Media Nearly Ruined my Career
Was the high rate of eating disorders in the world today impacted by globalization? Media coverage increases the number of eating disorders. Westernization of beauty ideals is the main culprit behind the global spread of eating disorders. Can media be an enemy of culture? Media can educate people and expose them to new ideas, it can also turn them away from their culture.
In "The Globalization of Eating Disorders," Susan Bordo talks about how media changes culture around the world and encourages looking physically beautiful and slim. It surprises Bordo how media like Television Broadcast Programs, introduced in 1995 was able to change Fijian culture. Fijian girls and women were comfortable with their body sizes, no matter how large they are. The first Black Africa Miss World Winner from Nigeria; Agbani Darego, motivates Nigerian girls to become slim, realizing it is beautiful. Media is important and powerful. Images tell young people how to be beautiful and valuable. Not only in Africa, there is development of dieting and weight control in Asia. Even men also want to look slim. Bordo suggests we develop strategies and pay attention to what culture is teaching our children for change to occur.
I grew up in an African Yoruba home. Yoruba culture believes in proper child upbringing. Young ones must not participate in any type of opposite sex intimate friendship, dating, or even sexual activities until they are mature enough to get married. Parents are like gods, children fear them so much. That is how Yoruba culture has really mingled with Christianity practices.
In my secondary school days, when people talked about boy and girlfriend issues, I always listened to them patiently but I couldn't still figure out what this really meant. At times I wondered how women conceive and give birth to a baby. Will the husband pray to God or what? I had no knowledge on sex education. I got my first idea when I had a story of a young bride in my city, who was rejected by the groom just because she was not a virgin. I ran quickly to my dictionary to find out what this meant. We believe so much in the virginity of a woman until she is married, being the only precious dignifying gift of marriage.
Gradually, internet, romantic films and various magazines on sex education and various pictures came into the city. Western cultures, divorce, sex education are all I could see on the pages of daily newspapers and monthly magazines. Information started blowing around from one place to the other. Bordo said "….we live in an empire of images, and that there are no protective borders." During this period, I was exposed to a lot of information through media, and then I began to explore the information. I began to look closely and get attracted to ladies in my class, looking for means of practicing what I have been seen so far. My father felt bad when he discovered my wayward behavior and uncultured activities, then he stopped paying my tuition fee. I was out of school for one academic year, staying at home, going to the farm and running errands for them at home as a way of punishing me. I went back to school the following year after promising my parents to be a good boy, obeying and practicing our culture steadily. Imagine being out of the school for one year, it was an experience and never again.
At a point, I discovered globalization and westernization is educative and has the advantage of making people more exposed. On the other hand, globalizing world turn people away from their culture or can I say people make more bad use of it. According to Bordo, "It is through images–much more than parents, teachers, or clergy–that we are taught how to be. And it is images, too, that teach us how to see, that educate our vision in what's a defect and what is normal." Children and young ones are needed to be guarded on how to make good use of and utilize the information from media. Nowadays our culture is being erased gradually, habits that are called "forbidding" are now daily ways of life. African countries are now well informed in learning newest ideas that can beatify culture and provide excellent future career for young one.