Many of us know this famous song lyric from the intro of Sir-Mix-A-Lot's Baby Got Back (or in part of Drake's The Motto). But, have we ever noticed that we make these kind of judgements all the time? As mentioned in our psych textbook, we all have been guilty of people-watching at least once in life, you know, to pass the time while we're sitting around.1 And we conjure up statements like "Wow, look at that guy's hair," or, "Dang, that girl has some cellulite!" Most of the time we get pretty mean (admit it) because we know that the passerby will never hear us, but, do we ever consider that these people know that they are being judged? That their self esteems have been dropping, causing them to take high-measures to fight battles against the views of their peers — and sometimes only creating new battles for themselves? For example, many struggle with weight gain and obesity and at times can lead themselves down the path to bulimia nervosa (bingeing and purging to lose weight) or anorexia nervosa (excessive weight loss and irrational perception that one is overweight).2 Some research has shown that these disorders of extreme weight loss and weight gain can be blamed on genetics, but is that really the case? Other research states that we are highly influenced by the media, looking at images of insanely thin celebrities or looking at websites that provide "Thinspiration."3 So who are we to blame? Our genes? The media? Both? Neither?
Ready, set, discuss.
(1) Lilienfeld, Scott. "Chapter 11: Emotion and Motivation." Psychology: From Inquiry to Understanding. 2nd ed. Boston: Allyn & Bacon, 2011. 433. Print.
(2) Lilienfeld, Scott. 436.
(3) Lilienfeld, Scott. 434-437.