Analysis of The Media's Attitude Towards Weight and Eating

Analysis of The Media's Attitude Towards Weight and Eating

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Analysis of The Media's Attitude Towards Weight and Eating



Article A
=========

This article is about the pro-anorexia and bulimia websites on the
Internet. It starts with the headline "Anorexic Bulimic, and Online"
containing the 'list of three' which is followed by a paragraph
directly beneath, highlighting the main argument of the whole article.
This begins with the word 'disturbing' to describe the shocking truth
that is disturbing. This is followed up with another list of three;
examples of names of websites that are 'multiplying like a virus'.
Viruses are associated with danger and risk of damage to a person's
computer, so acts as a good simile. It suggests that the owners of
such sites are of a wide range of ages and female; from teenagers to
30+ year olds. It classifies anorexics/bulimics as "them": "Thousands
of them log on daily" which gives me the impression there is an "us"
and "them" situation where they are supposedly completely different to
people who aren't anorexic. (According to the writer.) Also, it says
that there are young women who believe that eating disorders are
acceptable and even worse: desirable.

The next paragraph (and the rest) starts with a small subtitle, being
"urged to purge" - assonance, which, I think, is used to stay in your
mind. It contains 'parents' which seems like this is aimed at girls
under the age of eighteen. It has rules posted by people who have an
anorexic 'lifestyle', one being "being thin and not eating are the
true signs of power and success." Which is quite scary because it
feels like that would be the only thing that mattered.

In the next three paragraphs, most of the space is taken up by stories
of people who are or have been anorexic/bulimic, but all have
different opinions. One girl calls eating disorders a 'way of life',
not a fatal illness. This merges with "Anorexic Goddesses"; the title
of one of the web pages. The word "Goddess" is striking because it
suggests that being anorexic is perfect, elite or superior.

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The older people who have been anorexic for longer say that it is not
a choice, but they think it is the younger people who find it
appealing or trendy, and these websites are for people who would
rather get rid of it.

The most shocking factor of the article, I think, is that there is a
quote taken from a fourteen year old, who owns one of these websites.
It shows that there are very young people who could be unaware of how
dangerous anorexia and bulimia really is.

Although there is quite a lot of opinion throughout the article, it
contrasts quite well towards the end, where there are factual
statistics and quotes from experts who know what they are talking
about. This has the most impact on the reader as it states that over
ten per cent of anorexics die, whereas death hadn't really been
mentioned by anyone else in the article.

Right at the end of the statement made by the expert: Dr. Dee Dawson,
are the words "slow suicide". Not only does this use alliteration, but
also the words are really shocking.

There is another paragraph in bold under the question "So can they be
banned?" (Which is what most people would want after reading it!)
Which informs the reader that they cannot, but search engines can
remove links to them. After this, there are help and information phone
numbers/links for people who are dealing with anorexia/bulimia.

This article is not very eye catching, mainly because it is in black &
white, but it does have an interesting picture of a girl looking into
a mirror, with her reflection looking unhappy and depressed, and there
is a computer monitor with the words "Anorexic Goddesses" on it.

The picture makes you feel almost sympathetic, and brings out the
drama and emotion in the text. This image brings out the fear that
parents may have of their child becoming accustomed to this kind of
"lifestyle".

I think this article is successful because it informs you that
anorexia and bulimia are very serious illnesses, and persuades you to
want to get rid of the pro-websites for them.

Article B

This article is about losing weight by snacking. The headline is
"Dream Bodies", suggesting that having a skinny figure is really
desirable and wanted. It then has a second title of "7 ways to snack
and slim" with a small sentence underneath telling the reader that
yes, it is possible to lose weight with the help of this guide.

I think when you compare this with article A, it almost seems like the
media is at war with itself. Even though there are horrifying and
shocking facts contained in articles like A, there are still articles
like B insisting that being thin is really important and nothing else
matters.

This is very different because there is colour, more facts, and the
language is informal.

Straight away, the article addresses the reader with a rhetorical
question and a situation, which you could place yourself in: "How is
it that despite following all the rues for keeping your mind off food,
when the clock rolls round to 11am, you get the urge to snack?" This
draws the reader in to read on further because it is applying directly
to them.

Like article A, each paragraph has its own subtitle. Paragraph two's
subtitle uses alliteration - 'snack to stay slim'. (Most of the
alliteration in this uses the letter 's'.)

A lot of the phrases used indicate that this article is aimed at women
who are busy or working most of the time, e.g. "speed-eat",
"on-the-run" and "when you can't sit down".

Even though the language used here is informal, it is very informative
and balances this out with lots of complicated scientific research and
facts.

The last sentence ends quite abruptly on "wash the lot down with some
unsweetened fruit juice". I find this is almost as if you are supposed
to immediately going to start using this guide the minute you have
finished reading it.

The picture is quite clever, because there are lots of ways to look at
it. It is a photograph of a woman who is holding a shiny red apple and
smiling, but looks rather plain. The unpleasant factor about this is
that the lighting makes her look even thinner than she is - almost
skeletal, and her bones look like they are sticking out. She also
looks a bit masculine because her jaw is quite square and her hair is
done in such a way that it looks incredibly short and glued to her
head.

On the other hand, she has brilliant white teeth, and could represent
the healthiness of the apple. The apple may also be seen as a link to
Eve (from the Bible in the Garden of Eden) or the temptation of female
sexuality to lure the reader in.
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