Breast, Face, or Booty?
What’s More Important—What You Carry, or How You Carry It?
Angie Martínez, Cristal Juárez
What is body image? Body image is your physical
appearance. It is the way you look, the color of your
hair, your weight, the clothes you wear, etc.,
including what you think about yourself. A standard of
beauty is presented in media, magazines, stores, and
everywhere you go. But does the media really know what
they are creating in people’s lives?
Women and girls are consistently taught from an early
age that their self worth is largely dependent on how
they look. Body image dissatisfaction is more
prevalent among females than males. The media reflects
images of thinness and links this image to other
symbols of prestige, happiness, love, and success.
Dissatisfaction can lead to anorexia, bulimia and
other eating disorders that can cause deaths, but,
unfortunately, the media will continue to idolize
ultra thin actresses and models.
Body image is a very big problem in teenagers’ lives,
as we found out when we talked to several of them. One
Watsonville girl said she would not go out with a guy
with a hairy chest. Another girl from Aptos High told
us that it is more important to have a guy with a good
personality than a good body. A guy from Salinas said
that he only wants a girl with big boobs and a big
butt. Do you agree with these people? Do you think
body image plays too big of a role in teenagers’
One web site on body image reports that “weight and
shape concerns commonly develop in late childhood and
through puberty, before the typical age for the
development of eating disorders, and that the origins
are multifactor, comprising biological factors
(genetics, puberty and obesity); family factors
(attitudes, beliefs and functioning), and
sociocultural factors (such as social class, ethnicity
and media and peer influences).”
Our names are Angie Martínez and Cristal Juárez, and
we wanted to find out what local people think about
body image. We went out in the street and interviewed
teenagers from different schools and different walks
of life. We expected people to be very superficial,
but we found something else.
“I am happy with the way I am,” said Jose, 18, a
Cabrillo College student, but he also says he prefers
a girl with big breasts and a big butt.
“They are not self-satisfied,” said Rosalynd Martinez,
15, Aptos High student. She thinks girls go bulimic
because they’re worried about what people will think
about them. She believes that it’s better to care
about what’s on the inside rather than the outside.
“My perfect guy is tall, blondish/brown hair,
blue/green eyes, dark skin,” said Jennifer Castro, 16,
a student at Watsonville High School, but she said
that personally she would change her nose. “I think
girls change their body because they want to be
noticed, they want attention, and they want to feel
better about themselves,” she continued.
From the interviews that we did, we concluded that
some people care only about physical appearance, while
other people think that what’s on the inside is more
important than the outside. We believe that sometimes
it is important how a person may look, but we still
think that we shouldn’t focus on the outside, and just
work at being better people. Yet style plays a big
role in teenager’s life, because there are always
people who criticize others because of the way they
Many people decide to change their physical appearance
because they don’t feel good about themselves; others
decide to change because people criticize them. People
that decide to change sometimes try to look like the
models they see in the media, but it all depends how
far they go. How far will you go?