The Stereotypes Of The Mass Media And Binge Eating Image

1908 Words 8 Pages
We are living and growing up in an era that is media-saturated. Societal standards of attractiveness are presented in nearly all forms of the mass media: television, magazines, billboards, just to name a few. These presentations constantly bombard individuals with a body image that is not a reflection of reality. The typical ideal is for a man to be muscular and promiscuous. The typical ideal for a woman is to be either curvaceous with a slim waist or relatively thin. Although models are utilized to exert this image, only a tiny percent of individuals can ever realistically entertain the hope of achieving the bodies shown in most advertisements (Dittmar). Even though the mass media exposes us to such advertisements, the models used are commonly …show more content…
They may or may not feel guilty or insecure afterwards. Bulimia nervosa can be classified into two categories: Purging bulimia--frequent self-induced vomiting and misuse of laxatives or diuretics, and Nonpurging bulimia--fasting and excessively exercising to rid calories.
Binge eating disorder involves eating very large amounts of food rapidly. The cravings that can occur do so as a result of poor body image, stress, and low self-esteem. Although a person does feel sick following an episode of binge eating, these episodes occur frequently and almost uncontrollably.
While eating disorders can be caused by genetics, psychological, and emotional health, mass media is the one mechanism that has an ever-increasing influence on the development of such disorders (Spettigue). This is what the mass media industry fails to realize. The mass media is the gatekeeper of societal norms. They control the messages that are conveyed to society. They make people feel inferior after exposing them to idealistic images. If a consumer wants to look the way a model is portrayed on an advertisement, that may influence them to buy the product. Since the mass media industry strives to sell their products and make profits, a possible solution would be to make advertisements that appeal to a wider audience, not to alienate anyone. The wise thing to do would be to promote positive
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Those with anorexia nervosa engage in media use and describe their consumption of fashion magazines as an “addiction,” with many saying that their greatest media dependency occurred after their eating disorders had begun to take control of their lives (Spettigue). The exposure of idealistic body images advertised to these women only promote additional unhealthy behaviors. Beauty magazines promote step-by-step instructions that grant individuals a false hope of attaining an ideal body image. Television, magazines, among other forms of mass media are the only way society is able to stay informed, whether it be news or simple entertainment. The mass media is the commander of how societal standards and trends are set. The mass media industry should recognize this and use these advantages to promote advertisements that include step-by-step instructions that will help sufferers of eating disorders improve unhealthy behaviors and learn more positive life skills. Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental disorder (Crow). Only 1 in 10 of individuals with such illnesses receive any type of treatment (ANAD). If those who are already suffering from eating disorders are the heaviest users of media, the best compromise for the mass media industry to make would be to utilize advertisements that influence health intervention. There would still be a profit made. But there would be much fewer

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