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28 September 2015
Great photographs discuss obesity problems
In generally, people always mistakenly define obese problems as “fat” or “fat people”. However, obesity is a disorder involving excessive body fat that increases the risk of health problems. The number of obese people is increasing every year, and the U.S is the country that has the most adult obese people in the world. (Stateofobesity) Obesity appears among adults, seniors and even children and the physical effects have been captured in various photographs by those who are interested in combatting this problem. Figure 1 [Obesity is suicide] clearly shows the crucial relationship between obesity and health. On the other hand, Figure 2 [Los intocables] concentrates more on childhood obesity problems, while Figure 3 [Boy with McDonald’s] illustrates the consequences of eating fast food. These three visuals illustrate the power of obesity problem and warn people to consider it seriously.
Brandon Knowlden’s picture titled Obesity is Suicide shows a man is being hanged on his neck with a sausage rope (Fig. 1). This picture was taken in 2011 as an advertisement for Northern Bariatric Surgery Institutes in Pennsylvania, and it has contributed in warning about the dangers of obesity and has put more emphasis to the obese people to take further measures like doing exercise to ensure they stay in good health. Rather than stating numerous written information, Knowlden creates a gloomy and hopeless atmosphere so that it catches audiences’ attention. He illustrates how critical obesity can be, and transfer this idea through the feature, the man hanged by a sausage rope.
Knowlden dims the background so that audiences can focus more on the front part, the man hanged by the sausage-rope. Since Knowlden has clearly taken over two-thirds of the whole picture, the big wrinkle and fat cheeks are clearly visible due to his clean shaven cheek and neck. Moreover, a rope made of sausage is also tied around his neck and this easily implies the relationship between the obesity problem and death. The main purpose of using this man is that he acts as a good example of what obesity can do to a human being and this clearly points out a clear evidence to the audience. Both features are representative and clear to audiences, and that make the idea very convincing.
The picture is mainly designed in dark tones. It feels like there is invisible shield covered above the picture. The man in the picture wears a dark blue shirt, and his skin is gloomy compared with an ordinary person. Through the dark tone, the advertisement conveys a sense of sickness and transfers a negative and hopeless atmosphere to the audiences.
Moreover, Knowlden creates strong emotional appeals. From the research conducted on obese people, it has been stated that obese people are more likely to be demoralized by negative messages about their physical appearance.
“Not only is the human brain capable of picking up a message or word that has been flashed for a mere split-second, but more importantly that the message’s emotional meaning is more likely to be recalled if it is negative.” (Cahal, 48)
In order to persuade those people with obesity problem, it’s more effective to warn them than advise them. This advertisement is focused on creating fear by mentioning the link between obesity and death. The author tries to illustrate the issue of obesity in a formal way by implying that obesity is a problem that is similar to other illnesses that are considered to be serious. Obesity is a life-threatening issue and people should not ignore the attempts to counter such a problem. An obese person is likely to develop some sense of fear within the society and he or she might eventually develop problems such as inability to socialize with other people.
At the bottom of the advertisement, the author writes two sentences in different sizes. He writes “Obesity is suicide” in a larger font and “But it doesn’t have to end this way. Find out how bariatric surgery can help. The Northern Bariatric Surgery Institute” in a smaller font. The author uses the different sizes of words to catch audiences’ attention.
Knowlden’s use of colors and size make this advertisement strong, clear and very convincing. The frame and composition of the picture, the size and placement of the protagonist make the thesis very clear. Moreover, the dark tones and gloomy atmosphere the author uses creates a strong emotional appeal to the audience. Last but not least, Knowlden uses a psychological strategic, which transfers negative message to people who have fear with their problem to make his advertisement more solid and convincing.
While Knowlden’s picture focuses the obesity adults and ideal treatment, the second photograph taken by Cuban photographer Erik Ravelo emphasizes the obesity problem among children and the primary factor of children obesity, the junk food. (Fig. 2) Erik made a series of pictures named “Untouchable”. This picture shows a little boy being hanged on Ronald McDonald, who is the mascot of McDonald.
The image shocked me with the same impression of Calvary when the Jesus hanged on the cross. The image implies the children obesity problem with junk food. The little boy hanged on Ronald McDonald represents the children obesity problem. The audience can figure out by his belly with fat. Ronald McDonald is a great and representative symbol of junk food and the Calvary modeling is giant impact visually and spiritually.
The author tries to establish sorrowful emotion by using the color contrast. The Ronald McDonald wears colorful shirt as usual in the back. The little boy in the front wears the black underwear only. Speaking the point of view from the color, the bright colors always represent the vitality and the dark colors usually delegates inanition. The author uses the strong contrast between bright and dark to illustrate that the junk food companies earned lots of wealth from those unhealthy people. What’s more, the junk food company is transferring bad eating habits to all young children. And junk food companies are relying on these bad, fatal eating habits they tried to create. What’s more, the background is plain white. However, when I looked deeply in the image, I could see that there are shadows in the corner spread forwarding the center of the image. The use of shadow is like putting a spotlight in the center makes the audience concentrate on what is going on in the center of the picture. The spotlight always lead audiences to the place where needs the most focus.
Besides, the author also implies lots of information through characters’ body languages. First of all, the little boy’s head is facing downward. Normally, facing forward or upward means confidence, positive and ambitions. On the contrary, facing downward could be self-abased and negative. Even adults who struggle with obesity problem might feel self-abased for themselves, so how could a little boy solve the problem on his own? The obesity problem doesn’t only effect on physical health but also mental health. “How can we help children with obesity problem physically and mentally” could be a big problem to the society. Another body gesture I like is the way that the boy places his feet. The boy’s feet are placed front and back, not together parallel. This gesture represents the lack of security in boy’s heart. Again, the obesity isn’t just physical problem; children need help from inside mentally.
In the photograph “Untouchables,” the modeling idea from Calvary captures audiences’ attention. The patterns create a tight bond between children obesity problem with junk food companies. In addition, the use of color illustrates how junk food companies tried to establish a bad eating habit for children. By the way, the author uses emotional appeals to call on the society to take more care of our children struggle with obesity problems.
Talking more about relationship between obesity problems with children, the final visual “boy with McDonald’s.” a picture taken by Technorati 2013 illustrates how junk food influences children’s eating habits and how it causes the obesity problems among children. In Figure 3 the picture was taken in McDonald with two obese boys around five or six years old eating their French fries and drinking sodas. These two boys delegate the children obesity group who indulge in junk food like McDonald.
Honestly, the first impression this picture gave me is funny. The boy on the right looks exactly like Michelin. I can see his wrinkle everywhere around his body. And he is having an obesity problem but still eating his French fries. On the McDonalds official website, it says “Most of the cattle we get our beef from are treated with added hormones, a common practice in the U.S. that ranchers use to promote growth.” (McDonald’s Webpage) As a result, people who eat McDonald a lot will be influenced by the extra hormone. The overmuch hormone will be harmful to our health, especially with kids. Kids who take extra hormone will grow faster than normal kids. And that will explain why kids in the picture have an adult’s face.
Furthermore, the author is implying something else through the scale and light use. The light on the right side is brighter that the left side. The use of light creates a certain feeling like a time axis. In addition, comparing these two boys, the right boy is like a bigger, elder and future version of the left one. And the left boy is in the back so that the right one can be in the front. It creates quite a strange atmosphere like “My day will be your tomorrow.” By using this scale, the author implies if the little boy keeps eating junk food, he might become his elder brother on the right someday in the future. The author tries to emphasize on the harm of junk food because it might ruin your life if you don’t take it seriously.
The whole picture is in a relaxed and humorous way. However, the author wants us to think deeply about the outcome of feeding our kids junk food. Besides, the theme of the picture and the atmosphere the author tries to make a strong contrast against each other. And this picture tells a serious idea in a funny way that makes itself even more memorable for the audiences.
Through analyzing these three visuals, they transferred information to me which is “obesity is becoming a serious problem in our daily life!” Everyone will be possible to involve in obesity problems. Especially kids, with lack of self-control and knowledge, are the most dangerous group that can be easily effected. And that’s why the second visual “untouchable” is the best one. The author creates strict and logical relationship between children obesity with the junk food. The modeling he uses has the strongest impact visually and mentally among these three visuals.
Once again, obesity is not equal to fat or fat people. It is a disease that everyone should take care of. Those visuals above provided a valid and powerful support to my previous idea. Everyone can easily avoid it by establishing a good, healthy eating habit. Priority among priorities, it is adult’s responsibilities to keep children away from obesity problems. Kids should be taught and educated in this field to make them build a fundamental idea and knowledge to help them stay healthy without obesity.
Stateofobesity.Org. “Adult Obesity in the United States.” The State of Obesity. Stateofobesity.org, 21 Sept. 2015. Web. 26 Oct. 2015.
McDonalds. “Does Your Beef Contain Added Hormones? McDonalds.com.” Does Your Beef Contain Added Hormones? :: McDonalds.com. McDonalds. Web. 9 Oct. 2015.
Milmo, Cahal. “Power of the Hidden Message Revealed Negative Emotional Contents Are More Likely to Register in the Subconscious.”The Independent. Independent Digital News and Media, 28 Sept. 2009. Web. 26 Oct. 2015.
Figure.1 Knowlden, Brandon. Obesity is Suicide. November 2011. Brandon Knowlden Blog. Web. 21 Sep.2015
Figure.2 Ravelo, Erik. Los intocables. 2013. No One I Nessuno. Web. 19 Sep 2015.
Figure 3 Technorati. Boy with McDonald’s. 29 Nov. 2013. Technorati. Web. 22 Sep. 2015