Is Having the "Perfect" Body Healthy?

Sunday, 02 May 2010 19:10 Written by  Shameka V. Robinson

As the summer approaches, more women tend to focus on their appearance. They’re faced with images in magazines, on the Internet, and in music videos of what their body "should" look like. Do young women and girls emulate what they see in the media because society has an obsession with looks and weight?

nIn the music and entertainment industry, women in music videos appear half-dressed, with long weaves, pencil-figures, big-booties and airbrushed skin. They are tall and beautiful––portraying unrealistic body images.

The majority of women, who do not reflect this image, have a misconception of what a healthy body consists of, which may lead them to depression, eating disorders and low self-esteem.

Dawn Martin, CEO and founder of Just Dazzlind Productions, works with young women and girls bombarded with these images, and says that her goal is to uplift, enhance, motivate, and celebrate the full figured woman.

As a former model that started at the age of 12, Martin says she can’t say if the “video girl” physique is healthy or unhealthy.

“The women may be physically fit especially if they’re professional dancers, but it could be discriminative depending on the look they’re trying to replicate,” she says.

“I believe [the word healthy] is misused to a certain extinct. A lot of times, because of industry standards and past industry standards, you do find a lot of unhealthy models going through all kinds of different eating disorders because of what the standards are in the industry,” Martin says.

Yolanda Pittman-Maloney, dance instructor, dancer and choreographer, says society doesn’t understand that most women are shaped differently.

“What I like about the video vixen girls, is that the black girls get to see someone that looks like them and they’re not confused like a lot of the black women that I’ve talked too.”

Maloney continues, stating that: “the word healthy is misused for control.”

“When I was growing up, I wasn’t impressed with TV and what I saw in the media because my mom, the women in my family and in my neighborhood were curvaceous.”

Martin continues, commenting on what is seen in music videos. “In mainstream R&B, you notice that everyone has that same look; I think the body image factor is very prevalent in the music industry.” She continues, “I think it has a lot to do with who we can relate too as far as whom we see in the media, who we see in the videos, and who we see on the TV shows.”

Martin says in today’s society, the average woman should not be built like the stick-figured Barbie.

As far as young girls imitating Nicki Minaj she says, “I think it works for her, and I think she has a responsibility to let young women and girls know that this is her image and that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s their image or that they won’t be successful because they don’t look like her.”

Martin believes in order to be healthy, “the mind, body and spirit have to be on one accord.” She says having a larger body shape doesn’t mean that you’re not healthy “you can be full-figured, physically healthy and physically fit.”

Shameka's Facts: Shameka V. Robinson is a new writer at She can be contacted at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Shameka V. Robinson

Shameka V. Robinson

Shameka V. Robinson is an aspiring lifestyle writer and television host who graduated from Columbia College Chicago earning a Bachelor’s of Arts in Magazine Writing and Editing. As a staff writer for GlossMagazineOnline, she’s also written articles for Urban Influence Magazine and Currently, she’s a contributing writer for the online version of the Chicago Defender.

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Follow her on twitter: @thechicwriter