Anorexia In America

As the concern for eating disorders in America grows, the media’s negative influence is becoming increasingly obvious. From models on the runway, to actresses in the television, young girls are surrounded with messages about the ideal body. The media equates beauty to thinness, which can lower adolescents girls’ self esteem. As girls compare themselves to their idols, they begin to believe that they are not good enough and feel as though they must lose weight. The lack of self of esteem and the drive for thinness may lead to the development of an eating disorder, such as Anorexia. Young girls must be made aware of both the effects and the possible prevention of anorexia, even though they are continuously exposed to the media, which can contribute …show more content…
Because young girls often idolize and compare themselves to the women in the media, they may become disappointed in their own bodies. While the average woman weighs 140 lbs. and is 5’4’’, the average model is 117 lbs. and 5’11’’ (Trujilo,127). According to a BMI (Body Mass Index), the measurements for the ‘average woman’ is healthy, while the typical model is severely underweight and most likely suffers from an eating disorder. Many magazines use photoshop to edit their models in addition to the models being underweight. Unfortunately, adolescents are not always able to distinguish the difference from a healthy and an unhealthy person. Because they do not look like the models, girls feel as though they are not beautiful. The lower self esteem caused by this belief causes young girls to develop eating disorders. In addition, women in the media are often made fun of because of their weight, although they are often over average weight. Seeing idols being shamed in the media causes lowered self esteem and body dissatisfaction. The media also promotes unhealthy eating habits by putting underweight models next to headlines that say ‘How to Lose Weight Fast’ (Lopez- Guimera,309). Messages such as these promote both unhealthy eating habits and body dissatisfaction; 69% of adolescence admit that magazines play a role in their perception of beauty (Lopez- Guimera, 390). …show more content…
Because they do not look like the models, and many young girls report feeling unsatisfied with their body when compared to a model (Duran,140). Additionally, studies have found that nearly 47% of girls want to lose weight after seeing images of skinny women (Duran,142). Anorexia developed during adolescence will have a lifelong effect. The drive for thinness and the eating habits developed the disorder will likely stay for a lifetime, even after treatment. Unfortunately, the medias effect on the eating disorders can be seen before adolescents. In a study, researchers found that the amount of television watched positively correlated with eating disorder symptoms in seven year old girls (Lopez-Guierma, 391). Children should not be worried about their weight at such a young age however, from the moment they are born they are taught to fit into beauty standards. From the anorexically thin Barbies they play with to the thin models they see on TV, girls are unable to escape the media 's messages that being thin is being beautiful Although some may consider the messages sent by the media harmless, they influence the development of

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