty in our own reflection, it’s a reminder to take care of and love yourself no matter what Hollywood portrays what people should appear as.