No one can deny the relationship between eating disorder and the media.
For centuries, women in particular have been extremely fashion focused and used other women in fashion magazines and film to determine how they ought to look.
From the era that praised women on the more voluminous side through paintings to the many eras of girdle wearing and tight fitting corsets, whatever was said to be most flattering was the way to be.
Somehow, thin seemed to always be in and that motto lived on into present, especially in the media.
Eating disorders have been traced back as early as the mid-1600s; however, they were taken lightly by the medical world and received little spotlight until much later.
It wasn’t until the 1970s that books would begin to be written on this troubled eating and public figures would begin to bring their eating disorders to the light.
Eating disorders don’t just affect adolescent girls, “twenty somethings”, and the average individual.
Eating Disorder And The Media
Yes, eating disorders affect a high percentage of average youths but they do not discriminate.
Adolescents are at risk of developing eating disorders for a multiple reasons.
They attend schools where, sadly, kids are cruel and turn everyday into a fashion show and popularity contest.
They may be teased about their weight and a desire to fit in and feel wanted leaves them desperate and depressed.
The over exposure of today’s youth to magazines, music videos, and television shows adorned with seemingly perfect and fit celebrities contributes to their feelings of not being thin enough and therefore unattractive.
If you take a look on the other side, there is a great degree of irony.
Many of the celebrities those suffering with eating disorders are trying to emulate have body image and self esteem issues of their own.
Celebrities feel the need to look good at all times; they are constantly photographed, urged to look their best -which usually means thinnest- for music video, film and photo shoots, as well as events.
They are pressured to look better than the next up and coming starlet and other celebrities aren’t just taunting beauties in magazines to them, they are their actual peers!
Imagine the pressure of that.
A good fact to keep in mind is that these celebrities are often airbrushed and even body doubled, and many struggle with eating disorders themselves.
A good example of this was when Pretty Woman was released with Julia Roberts, the picture that was used to advertise the movie of her and Richard Gere was not even her body, they used a double.
When I look at magazines now and they talk about woman in their 40’s and 50’s and what a great body they have, I now don’t believe them as most of the time they are airbrushed, another example is Rachel Hunter, in this particular magazine she was in a bikini and looked stunning, no tattoos (she has got a tattoo on her stomach, but magically it wasn’t there any more) and she has been complaining about her cellulite and magically that had disappeared to.
So yes eating disorder and the media have a lot to play in the way we look at ourselves.
One of the most famed celebrity eating disorder cases was Karen Carpenter, who died as a result of her Anorexia in the early 1980s. Karen Carpenter Story
Many other celebrities struggled with or received treatment for their eating disorders in later years.
With both the average individual and the seemingly perfect starlet being at the mercy of eating disorders, what or whom is to blame for eating disorders? Myself I mostly blame eating disorder and the media.
While the connection between eating disorder and the media is undeniable, the true culprit is the lack of education, self awareness and self esteem within our society.
Taking preventive measures, such as talking to adolescent daughters about their own bodies, eating disorders and the damages of them, how character does count, and how unrealistic the bodies of women on the majority of media material are, will help create strong individuals who in turn are less likely to be affected and feel a need to conform.
Read More about Anorexia Overcoming Anorexia Eating Disorders
As with myself, I was bulimic for 25 years, I didn’t realize what I was doing to myself and my family and friends never knew, it just wasn’t talked about like it is now, in my book Overcoming Life’s Challenges I take you on the journey of being a bulimic and having a problem with my weight to how I overcame this illness.
I must point out because I have been there, PLEASE get help otherwise it will destroy your life, and life is just too precious.
Eating Disorder And The Media Quote By Amy Baker
When it comes to adolescent eating disorders, it is usually the parents’ responsibility to seek help. The girl with the eating disorder is often the last to know she is ill.
Overcoming Life’s Challenges
The Inspiring and Empowering Story of One Woman’s Triumph Over Alcoholism, Bankruptcy, weight issues and Despair.
She did not just struggle to survive. She struggled to win!
If a single sentence could sufficiently describe a lifetime, then this would be an apt description of Moya’s life. From a privileged childhood to adulthood of bankruptcies and subsequent salvation, Moya weathered all storms to be where she is now—a fulfilled woman with a story to tell.
SIGN UP FOR MY NEWSLETTER
Fill in the form to receive all the inspirational thoughts from Moya