In response to the enormous level of exposure and pressure exhibited by the mass media, it is apparent as to why many people are and remain highly displeased with their body size. Although the media has provided us with substantial evidence to suggest that they are accountable for the steady rise in eating disorders one must not mistake it for being the only cause since eating disorders arise from several interacting complex issues which this essay will go on to discuss.
A second factor known
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The social comparison theory proposed by Festinger (1954 in Roberts & Good, 2010) asserts that individuals have a natural tendency to compare themselves to one another whether they score high in neuroticism or low in neuroticism (in Roberts & Good, 2010). An upward comparison is thought to occur when one compares themselves to one that beholds extreme beauty may it be real or imagined (in Roberts & Good, 2010). In contrast, a downside comparison occurs when one compares themselves to someone that is lower or worse off than them (in Roberts & Good, 2010). Myers & Crowther (2009, in Roberts & Good, 2010) came to demonstrate that these social comparisons produced adverse effects on both men and women’s body esteem (in Roberts & Good, 2010). As expected, highly neurotic individuals engage mostly in upward comparisons when confronted with idealised images creating high levels of body dissatisfaction thus leading to the occurrence of eating disorders (in Roberts & Good, 2010). Conversely, low neurotic individuals experience downside comparisons (Martin & Kennedy, 1993; Van der Zee et al., 2003; in Roberts & Good, 2010). The phenomenon of an upward comparison has also been illustrated in individuals bearing eating disorder symptoms whilst also displaying characteristics of a neurotic (Cassin & Ranson, 2005; in Roberts & Good, 2010).
Moreover, self-report measures assessed neurotic individual’s level of self-esteem and revealed that their