The Objectification Of Eating Disorders

Improved Essays
Over the past several decades, eating disorders have been a major health issue, especially among young women in High School and College. In fact, a recent article on USAToday.com states that according to The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that 25% of college students have eating disorders. The story also points out that the same percent of college women report managing weight by binging and purging, stating that students suffering from these eating disorders are not easily “picked out”, as these issues commonly go unnoticed (2014). An article from the Journal of Counseling & Development states that The National Eating Disorders
Association estimated that approximately 10 million women and 1 million men in the United
States
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371). This suggests that social expectations of the “ideal beauty” are compacted by a history of sexual objectification of women, causing a large percentage of women to view themselves as “not good enough”, therefore taking drastic measures (like extreme dieting or non-eating) to achieve what they have been taught by those in society is adequate. Self-objectification, or being excessively critical of one’s own body, often comes at the hands of objectification, a point that researcher Jennifer Muehlenkamp addresses in her study. The researcher specifically tested the hypothesis that there is in fact a relationship between self-objectification and eating disorders. Results confirm this hypothesis and write, “When confronted with one’s inability to attain the cultural standards of beauty, some women experience guilt, shame, and a sense of helplessness, all of which could contribute to the development of depressive symptoms. In order to cope with these depressive symptoms, women may engage in disordered eating as an attempt to control and change their appearance” (Muehlenkamp, 202, p. 377). Furthermore, high school and college women, being at a point in their lives when being accepted is crucial and there is immense pressure to be attractive and get a boyfriend, experience a much more intense sense of importance to “do whatever necessary” to achieve these

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