However, I believe that there is a flip-side to all of this. The media’s constant bombardment of images and clips of “beautiful”, stick-thin people may actually inspire those in Generation Z to get active and improve their fitness. If they think that being skinny is the only way to be, then Gen-Zers may decide to pick up another sport as a way of keeping fit and keeping up with the media’s ideals. This would have a positive implication on the rest of society because if more Gen-Zers were participating in physical activity, then they will set a good example for the rest of society, potentially causing the entire population to become more fit. However there is a negative implication to this increase in physical activity in order to match the media’s expectations. If people began to become obsessed with becoming skinny as apposed to maintaing a fit and healthy lifestyle, they may in fact over exercise. This is very bad for those people’s mental stability and, of course, their physical state. Over-exercising can be extremely dangerous and has a multitude of consequences for the sufferers. It can impair the function of muscles as they have been unable to repair to their optimal state, not to mention the risks of irritability, lack of concentration and disturbed sleep patterns. There are also potential long-term risks such as osteoporosis, electrolyte imbalance and rhabdomyolysis (which can be fatal). Over-exercise is exceptionally dangerous because it can become addictive. Gen-Zers get bombarded by the media’s expectations and become obsessed with needing to meet them through intense exercise.
In my opinion, when it comes to the media and body image, the negative implications out-weigh the positive ones as they are far more serious and can cause real harm in the lives of Gen-Zers. The potential for eating disorders, missed talent and over exercise are extremely dangerous and over-power the possibility of improved fitness.
Bodies are not the only thing that can be over-exercised, wallets can be too. Like the media, money is another huge sociocultural influence that can majorly effect Gen-Zers participation in physical activity. Generation Z has grown up in an environment with higher economic separation than ever before with the wealth being disproportionately spread across society. The gap between the rich and poor is ever-growing meaning that more and more families with Gen-Z children are finding it harder and harder to pay the bills. However, at the other end of the spectrum, more and more families are financially able to put extra money towards sport. This can create inequality amongst Gen-Zers meaning that not everyone has equal opportunities in terms of physical activity. Economic influence isn’t based on a characteristic of Generation Z, like how the media exploits Gen-Zers interconnectedness and impressionability, it is dependent upon the financial situation that Gen-Zers and their families are in.
For families (Gen-Zers are still young and...