Generation Thinner and Thinner

413 Words2 Pages
Generation Thinner and Thinner Seven million females in the United States have eating disorders, and the number keeps rising. Even harsher is the fact that girls as young as six, are now being admitted to clinics for these disorders. Yet it hardly seems surprising, given that we live in a society where the norm is the bombardment of our population with cultural icons of emaciated female bodies. The sad truth is that eating disorders affect us all, whether or not we, as individuals, have a disorder ourselves. The inescapable reality is that each of us knows someone with an eating disorder. As a teenager, these disorders are a part of my life and something I must contend with on a daily basis. At least twenty of my friends are anorexic and/or bulimic. I constantly wonder how many more of my friends will be that way tomorrow? Or the day after that? I am scared of what the impending future will bring. The incidence of eating disorders is rising not only in American preadolescents, but across the globe. What does this mean for the future of my generation and that of future generations as we grow up with lives that consist of self-starvation and self-induced vomiting? Is society's intense pressure to conform to the unrealistic standards of feminine beauty too great for us to contend with? At the rate the number of eating disorders is increasing, the answer appears to be yes. Despite our knowledge of what eating disorders do to the body, we continue the self-destructive behavior. Like smoking, we know the consequences of what we are doing, but we do it anyway. There is not a pin-pointable cause for eating disorders, but the disorders appear to be a result of an interaction of social, psychological, and biological factors. Of these factors, I believe the social and psychological factors are the most prominent because of the media industry. The female population has fallen victim to the unfortunate set of physical appearance standards that the media has created. Being thin has become a media fed preoccupation for the female, dwelling on the concept that thin is better. The message she is given is that beauty, success, happiness, and self-worth are acquired by being thin. From the fashion industry, magazines, television, and movies, to other visual media sources, something is going to have to change for progress to be made to reduce the number of eating disorders.
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