Major Themes: Alcoholism, Capitalism, Body-image
In a 2013 public health report performed by Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), researchers revealed that Canadians’ consumption of alcohol is reported to be 50% above the global average.
13.45% of the population being females, who were reported as heavy drinkers. 56% amongst these female subjects admitted to binge-drinking 4 bottles or more in per sitting, beginning at the age of 15.
Today, alcohol-abuse has spiralled into the 3rd most prominent cause of our global health liability, such as: alcoholic liver diseases, motor vehicle accidents and alcohol-related suicides. There is a noticeable rise in the overconsumption of alcohol, especially amongst the younger female demographics.
Why is that? Can the public’s perception of alcohol be a major influence? The media sells alcohol as a symbol of luxury, pleasure, success, confidence and the means to release or relieve. With the rise of anxiety since the industrial age, the abuse of alcohol grew.
Today, staggering on top of the Jenga of anxiety to live the ‘American dream’, is an image driven and high tech era. Where a woman’s body image is constantly the hot topic in our day to day interactions. Social media, music, fashion, entertainment; it often revolves around the external image of a female, normalizing having an ideal standard for how one’s physical body should look like. It is no wonder such arrays of social pressures emphasized on the female body leads to a young girl’s consumption of a product that ultimately provides a short term relief from these overwhelming and unwanted apprehensions.
With everyday technologies such as smartphones, alcohol brands now target selling these fantasy frameworks and visual imageries constantly to subjects with fragile body-image — potential customers. These advertisements replay constantly day and night, making it hard not to indulge in the false ideas they sell.
Today, the consumption of alcohol– a product that is sold continuously as a stress-free and pleasurable experience is cumulating at an unmanageable rate. This is the consequence of society’s oppression on one’s perception of their own bodies, resulting in a self-obstructing behaviour seen amongst young women today. A product should not define one’s body and identity.
Let’s take a sip and reflect!
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Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction and University of Victoria Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research (2018). Canadian Substance Use Costs and Harms 2007-2014. Retrieved from: https://www.ccsa.ca/sites/default/files/2019-04/CSUCH-Canadian-Substance-Use-Costs-Harms-Report-2018-en.pdf
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Statistics Canada (2015). Control and sales of alcoholic beverages, for the year ending March 31, 2014. Ottawa ON: Statistics Canada.
Koordeman, R., Anschutz, D. J., Engels, R. C. (2012). The effect of alcohol advertising on immediate alcohol consumption in college students: an experimental