Disordered Eating and the Media Essay

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The media constantly sends out an influx of images and messages promoting an almost unattainable unrealistic image of beauty, that has consistently been linked to disordered eating and body dissatisfaction, predominantly among girls but can also be seen in boys. Throughout the years the ideal body shape has progressed from voluptuous and curvaceous an image Marilyn Monroe emulated to a slimmer and leaner frame in congruence with high fashion models such as Kate Moss (Katzmarzk & Davis, 2001). Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia nervosa affect between 1% and 4% of young adult females (American Psychiatric Association, 1994). Eating disorders have been linked to body shapes and images present in the media (Shorter, Brown, Quinton & Hinton, 2008). …show more content…
In another study, Heinberg and Thompson (1995) showed ten-minute videotapes of commercials to female students at a college that glamorized thinness or contained non-appearance-related images. Women who viewed the videotape that contained images that emphasized the importance of thinness in regards to beauty, were found to have higher levels of depression, anger, weight dissatisfaction, and overall appearance dissatisfaction. In fact women with high dispositional levels of internalization showed greater levels of dissatisfaction with their weight and overall appearance after watching the tape, in contrast to participants with low-internalization who showed a decrease in dissatisfaction with weight and appearance (Heingberg & Thompson, 1995). Brief exposure to images promoting thinness as a prerequisite to beauty increases psychological distress and body image dissatisfaction, and as a result of these findings it is important to note that increased exposure may result in severe consequences (Heingberg & Thompson, 1999, pp. 334). Internalization may help explain why some girls who have the idea that thinness and beauty are linked together engrained in their mind exhibit disordered eating behavior and higher levels of body dissatisfaction then other girls who hear the same message daily (Heingberg &
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