I have always taken an interest to eating disorders. I found eating disorders intriguing because of how society and eating disorders intermingle. I have mostly blamed eating disorders on the media. Advertisements, movies, television shows and all sorts of other aspects of media show young, sexy, skinny people getting whatever they want, which promotes the same lifestyle to today's youth.
Eating disorders suddenly became reality when my cousin was diagnosed with anorexia nervosa. She was admitted into the hospital with other people who struggled with eating disorders. Some were diagnosed with anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating. At the hospital the patients were not allowed to look in the mirror or watch movies or television shows. In addition, all magazines or anything with pictures of thin, sexy people were banned. All were admitted into classes to help them develop healthy lifestyles and teach them not to focus on the media's portrayal of society.
According to chapter 11, when American and British television was introduced to the Pacific island of Fiji eating disorders in young girls increased by fivefold within four years (Lilienfeld 436). If television alone has that much influence on eating disorders what do magazines and Hollywood do to the body images of today's youth? How can we survive this epidemic when mass media continues to grow as an industry? It is impossible to stay away from media all together but how can we change the mindset of the youth to not buy into the thin, model-like body image and strive for a healthy body image? Eating disorders are difficult for everyone involved in the situation. Unfortunately, the western society is making more and more people aware of its monstrous effects up close and in person.
Source: Lilienfeld, Scott O. "Emotions and Motivation." Psychology: From Inquiry to Understanding. Boston: Pearson/Allyn Bacon, 2009. 436-37. Print.