I’ve just finished watching the second episode of this series and it’s quite interesting. This young lad, Tyger Drew-Honey (actor in the British sitcom Outnumbered), takes a look at some of the issues that young people have to face today. As he is an 18 year old male it is filmed from his perspective and therefore only focuses on how the issues face men/boys. I wouldn’t say this is a criticism of the show just a point as it is his personal journey, however it would be nice if he noted how the issues effected girls a little more.
For example, the second episode was looking at how young guys are now aiming to achieve the perfect body i.e. the beach body seen in magazines. The episode featured guys hitting the gym and taking supplements to improve how they looked. We were introduced to guys who had even part of them waxed and tanned, to those completing hundreds of hours at the gym and taking potentially harmful substances. The episode raised a some very important and interesting points; mainly then guys now felt the need to look a certain way and they would go to any length to achieve this. It was easily seen that the majority of these men had very low self-esteems and that they would never be happy with how they looked which is pretty sad.
I think the best line of the show was when Tyger said that the aims of these guys, and the competitions that they attend, are to look healthy rather than being healthy. He then goes to say ‘Who has any idea of what perfection is?!’ I think these are really important issues that need to be addressed. I think show is great and hopefully it’ll get some younger guys, and possibly some girls, to stop and think about what they’re doing to themselves. A few years ago I remember watching a similar programme with Cherry Healey discussing the same issues. These programmes are important to young people – hopefully they’ll get though the message to some that no-one is perfect but you have you love yourself.
I suppose some might say that what about the affect on women? As I said this documentary looks at these issues through the eyes of a young man so it makes sense to focus on men. Plus in the first episode, about porn, some girls were also interviewed and featured. I think there has been a lot of focus on women and their image in the media and I have seen plenty of videos/images/photos of the effects of editing pictures to make women look a certain way. However, few men are featured in these and it’s important to remember that this isn’t just a women’s issue – it’s a man’s one too. I suppose I didn’t really think about this before watching Tyger’s programme but I can see some of the problems now. Like Tyger said in the episode I don’t know what the answer is but this needs to be addressed. Personally, I think education and discussion is a way forward but who knows? I don’t have teenage children myself so I can’t ask them and I still have questions about how I look and I’m in my mid-20s! I guess I always try to identify the parts of me that I love at any point when I think of a part of myself that I dislike.
And to Tyger if he reads this – you’re great the way you are!