Essay The Media Causes Eating Disorders
2171 Words9 Pages
During your lifetime 250,000 people will die due to an eating disorder. Is this really the type of society we want to be a part of? One which causes people to die needlessly due to media influences which cause the augmentation of a detrimental body image? In the eyes of society emaciated celebrities are the embodiment of perfection. This media ideal of thinness presents society with an unrealistic body image and is projected through the means of television, commercials and magazines, causing women to replicate this ideal. False idealism is the jurisdiction of the 21st century with the number of teenage girls in Britain being admitted to hospital due to anorexia doubling in the last decade. The fundamental reason I chose this topic is…show more content…
In this essay I will assess and focus on why this is so, as well as recent new stresses the media has established throughout society.
Flawless images used throughout the media saturate young girl’s minds, highlighting superlative women. For teenage girls this is hard to ignore with the line between fantasy and reality skewed my mass media and stress placed on obtaining an idealistic body portrait. In modern, Western society children are constantly bombarded with images of a false nature: many of which are photo-shopped to remove ‘imperfections’. But one of the most outraging/staggering facts is that children are not unaware of the demeaning and derogatory methods used by the media with ‘81% of 10 year olds scared of becoming fat’ (World Health Organisation) showing that the prominence of the media is becoming ever more apparent.
Television images have the capability and unique aptitude to mould children’s attitudes and these are established at a very early age. Children look at TV characters as what society sees and expects of them and begin to stereotype. If a thin actor/ actress is playing the lead or key role children automatically assume they play an important factor in society and by being thin they are therefore of a higher status. This false imagery plays a vital role in a child’s upbringing, leading to a submissive pressure to constantly diet and strive for the ‘perfect body image’ and my research has
Eating Disorders and the Media
- Length: 805 words (2.3 double-spaced pages)
- Rating: Excellent
Eating Disorders and the Media
Today's society is undeniably marked by cultural norms and ideals. The question is, however, does the mass media's depiction of this norm cause harmful behavior in its population? Researchers have shown that there is a bias in the way television targets children in advertising (Ogletree, S., Williams, S., Raffeld, P., Mason, B., Fricke, K., 1990) and that this media influence over people has always been observable (Miles, M., 1995). This targeting of audience members serves the purpose of singling out the most desirable consumer for the product to encourage their economic support. So if advertising is only concerned with selling product, why is it blamed for the low self-esteem and body image and thus the bulimia and anorexia seen in today's women?
The images projected by the media in commercials, products, wrote ads etc. give today's consumers an idea of what "normal" should look like (Sellers, M., Waligroski, K., 1993). The people in the ads would all have the ideal body proportions, material possessions and social status in order to deserve the attention the ad places on them. Viewers see the ads and compare the body images they see to themselves, which is likely to reveal a discrepancy. Five years ago, the average female model weighed 23% less that the average woman of the time (Miles, M., 1995) and the difference is only growing.
Men to are affected by the media's portrayal of what ideal looks like. Jirousek explains the evolution of the ideal male figure from a slim and "romantic" shape to the "superhuman" image we see in television and the rest of media today (1996). With the beginning of televised football in the 1930's, the popularized image of males incorporated the larger than life appearance from shoulder pads and other "armor" to encompass movie heroes, comic book characters and clothing models. With the males in the public eye having these muscular figures and distorted proportions, the "normal" male then received the impression that this is what women wanted even if the look does not come easily to most men. Fabio is a good example of this image (although Jirousek states that Fabio is more for the female consumer than the influence over male viewers, 1996). This male image could be just the thing a man needs to see in order to feel completely below expectations thus, resulting in low self-esteem.
How to Cite this Page
|Essay on Disordered Eating and the Media - 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).... [tags: Health, Eating Disorders, Media]||1340 words|
| Eating Disorders and The Media Essay - Eating Disorders: Affects and Prevention by Media Our society today is heavily influenced by the media and the imagery it shows. Though it may be indirect, the media provides unhealthy messages about ideal body sizes, gender attractiveness, and weight control that make women view themselves in a negative way. Magazines, television, and movies influence teenage girls on what they believe their body image should be. The images they show set the standard of what is considered physically attractive in our society.... [tags: prevention, body dissatisfaction, image]|
:: 5 Works Cited
| Essay on The Media Causes Eating Disorders - According to the National Eating Disorder Association the media has a major influence on what a woman’s body should look like. Every print and television advertisement suggests that the ideal body is extremely thin. However, most women cannot achieve having a super-thin body that the media favors. The resulting failure leads to negative feelings about one’s self and can begin a downward spiral toward an eating disorder (National Eating Disorders Association). A particularly disturbing fact is that research has demonstrated that children as young as five years of age are experiencing body image related anxiety.... [tags: Media Images, Body Dissatisfaction, 2015]|
:: 3 Works Cited
| Media Eating Disorders Essay - Introduction The aim of this literature review is to describe the main causes of eating disorders among teenagers aged 12 to 18 years old in high schools globally, and to also explain to what extend do some of these causes influence eating disoders. Recent studies have indicated a major increase in the eating disorder habits and body dissatisfaction in adolescence over the past few decades. This crisis seems most prevalent in females`` than males with 20 percent high school females exhibiting poor eating habits and about 60 percent undergone weight loss attempt (Pritchard and Wilson, 2005).... [tags: Psychology]|
:: 8 Works Cited
| Eating Disorders and the Media Essay - Eating Disorders and the Media Doctors annually diagnose millions of Americans with eating disorders. Of those diagnosed, ninety percent are women. Most of these women have one of the two most common types of eating disorders: anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa (National Council on Eating Disorders, 2004). People with anorexia nervosa experience heart muscle shrinkage along with slow and irregular heartbeats and eventually heart failure. Along with their heart, their kidney, digestive system and muscles often fail them.... [tags: anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa]|
:: 28 Works Cited
|Eating Disorders and the Media Essay - Eating Disorders and the Media Question: How does the media alter the perceptions of adolescents' body image. & How does this exposure to the "ideal body" lead adolescents to develop eating disorders. Hypothesis: Media exposure creates an ideal body image that is not easily maintained by most adolescents and causes adolescents to be dissatisfied with their bodies and leads to unhealthy diet habits and other more sever eating disorders. Logic of Study: What if the media was limited to adolescents, would they be less likely develop an eating disorder or would they just in fact have there own thoughts creating the "actual self".... [tags: Papers]||2804 words|
|Eating Disorders and the Media Essay - Eating Disorders and the Media American writer Allen Ginsberg once said: "Whoever controls the media-the images-controls the culture." Nothing could be truer, the media has always influenced fashion and body shape. But what's remarkable now is how much the media affects body image, and how willing and eager people are to mess with Mother Nature. (Underwood, par.2) Although there are other factors that contribute to eating disorders the media can partially be blamed for the millions of people with eating disorders because it promotes and glamorizes being thin to the public.... [tags: Papers]||1278 words|
| The Media and Eating Disorders Essay - The Media and Eating Disorders It is funny how so many girls and women today are led to believe that the only way to feel attractive and be beautiful is to have their bodies consist of nothing but skin and bones. Women are dieting more today then they have ever been before. They are striving for an unattainable body figure that is portrayed by the media as being the ideal standard for today's women. It gets worse. Not only are women dieting unlike ever before, but they will ruthlessly harm their bodies in order to achieve these inaccessible standards.... [tags: Argumentative Persuasive Topics]|
:: 2 Works Cited
|Eating Disorders and the Media Essay - Eating Disorders and the Media What if you were surrounded by media messages telling you that, “people will like you more if you have the perfect body” or “being perfect makes people like you” . How do you think young female teenagers would interpret these messages that the media are portraying. 81% of ten year old girls are afraid of being fat, of being considered ugly. Why do you think ten year olds would ever care about how they look. It’s because of the media implying that being slim is beauty.... [tags: Female Body Image Weight Health Essays]||1779 words|
|Eating Disorders and the Media Essay - Eating Disorders and the Media Today's society is undeniably marked by cultural norms and ideals. The question is, however, does the mass media's depiction of this norm cause harmful behavior in its population? Researchers have shown that there is a bias in the way television targets children in advertising (Ogletree, S., Williams, S., Raffeld, P., Mason, B., Fricke, K., 1990) and that this media influence over people has always been observable (Miles, M., 1995). This targeting of audience members serves the purpose of singling out the most desirable consumer for the product to encourage their economic support. So if advertising is only concerned with selling product, why is it blamed... [tags: Argumentative Persuasive Topics]||805 words|
Eating Disorders Material Possessions Body Images Public Eye Comic Book Targets Proportions Media Influence Social Status
Looking further back in history, there is an example of women involved in what we can now look back on and label imitation. Miles compares the "media" of a century ago to that of today and points out that women are involved in the same types of self-deprivation as they were then, only for a different purpose. The media of the time was religious in nature and contained images of statues with certain proportions and tales of women who fasted for the spiritual rewards (1995). It just goes to show that this phenomenon is not new or necessarily deviant in intention but just part of the culture we live in.
Therefore, if the eating disorders seen in today's society are caused by the imitation of popularized images, why would Joines and Kashubeck come up with drastically different conclusions? In a study of Mexican-American females in south central Texas, the researchers found that lowered self-image is not a prerequisite for eating disorders (1996). It should flow that the popularized images from the media create a lower self-esteem in the young women, which would lead to the practices of bulimia and anorexia. What the researchers found however was that depression is the main reason these young women take part in the unhealthy habits. This could be explained by the group being almost half second-generation Americans. Joiner and Kashubeck acknowledge the possibility that the subjects studied just did not feel acculturated enough to feel as though the popular body images applied to them (1996) but then why would these women have such a high rate of eating disorders - almost as high as the rates found in upper middle-class white women who are thought to have the highest rate of incidence?
Of all the research done in this subject, there seems to be one factor overlooked and that is the individual perpetrator of these abnormal eating patterns. Generalizing for the whole lot of them obviously does not work with a lot of the theories because there is always the exception to the rule. The problem could lie in the media's willingness to subject the audience to any means necessary in order to turn them into consumers or in individual's inability to see the harm they are inflicting upon themselves with or without blaming the mass media for the epidemic. Either way, I think that treatment should be implemented in all identified cases rather that hoping the person will stop on their own.