Whereas we used to compare our looks with real people around us, now we have to compete with images that are beyond the physical. And don’t be fooled, this is a very lucrative business. Most women magazines never publish a critical piece about the cosmetic industry, nor do men magazines criticize the fitness enterprize. If they would, they would lose their advertising income. So, in effect, their whole consumer industry is based on the simple formula: creating a problem (your looks) while providing the solution (their products.)
There is thus a huge incentive to make you feel inadequate. Even when your body is fit and healthy, there is still money to be made if you believe something is wrong with you. And this is what they subconsciously tell you, day in, day out. We aren’t made to distinguish between real and virtual images, and so we can not help but believe what we are told. Hence the result, a culture saturated with self-loathing and psychological eating disorders.