I wanted to write this article because I noticed a change in how I viewed myself and the celebrities that are deemed the sexiest people alive. I owe that change to owning a HD TV, specifically, a 4K HD TV. Because of the changes I noticed, I wanted to know if other people with body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) or body image issues had noticed the same. But first, let me explain what I’m talking about so you can have a chance to reflect on your body image.
What Is BDD?
As I explain in my article, Traction Alopecia: The Hair Pulling Question, BDD is an anxiety disorder related to body image, as the name suggests. BDD is a mental health condition where a person with BDD worries a lot about flaws in their appearance, flaws often unnoticeable by others (NHS). A key part of this condition is that it rarely has anything to do with weight in the way you’d understand it for an eating disorder.
Pre 4K HD TV: Old TVs And Edited Magazines
If you’ve read my pervious article on Snapchat and selfie dysmorphia, you’d already be aware of how social media platforms can affect people’s self-esteem and self-image. This is because of the unrealistic beauty standards that can be created when using filters and editing photos. Which, as I pointed out in my pervious article, can have a negative impact on our mental wellbeing.
According to Rajanala, Maymone, and Vashi (2018), during the reign of the cathode-ray tube (CRT) TVs, photo-editing was reserved for celebrities. This allowed celebrities to look a cut above the rest of us by allowing them to look flawless in magazines and ads. This left us mere mortal to idolise the impossible beauty standards this created. We still idolise such people today. The only difference being that we too can make ourselves look flawless.
Before social media existed, we had magazines that heavily used filters and Photoshop which ruined a generation. But no one talks about the impact of seeing our favourite stars on TV shows and films. This is where I think it gets interesting. The quality of TVs, such as the 4K HD TV, has the opposite affect of the other mediums regarding body image.
In magazines and on social media, we still see edited and filtered images and videos, unless part of a campaign for body positivity. But with HD, 4K HD TV, and other high-quality definition TVs, we’re seeing the people we emulate as they really look. And I think that’s a positive impact that’s being overlooked.
Much like watching standard definition channels today, or watching the more blurred TV channels of my childhood, you can’t make out the finer details of a person’s face. You aren’t able to see what the person you’re watching on your TV would really look like if you were standing right in front of them. But now you can.
My BDD And 4K HD TV Story
When I was growing up, all we got to see were images of beautiful people where we only saw them after they’ve been manipulated by filters and Photoshop. This often meant these methods had been applied to them to within an inch of their lives. But now, thanks to 4K HD TV, the flaws I used to hate myself for I could now see on people that are considered the sexiest people alive, and that really makes a difference.
Because of the racist abuse I endured during my childhood, that caused me to wish I was white for most of my childhood, I quickly became hyper focused on looks. Add to that mix the comments about how skinny I looked (legs, arms, etc.), the resulting mess in my head was a legacy of toxic self-hatred of how I looked. I hated every part of myself, and it’s still something I struggle with to this day.
One area that I became most obsessed with was my pores. When I watched TV growing up, I’d see famously attractive people on posters and in magazines and none of them had pores. Because everyone around me seemed to hate me for the way I looked, this too became something I fixated on because I thought it would be something I could fix. I couldn’t change my skin colour, but surely I could get rid of my pores like all the famous people, at least that’s what I thought.
I tried tonnes of products, none of them helped. I talked to my GP, that didn’t help, but I did get a referral appointment with a dermatologist, but that didn’t help either. No one could see the issue that was quite literally steering me in the face. I couldn’t understand why no one could see what I saw.
Eventually, I got a HD TV, and things started to change. The changes in my perspective on my pores were slow at first. That was due to not having a great HD TV because of lots of dead pixels. I was given the HD TV because I was still using a CRT until about eight years ago. But eventually I was able to save up and buy a 4K HD TV, and that was a game changer. This accelerated the changes in how I saw my and other people’s pores.
Having a 4K HD TV allowed me to see every single famously beautiful person with their pores in all their glory. This was even true when they wore in makeup. For the first time, I realised my pores were normal, that you can even see the pores of the people who make the top 100 sexist people in the world.
This is why I believe that the invention of the HD TV (4K HD TV for me) can actually help with body image and BDD. Unlike a lot of other mediums where you might see famously attractive people, HD TV doesn’t lie. Having that honest view of how famous people look in real life is the biggest positive I can think of when it comes to the media.
Edited and filtered images have been with us for what seems like forever. Pre 2010, the quality of our TVs didn’t help to dispel the myth of flawless looking celebrities. As a result, we all thought their flawless looks were real, and thus, a lot of us struggled with trying to attain that level of beauty.
But now, because of HD TVs like a 4K HD TV, you can see celebrities’ peach fuzz, you can see their pores, you can see their wrinkles, and you can see their skin imperfections. Being able to see people how they would look if you were talking to them face-to-face allows us to see ourselves in a better light. Seeing the pores on people’s checks and noses has massively reduced how much I obsess about my own.
As always, leave your feedback in the comments section below. Also, please share your experiences of BDD, body image, and how HD TVs like a 4K HD TV affected your wellbeing in the comments section below as well. Don’t forget, if you want to stay up-to-date with my blog, then sign up for my newsletter below. Alternatively, get push notifications for new articles by clicking the red bell icon in the bottom right corner.
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Unwanted Life readers.
Rajanala, S., Maymone, M. B., & Vashi, N. A. (2018). Selfies—living in the era of filtered photographs. JAMA facial plastic surgery, 20(6), 443-444. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1001/jamafacial.2018.0486.