Body Image & Eating Disorders

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anorexia.jpgMany people suffer from eating disorders, namely bulimia nervosa and anorexia nervosa. Bulimia is the most common eating disorder, afflicting 1 to 3 percent of the population (Lilienfield). Anorexia is less common, with numbers ranging from 0.5 to 1 percent of the population. Either way, these eating disorders are scary and can be traumatic to the health of those suffering. For example, women who suffer from anorexia who continue to sustain a low weight can result in having a loss of menstrual periods, hair loss, heart problems, and fragile bones. These disorders are likely to be triggered by sociocultural expectations of what people's body image should be. Many women that are featured in the media typically weigh 15 percent less than women's average weight. This shows how women that are exposed to these images can feel that this is what they are supposed to look like. If they do not look like these extremely slim women, many feel that society will not accept them. Therefore, they acquire these eating disorders to fit this distorted image of what is "beautiful." Women who already are concerned about their body image may lean towards media that features these distorted images of women, so the media may not completely cause these disorders to be triggered, but there is still evidence that there is some causal effect of the media on eating disorders. Women aren't the only ones that suffer. Men suffer too. They are faced with images of muscular, in-shape men and feel that the only way that a girl will be attracted to them is to obtain this body image. This is unrealistic, but it is what a lot of media today portrays. In my opinion, airbrushing and Photoshop completely distort our views on what we should look like. The real question that people should think about is this: why should we try to look like these men and women in the media, when in reality, they are not even real themselves?

Here is a video targeted towards parents to help stop their kids from obtaining these negative body images from the media:
The Psychology of Beauty - Media affects body image

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This page contains a single entry by pratt227 published on November 6, 2011 10:02 PM.

The Mere Exposure Effect was the previous entry in this blog.

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