The Lilienfeld text discusses the seriousness and sadness of eating disorders and how they are much more than merely a dissatisfaction with one's body. With anorexia having a fatality rate of 5 to 10 percent it is one of the most dangerous mental disorders a person can have. With that said, eating disorders cannot be blamed solely on the media of Western culture; but it is fair to say that it does deserve a fair chunk of the responsibility for this problem.
An article from psychiatry online talks about the contributions the media makes to women and men's self esteem and attitudes towards appearance. Women are presented with several different images of what is sexy, making it increasingly difficult for girls to find a realistic role model to identify with and look up to. Speaking of realistic, the article also pointed out that most of the models shown in magazines and the media are giving women unattainable physical goals. Models bodies are airbrushed to perfection, erasing any trace of "flaws" and giving society the idea that beauty means being stick thin and having large breasts. As if these models would need any airbrushing to begin with considering they are 23% thinner than the average woman.
Although men are not as associated with eating disorders as women, they too are effected by the harsh unrealities of the media. Pictures of men with perfectly sculpted abs and little to no body fat have men dishing out large amount of cash for gym memberships. While a gym membership seems like a healthy idea and not so harmful, the obsession with staying in shape and gaining muscle mass can lead to the misuse of steroids and restrictive diets.
There are still Americans who carry healthy body weights and are able to brush off the expectations set by the media. These lucky beings prove that it is not only the media that causes such terrible mental disorders like anorexia and bulimia, but there is sufficient evidence that shows there is some kind of negative effect coming from these pictures of "perfect" people.