It is apparent that with the increasing popularity of social media today, there has been a shift in dietary changes within our society. Individuals are subconsciously changing how and what they eat. The question arises, why are so many young women dissatisfied with their bodies, despite their size? Although there are several forces believed to play a role in this dissatisfaction such as peer criticism and parental influences, the thin-ideal body is dominating the media (Grabe, Ward, & Hyde, 2008). Thinness is largely emphasized and praised for women in magazines, television shows, movies and commercials (Stice & Shaw, 1992). Anorexia Nervosa is an eating disorder that stems from this ubiquitous obsession to be thin and is often associated with a pathological fear of gaining weight, distorted self-body image and emaciation (The American Heritage® Science Dictionary).
In fact, media is contributing to many false advertisements and unrealistic images that cause eating disorders. Media gives us these false beauty standards by making teens think they have to be thin and tall. Meanwhile, many teens want to be like the models and they try to be thin but instead of doing it the healthy way. The way they do it is to skip meals and that develops eating disorders. For instance, Arnett says, “Marketing and advertisement agencies focus on models such as tall, thin women or a muscular man with a chiseled jawbone when casting for photo shoots and television commercial” (265.) Therefore, we experience and seen is that the media do give us a false beauty standard which makes teens want to do everything that is possible to become like models. This has contributed
Teenagers are constantly bombarded with media on how to dress, how to act, and who to hang with to be considered “cool.” As stated by the Common Sense Census, the amount of time teenagers spend on some form of media is on average nine hours. More than half of the hours they are awake is spent consuming media, making them vulnerable to the ideas of the media. In recent years, the number of teenage girls that suffer from eating disorders has increased drastically due to this increase of media exposure, but it isn’t so much the amount of exposure as the kind of exposure. The question of how much influence media has on eating disorders
Eating disorders have become a major problem throughout the world, specifically in the United States. The key factor that has an influence on eating disorders is the media. Including people of all ages and genders, up to twenty-four million people suffer from an eating disorder in the United States (ANAD np). This is a huge problem in the world today but what makes it so much worse is the fact that it can be prevented and it is in our control to change it. Young adults look to these celebrities, which are often their role models, and try to look just like them. What they fail to remember is the fact that celebrities have a lot of money, money that can afford nutritionists and personal trainers. They also fail to remember the extensive measures the celebrities may have to go through to look the way they do. An example of extensive measures can be considered plastic surgery. Ultimately, this creates a false goal that is almost unattainable for the “average” or “regular” person. Overall, the media has overtaken a huge impact on what the “ideal” body image has become today. Eating disorders are still on the rise and it is proven that an eating disorder such as anorexia affects up to 5 percent of women from ages 15-30 years old ("Media, Body Image, and Eating Disorders | National Eating Disorders Association np"). This may not seem that significant but it is also not considering other eating disorders such as bulimia. All in all, eating disorders
Though this is true, research shows that media does contribute to the increase in body dissatisfaction and disordered eating. “Anorexia means ‘lack of appetite’, but in the case of the eating disorder anorexia nervosa, it is a desire to be the, rather than a lack of appetite, that causes individuals to decrease their food intake,” (Smolin and Mary Grosvenor, 76). “The name bulimia is taken from the Greek words bous (“ox”) and limos (“hunger”), denoting hunger of such intensity that a person could eat an entire ox,” (Smolin and Mary Grosvenor, 94).
Many people can relate to media being the blame for eating disorders because they’ve either dealt with this or know someone who has had an eating disorder due to what the media says you should look like.
Promotion by the media of the extraordinarily thin body types has been linked to the steady rise of eating disorders, especially among adolescents (Ballaro & Wagner, 2017). Experts believe that there are more than ten million females suffering from some sort of eating disorder and that the problems are happening in patients of younger and younger ages. The gap between the average woman’s body and the ideal body is much larger than before (Spitzer, Henderson, & Zivian, 1999). Ninety four percent of characters in the United States media, are thinner than the average woman (Gonzalez-Lavin & Smolak, 1995). The average American woman is only 5’4” tall and weighs approximately 165 pounds (Martin 2010). The media depicts happiness, wealth and success associated to unrealistic body types (Tiggemann, 2002). Not only does the media display this image, it also exhaustively provides information to encourage achievement of it as well. Whether through dieting, exercise or mild to extreme cosmetic surgery for body sculpting, women are feeling the pressure that they need to be thin and often take even the most dangerous methods to obtain this. Considering that these delusional ideals are nearly impossible for most average women, without choosing unhealthy and harmful behaviors, eating disorder theorists have proclaimed that media is supporting these habits (Levine & Smolak, 1998). It is estimated that 10-15% of girls and women between the ages of 9 and 19 are affected by eating disorders. Though the death rates vary from different studies, one thing is for sure; eating disorders can have many health risks, including death. With the unrealistic ability to achieve the super thin body image many women are still turning to these harmful methods in order to try; thus resulting in death of someone every 62 minutes as a result (Eating Disorders Coalition,
A study was recently done to determine how body image was viewed in society several years ago and how it is viewed in today’s society. When comparing the average model and the American woman, it is stated by Dr. Jonathon Rader, PhD, chief executive and clinical officer of Rader Programs that “twenty years ago, the average fashion model weighed 8% less than the average woman. Today, she weighs 23% less” (Rader). Twenty to thirty years ago, full figured women were accepted and also admired. Being voluptuous was a sign of wealth and beauty. Women were not obsessed with diet fads, or trying to look a certain way, but were more concerned with eating healthy and were comfortable with the
An article found on psychcentral.com believes that the media doesn’t lead to teenagers having eating disorders. The article states that, “In many ways, the media is to blame for the state of our body image. For our desire to diet. For a view that thinness leads to happiness for young girls - teenagers. For the idea that we must wait until we lose weight to do anything… But the media isn’t to blame for eating disorders” (Tartakovsky). The article then goes on the explain that most women and girls do not have eating disorders and that the media isn’t to blame for those children that do have an eating disorder. I think that it is a valid point that is made when the article states, “Although I think our cultural ideas and beauty obsessions and
Do I believe the media causes eating disorders? No, but I do believe it helps create a dangerous environment/ society for people with other dispositions (cognitive, behavioral, societal, etc.) for those disorders. Media can influence a person’s personal perception of what they believe to be “fit” or “beautiful,” even though, people who develop eating disorders usually already hold some sort of distortion when viewing themselves in terms of “fit” or “beautiful.” This unrealistic message from the media and advertisements, unrealistic because the most recent ads utilize photo-shop, creates a false definition of beauty that many try to attain, but fail.
Media is thought to be a risk factor for developing anorexia. The messages and images in the media expose women to ideas of the ‘ideal women’ being thin and attractive. Many women think that being thin is the only way to be considered attractive (Henderson & Spettigue, 2004).
Susan Ringwood, chief executive of Beat, the eating disorder charity, says that eating disorders are complex and involve factors like genetic qualities and personality type (Bawdon 35). So, the blame is not on the media, it’s how the media plays with the minds of girls with these factors. Of course, her facts are true. Genes and the person it’s impacting does change what the outcome of a situation like this might look like. But, the media and forms of bullying can greatly affect these girls. And eventually, with the right amount of pressure, anyone can crack. Harvard Medical School researchers surveyed Fijian women around the age of 17 before television was introduced to them in 1995; only 3% induced vomiting (bulimia) and 13% tested positive for an eating disorder risk (Ballaro). Nevertheless, after watching Western shows like Beverly Hills 90210, 15% induced vomiting and 29% tested positive for an eating disorder risk (Ballaro). Many changed their hair, mood, exercise, and food habits to be like those characters: if eating disorders relied solely on genetics, this wouldn’t have happened (Ballaro). The media, like it or not, has a major way of impacting teens. Many eating disorders are influenced by the media and there’s too much pressure, even on girls only exposed to this culture for a little
My counter argument of research paper mass media is only psychological problems. People might argue the eating disorder is heavenly influenced by genetics, neurobiology, and individual personality traits rather than the media. Broadcast and written media can be a source of valuable information on health and well-being. I addressed that the media play great role to influence on eating disorders. To prove this, I have given
Strasburger supports her argument that the media is to blame by using a study that was done in Fiji. A natural field experiment in Fiji revealed that the eating disorder rate increased dramatically after American television shows, which show excessively thin female lead characters, were introduced. There are also now over 100 pro-anorexia Web sites on the Internet that not only encourage disordered eating but also offer specific advice on purging, severely restricting caloric intake, and exercising excessively (Strasburger). Recent studies have shown that adolescent girls describe the “ideal girl” as being 5’7”, 100 pounds, size 5, with long blonde hair and blue eyes (Developmental…Eating Disorders, Section 2, Chapter 10, Pg. 235). Girls related this “ideal girl” look to being
“The attention-grabbing pictures of various high-flying supermodels and actors on different magazine covers and advertisements go a long way in influencing our choices” (Bagley). The media is highly affective to everyone, although they promote an improper image of living. Research proved says those with low self-esteem are most influenced by media. Media is not the only culprit behind eating disorders. However, that does not mean that they have no part in eating disorders. Media is omnipresent and challenging it can halt the constant pressure on people to be perfect (Bagley). Socio-cultural influences, like the false images of thin women have been researched to distort eating and cause un-satisfaction of an individual’s body. However, it