Social Media Effects On Women

1275 Words 6 Pages
Imagine a young girl, sitting on her bed, scrolling through her social media feed. It may not seem like problematic behavior, but modern media is becoming more dangerous for young girls’ fragile body image. And as social media apps become more popular, so are a troubling epidemic of eating disorders. According to the National Women 's Health Resource Center, ninety percent of people who show symptoms of an eating disorder are between the ages of twelve and twenty-five (Wexler). This age group is especially susceptible to unsafe behaviors because they are more impressionable. It is also the same age group that most social media and internet users are. Disturbing images of thin women spread faster than ever and are available to anyone in just …show more content…
The actresses grace the covers of magazines with headlines that call upon their extreme weight loss and praise them for looking incredible at a scary one hundred pounds. These celebrities on the silver screen “reinforce extreme dieting in women who have [eating disorders]” (Witlin). Girls see women with bones poking through their skin, and feel reassured that that is normal, even idealistic. They then begin to do anything they can to obtain a ‘perfect’ body, and this generally means skipping meals and over exercising. However, famous A-listers are not the only ones to blame for provoking unhealthy eating habits. Many reality television shows parade average women around and judge them based only on their appearances. These shows strike“the emotional health of those who are vulnerable...to eating disorders” (Kirchheimer). As assistant professor of psychiatry, Jennifer Derenne pointed out, makeover programs showcase women in both their before and after stages. Often times, their ‘before’ stage presents them as fat, thus ugly and undesirable. But their ‘after’ stage presents the women as thin, thus happier and prettier. (Derenne). This leads to a damaging mindset among young women, and they believe that to be beautiful and happy, they must be a size zero. A study done in Fiji before and after television was available yielded alarming results about how …show more content…
British writer Lisa Hilton claims that “women recovering from severe eating disorders consistently report that their illness was not induced by the desire to look like [a celebrity], but by far more complex psychological issues” (Hilton). Now, of course it should be clarified that eating disorders, such as anorexia or bulimia, are indeed classified as mental illnesses. However, look at it like one would look at a physical condition such as asthma. If someone has asthma, it may be hidden until said person encounters an environment that triggers a flare up. With eating disorders, there is hardly a difference. Someone who has anorexia may not have much of a problem with their eating pattern or body image. However, introduce them to a toxic environment such as a social media page showing stick thin women, and symptoms of their disorder will

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