Body Image, Eating Disorders and Advertising

3063 Words Nov 25th, 2011 13 Pages
Body Image, Eating Disorders and Advertising

Body Image, Eating Disorders and Advertising We have all heard, “you are what you eat”; however, and maybe more importantly, you want to be what you watch or read. How does today’s advertising impact on your body image? The shaping of our concept of the ideal body image begins at a young age and continues though adulthood. It begins with our toys; that first Barbie you received on your sixth birthday; the one with the long blond flowing hair and the perfect curves that could wear any outfit. Thinking back to that day, I reflect on the times I stared in the mirror, wishing I looked liked my Barbie and knew if I lost weight I would attract my perfect Ken. As I matured and put away my
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I have to admit that I wondered who is the fit blue eyed blond woman in her twenties gracing Runners World. I am familiar with most elite athletes in the running community; but I don’t recognize the lithe runner gracing the front cover. I wondered who, is this girl staring back at me. Is she a runner or a professional model? Unlike most athletes that are featured inside the cover, there are no comments about her personal running successes. No stories about the major events she has competed in. No discussion about her training program or her favorite race distances. Images, like excellent writing, possess the power to influence our emotions. They can create desire, incite disgust or inspire us to action. The model on the front cover is blessed with good looks and a naturally athletic physique. She brings both beauty and fitness to the cover of the magazine. Most female competitive athletes don’t have her good looks. It is not who they are. So in spite of their significant accomplishments on the track or the road they will not make the cover of the magazine. Even talented athletes must deal with body image issues. The marketing view that the ideal fit body must be tight and excessively lean finds its genesis in the fashion model industry where many models are unhealthily lean. It is not abnormal to see male and female athletes with eating disorders as they strive to achieve the ideal

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