All over the world there are many people that suffer from eating disorders and body dysmorphias which inform them about how they think they should look. The media perpetuates certain myths about body image and society gets the idea that to have the ideal body, look attractive and to be successful and happy, then you have to look a certain way.
The Body Fights Back is a documentary that takes many different accounts of men and women and talks about how they feel about their own bodies, how their eating or dysmorphic disorders have changed them and what they think about how the world at large. A world that only emphasises the way that people judge them for their bodies.
The documentary looks at many different walks of life. Such as women who have struggled through weight gain and had to lose it because of medical reasons to women who battle anorexia and even those who have learned to love their own bodies. The Body Fights Back shows that we come in all shapes and sizes.
There are experts from different areas such as physical and mental health that also give their opinions on how eating disorders and body positivity can come about and how it can really change people to love the skin that you’re in. There are disabled women, black women, gay women and the documentary shows that you can’t judge a book by its cover. There’s even some discussion on the way men are pressured to look a certain way which ranges from physical fitness to extreme body building.
The Body Fights Back bills itself as an insight into different people facing similar experiences with battling their bodies, but there seems to be more of a focus on how this affects women rather than men. This may be a reflection on how the media and society judges women more harshly than men on their appearance, but it would have been good to see some men who have battled with weight gain and disorders like anorexia. This would help to show that body image is not just a female issue.
Almost all of the experts are men as well, which gives the impression that they have a better insight into how the female body and mind works. There’s also one person who’s introduced, but after a few scenes, disappears entirely and his views about body image and the media seem to be at odds with what the rest of the documentary is trying to say.
The Body Fight Back may be good for those who are feeling low and want to reassure themselves that they are beautiful and they are absolutely right to do so. However, for those looking for a deep insight into how the world treats people by the way that they look and how to change that, then they may want to find something that goes beneath the surface.
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