Eating Disorders: Affects and Prevention by Media Our society today is heavily influenced by the media and the imagery it shows. Though it may be indirect, the media provides unhealthy messages about ideal body sizes, gender attractiveness, and weight control that make women view themselves in a negative way. Magazines, television, and movies influence teenage girls on what they believe their body image should be. The images they show set the standard of what is considered physically attractive in our society. With the use of photoshop, media depicts falsified images of models and actresses to create a perfected look that is unattainable by the average woman. This creates a desire among teenage girls to look like these stars that are often shown. When teenage girls look at these images, they compare themselves to those images, and then judge themselves based on these comparisons. These judgements can potentially lead to eating disorders. In order to prevent the risk of eating disorders among teenage girls, the media should depict a typical image of people, rather than idolizing a specific standard of beauty. The media and how it affects our society has changed tremendously over the past few decades. Our population of children who spend a lot of time in front of the television or on social media continues to increase, creating a superficial view of themselves and who they should be. This superficial outlook has been created by the media because it preaches to our society that looks matter. Not only are there millions of advertisements saying to lose weight and buy certain products to be beautiful, but there has been a specific standard of beauty set for models and actresses to obtain. These standards include big eyes, volumino... ... middle of paper ... ...." Psychology & Health 26.10 (2011): 1273-1291. SPORTDiscus with Full Text. Web. 17 Apr. 2014. Haas, Cheryl J., et al. “An Intervention For The Negative Influence Of Media On Body Esteem.” College Student Journal 46.2 (2012): 405-418. SPORTDiscus with Full Text. Web. 17 Apr. 2014. Levine, Michael P., and Sarah K. Murnen. “Everybody Knows That Mass Media Are a Cause of Eating Disorders”: A Critical Review of Evidence For a Causal Link Between Media, Negative Body Image, and Disordered Eating in Females.” Journal Of Social & Clinical Psychology 28.1 (2009): 9-42. Academic Search Complete. Web. 17 Apr. 2014. Lopez-Guimera, Gemma, et al. “Influence Of Mass Media On Body Image And Eating Disordered Attitudes And Behaviors In Females: A Review Of Effects And Processes.” Media Psychology 13.4 (2010): 387-416. Communication & Mass Media Complete. Web. 17 Apr. 2014.
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If teens are constantly being exposed to television displaying images of beautiful and skinny people, they might think that they must sculpt themselves into fitting that image. According to author K Harrison exposure to fat character television produced dissatisfaction in the bodies of young teens (Harrison, 119-143). When teens become unsatisfied with their looks they may try to resort to unhealthy eating habits to meet their needs. The more exposure a child gets through television media the more vulnerable they are to eating disorders as a result of the weight related topics displayed. The National Institution on Media and Family states that “the commercials aimed at female viewers that ran during the television shows most often watched by icon girls also frequently used beautify as a product appeal (56 percent)”(National Institute on Media and Family,” Media, Body Image, and Eating Disorders”). Examples of these are Revlon makeup and spray tan commercials. Both of these are examples of unnatural beauty promotions which lead to teens striving to look like someone of the ideal image.
Paragraph 1- Girls can become victims of eating disorders because of society's promotion of an ideal thin female body. Models and stars shown in the fashion industry, magazines, movies, and other forms of media often appear very thin. These models are not a true reflection of the average female. Many are unnaturally thin, unhealthy or airbrushed. One former Victoria Secret model was shocked by the waiflike models that were shown on the runway during designer shows. A study referenced in the the article “Do Thin Models Warp Girls Body Image” describes how studies of girls as young as first grade think the culture is telling them to model themselves after celebrities who are svelte and beautiful. The same studies showed girls exposed to fashion magazines were most likely to suffer from poor body images. Psychologist and eating disorder experts agree the fashion industry has gone too far in showing dangerously thin images that women and young girls may try to emulate. The use of super slim models and stars, is sending the wrong message to young impressionable girls. These harsh influences lead us to think that thin is ideal body size. Seeing super thin models in the media plays a role in anorexia. Society’s promotion of a thin female body contributes to eating disorders for females striving to achieve this ideal bod...
Since 1960 the amount of cases of eating disorders has risen drastically. Since 1960 technology has increased as well. With this new technology social media has become increasingly popular leading to overstimulation of pictures portraying emaciated young women as “perfection” (Salter). Eating disorders are especially prominent in young females; and young minds are often easily influenced by what is normalized to them (Park). When a young brain is opened up to ideas and words that idolize “skinny”, it will undoubtedly become similarly obsessed with “skinny”. Harvard Medical school recently did a study on media’s effects on eating disorders: “Scientists…studying the social influences contributing to eating disorders focuse...
The National Eating Disorders Association states that eating disorders are conditions that arise from factors including physical, psychological, interpersonal, and social issues. Media images help define cultural definitions of beauty and attractiveness and are often acknowledged as one of the factors that contribute to the rise of eating disorders (NEDA). The National Eating Disorders Associations website, "The Effect of the Media on Body Satisfaction in Adolescent Girls", "The Media's Influence on Body Image Disturbance and Eating Disorders", and "Dieting Behaviors, Weight Perceptions, and Life Satisfaction Among Public High School Adolescents" are all articles that evaluate how the media may cause adolescent girls to develop eating disorders. In order to understand how the media?s portrayal of body image has an influence on adolescent girls developing eating disorders one must understand the attitudes young girls have about their body images, the emphasis on female thinness depicted in magazines and on television, and the way young women are influenced by the media.
Ninety percent of the eating disorder cases occur in women ages twelve to twenty-five and many researchers believe the media is to blame. Though there is no single cause of an eating disorder, multiple studies cause an eating disorders to the media. With being vulnerable to the “thin ideal” in mass media, there is an increased risk of body dissatisfaction and disordered eating. (“Media, Body Image, and Eating Disorders”)
It is no wonder that many girls are anorexic: it is from the media. The media’s promotion of super-skinny models has lead many young girls to believe that they are nothing. This is not true, and yet the media promotes it. The image of being “thin and beautiful” pushes young women to diet, which, in their attempt to fit into the “mold” of the model, may lead to anorexia. Approximately one to three percent of women in the United States are anorexic (Cha 1). Clothing companies, such as Calvin Klein, are to blame for this growing epidemic.
In modern day society, many adolescent girls are self-conscious of their bodies, like Samantha Murray. In “Female Body Image and the Mass Media: Perspectives on How Women Internalize the Ideal Beauty Standard,” Kasey Serdar writes, the standards of the woman’s body are visibly set through forms of media; furthermore, the pressures are high to achieve these unrealistic looks (1). A plethora of self-esteem issues result from the media’s portrayal of unrealistically thin models. In addition, today’s society places a significant amount of importance on what the eyes perceive, rather than what is on the inside, as the article “Factors That May Contribute to Eating Disorders” states (1). As a result, eating disorders now begin at a younger age, since girls grow up viewing the “ideal body” as skinny; furthermore, images in the media affect the self-esteem of women so immensely that many develop eating disorders after spending time viewing these unrealistic images. Women should not feel the need to cha...
The complications that accompany body image have long been an issue in society. Body image is the sense of how an individual views his or her own body as compared to others in society, or what is considered to be the ideal body image. There are many different factors that effect ones body image, but a major influence is the media. The media has long been associated with eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia. Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder where an individual participates in self-starvation, and bulimia is an eating disorder where an individual will eat as much as he or she wishes and then purges the previously eaten food. These are two destructive eating disorders that are associated with a negative body image. This comes to question, does media have an influence on creating a negative body image, which may inherently lead to eating disorders like anorexia nervosa and bulimia? Anorexia nervosa and bulimia affect various age groups but is extremely common in adolescence and emerging adulthood. During this stage in an individual’s lifespan there is a lot going on with ones psychological development as well as body. How an adolescent views his or her body image be highly impacted by how the media portrays what the ideal body image is. According to Berger (2015), “as might be expected from a developmental perspective, healthy eating begins with childhood habits and family routines” (p.415). If proper eating habits are not implemented negative body image and eating disorders that are associated with media becomes further predominant in adolescence and emerging adulthood.
Mass Media acts as an extreme influential factor in the lives of all people within the American society. From the body’s physical appearance to the food intake, the role of mass media has a lasting impact on the American culture. Media is used to relay messages while also establishing and promoting growing trends and norms.
In today’s society, media is a part of everyone’s lives, whether people want it to be or not. One of the most openly disliked components of the media is the thin, ideal, hour-glass figure that is virtually unattainable. This ideal body is becoming “increasingly unrealistic for most women to achieve by healthy means” (Tiggemann). Throughout history, it has always been a challenge to obtain the ideal beauty of the time (Derenne and Beresin). The current "ideal body" has an ample bust, a toned butt, and an incredibly thin profile with minimal curves. There is a multitude of media aimed towards women. Magazine advertisements of the shape or size of a woman’s body, photographs of famous actresses, and television characters are the leading forms of media that influence how women view ideal beauty (Myer and Biocca). All these types of media persuade girls to think they need to have the perfect body. It is one thing to want to be beautiful, but it is another thing entirely to have the media make the standard of beauty unrealistic.
The media can impact people’s lives in many ways, whether it’s fashion, movies, literature, or hobbies. One of the impacts is how women view their bodies. Movie stars and models feel pressured to catch attention and to look good in order to have a good career in their respective field. People tend to judge how someone looks based on their body composition. The result of this “judgment” is that Hollywood is getting skinny. Since models and actresses serve as role models for people, people tend to want to look like them. The result of this seemingly harmless model of behavior is in an increase in eating disorders.
The media controls the minds of young individuals and how they see themselves. The media teaches that a so-called “perfect body” means a “perfect person,” which is far from the truth. The majority of models shown on different media platforms are 98% thinner than the average American woman. Due to the overwhelming amount of these thinly portrayed women in the media, there is a higher expectation for all women (and men) to be thin. “Body image is a way that someone perceives their body and assumes others perceive them” (NEDA, 2016). On average, a teenagers and young children spend at least seven and a half hours on social media daily. Media and or social media displays body image with a negative sensation (Walder Center, 2017).
Research has shown that the media affects how a person views the perfect body image. Today the media has warped the human mind into thinking that being skinny and flawless is the only way to look. As a matter of fact, “69% of girls in 5th – 12th grades reported that magazine pictures influenced their idea of a perfect body shape” (National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (Self Image MEdia Influence) and “80% of women who answered a People magazine survey responded that images of women on television and in the movies make them feel insecure” (Self Image Media Influence). Yet, girls are not the only people plagued by, the media’s ideals though, men and male adolescents also feel the harsh pressure to be muscular and
In today’s society, young women are constantly reminded of what the standard definition of beauty is and what your body should look like in order to be considered beautiful. For instance, flipping through a beauty magazine or watching a music video and you’ll note that all most of the females all have a small structure. This message can have a negative impact on one’s self esteem. Media outlets give off the impression that having the “ideal” body is the key to having the perfect life, perfect marriage, success, and overall happiness. For instance, many weight loss infomercials emphasize that losing weight and becoming skinny will improve all those aspects in life. These messages have the potential for adolescents to develop an eating disorder in order to achieve things that we all desire. Although that message may be unintentional, the rapid growth of media allows adolescents to have access to both negative and positive messages that can influence body image.
The media should stop publicizing young female bodies and telling them what beauty is perceived to them. They should think of all those adolescents girls that they send into depression or force to become bulimic, just because they wish to make money. The media brainwashes too many of adolescent girls, making them think about their body in relation to models who have unmistakably the “perfect body”. Making them think that you have to be thin in order to be beautiful.