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.
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”)
Picture the world controlled by the media. Could you imagine how ugly, scarce, and hateful it would be. What would you do if a magazine or a television show told you that your body weight had to be twenty pounds lighter to be all most perfect? Would you actually consider the fact or let ignore it? Teens, mainly girls, will be sucked into these magazines. (National Eating Disorders Info Centre 15) These could be magazines like Seventeen and Cosmo Girl. In addition with many others of course. All though, the media is a bad example at times it is not precisely the main issue for negative body image. (National Eating Disorders Association 1) All though, these constant screaming messages the media produces can progress to something more serious. (National Eating Disorders Association 1) More serious as in an eating disorder.
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...
Media’s Effect on Body Image and Eating Disorders
Gautama Buddha once said: “To keep the body in good health is a duty, otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.” It is an inspirational quote that signifies the importance of good health regarding psychological matters. This quote indirectly compares the strength of being mentally conscious and healthy rather than physically slim and attractive. In fact, the way the word ‘fit’ has been portrayed in media has caused many young people and adolescents to view ‘fit’ as a person who is thin, has a thigh gap, a slim waist, etc.
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.
Looking in the mirror, only to see a fat, disgusting body day after day. In all reality, the person looking in the mirror is most likely skin and bones, no where near fat, if they have an eating disorder, but what they see when they look in the mirror is a distorted imagine. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Eating disorders are a group of serious conditions in which you’re so preoccupied with food and weight that you can often focus on anything else.” Eating disorders have been previously mentioned throughout history, but did not become common until the 1960’s in the United States. In the past decade, the number of people with eating disorders has increased significantly and appearance has become everything to people (“Fear” par. 2). Eating disorders are alarmingly becoming a larger epidemic in the United States every day, and there are several main reasons that eating disorders exist: how society judges on body images, psychological and emotional problems, and genetics.
What is the perfect body type? Throughout our adolescence ages into the adult hood stage many of young women struggle to answer this question. Our idea of what the perfect body type is ever changing however it is always influenced by the Medias perception of what the perfect body image should look like. We all idolize these images we see on television and in magazines and some of us would do anything to look just like them. This image forces us to have self esteem issues.These advertisements are damaging both our mental and physical state of being Many young girls who take extreme measures to live up to the Medias perception of the perfect body type are more likely to develop one of the many body image disorders. The average age a girl starts to diet is eight ("Media and Eating Disorders" 1). When a girl becomes obsessed with dieting and looking better, they can easily become anorexic or bulimic. 79% of teenage girls who vomit are dedicated readers of woman's magazines ("Media and Eating Disorders" 2). The Medias standard of perfection puts stress and pressure on young girls to become skinner. Eating disorders, excessive exercise, and depression are a result of the Medias influence on their self image. The media have negatively influenced the self image of young girls by forcing their unrealistic perception of what women should look like onto them .
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.
Eating Disorders and the Media
Today's society is undeniably marked by cultural norms and ideals. The question is, however, does the mass media's depiction of this norm cause harmful behavior in its population? Researchers have shown that there is a bias in the way television targets children in advertising (Ogletree, S., Williams, S., Raffeld, P., Mason, B., Fricke, K., 1990) and that this media influence over people has always been observable (Miles, M., 1995).