Eating Disorders And Media

Improved Essays
According to the National Eating Disorders Association, 20 million women and 10 million men in the United States have suffered from a clinically significant eating disorder at some point in their life. Most people agree that eating disorders are horrible diseases that are currently rising with popularity, but argument exists as to whether the media is directly causing this increase. Although there are many causes of eating disorders, there is a strong correlation between large amounts of media exposure and a high probability of eating disorders. The media promotes eating disorders through celebrity beauty expectations, the fashion industry, and popular diets.
Eating disorders are psychological issues that involve the restriction of food intake,
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The reason so many young men and women are looking in the mirror and becoming unhappy is because they are constantly bombarded with images of skinny, beautiful celebrities. “The media sets up impossible comparisons. Whether you’re watching sitcoms or music videos or looking through magazines, the images you’re seeing are airbrushed and enhanced” (Mehta). Because the public has grown use to the idea of perfect celebrities, people grow up thinking that they are inadequate if they do not have a twenty-four inch waist. The reason we try so hard to imitate our celebrities is because “the camera is a tease, simulating an intimacy we do not have, a familiarity that incites us to narrow the physical distance that divides us from the stars, to eliminate the meditation of the lens, and press ourselves against them, flesh to flesh” (Harris 139). In other words, women starve themselves because they believe that if they are thin enough and look like their favorite celebrity, they will finally be happy. Women are always told to lose weight or gain weight and it seems that whenever we watch an actress being interviewed, the topic almost always switches to weight loss or dieting. On the Tonight Show, “one newly arrived South American singer remarked that she had left the poverty of her country for the United States ‘in order to eat.’ Now, after considerable struggle to get …show more content…
Opponents persist that the media should not be held responsible for eating disorders. They believe that it is not the fashion industry’s fault that eating disorders are on the rise; skinny models are professionally necessary to sell clothes. “The fashion industry is ultimately unconcerned with beauty; its objective is selling clothes, and the consensus remains that in order to achieve this, models need to be thin” (Hilton). They also think that it is easier to make clothes for skinnier woman and that is not the industry’s fault, it is simply common sense. “There 's a reason they always go back to slender models: Clothes look better on them. (Also, it usually isn 't practical to custom-sew garments for individual models, so clothing samples are made for a standard size 6.)” (Schwarz). Challengers also mention that women should be able to tell the difference between the screen and real-life. The relationship between the media and eating disorders is creating a huge controversy and many experts hold differing opinions on this

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