Eating Disorders and the Media

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Eating Disorders and the Media American writer Allen Ginsberg once said: "Whoever controls the media-the images-controls the culture." Nothing could be truer, the media has always influenced fashion and body shape. But what's remarkable now is how much the media affects body image, and how willing and eager people are to mess with Mother Nature. (Underwood, par.2) Although there are other factors that contribute to eating disorders the media can partially be blamed for the millions of people with eating disorders because it promotes and glamorizes being thin to the public. A healthy newborn child eats when it is hungry and stops when it is full. But there are factors that combat against a normal relationship with food from the moment a child starts to communicate. The idea, that looking a certain way and being a certain shape is installed at a very young age. Young girls play with Barbie dolls that have unrealistic proportions and kids see an overload of images on television and in magazines, which imprint an image in their minds of what a body should look like. According to Jonathan Rader, Ph. D., one-half of forth grader girls are on a diet, and when a study asked children to assign attractiveness values to pictures of children with various disabilities; the participants rated the obese child less attractive than a child in a wheelchair, a child with a facial deformity, and a child with a missing limb. (par.2) These fat hating attitudes that are formed at such a young age may very well lead to the development of an eating disorder a few years down the road. Media sets a certain value on being thin and what thinness means, they brainwash people into believing that thinness is success, beauty, and happiness; while ima... ... middle of paper ... ...hy: Works Cited Eating Disorders Awareness And Prevention, Inc. The Media, Body Image& Eating Disorders. Washington: 1999. Hoffman, Lee. National Institute of Mental Health. Eating Disorders. NIH, 1993. "How Do the Media Encourage or Combat Eating Disorders?" Anorexia Nervosa & Related Disorders, Inc. 1 Mar. 2001 . Immell, Myra H. Eating Disorders. California: Greenhaven Inc., 1999. Lemberg, Raymond. Controlling Eating Disorders With Facts, Advice, And Resources. Arizona: Oryx, 1992. Rader, Johnathan. "Do You Have an Eating Disorder?" Addiction Solutions. 3 May 2000. 1 Mar. 2001 . Underwood, Nora. " Special Report: Body Envy: Thin is in-and people are messing with Mother Nature as never before." Maclean's Aug. 2000: 23 pars. Zimmerman, Jill S. "An Image To Heal". The Humanist Feb. 1997: 20+.

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