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Blurring Beauty: From Editing To Eating Disorders

1293 words - 6 pages

There are 24 million people in America that are suffering from eating disorders (American Journal of Psychiatry). From this statistic, a majority blame the media as it puts such a huge emphasis on true beauty, even though it is blurring the definition of true beauty through its use of Photoshop and other editing tools. In order to help control this uprising issue, even more restraints should be put on photo editing. Companies and corporations should also follow the lead of Aerie and other lines that have banned or drastically decreased retouching in their ad campaigns. Once the restrictions and falsified images have been cut out of television and magazines, the population of America as a whole will drastically increase in health and wellness. o

By definition, eating disorders qualify as 'any range of psychological disorders characterized by abnormal or disturbed eating habits’ (Mayo Clinic). Often times, the media, television, movies, and Hollywood, influence this pride of utter perfection through retouching. Photoshop can be used to completely change the appearance of a person though blurring, trimming, and color changing ( This allows the user to completely create a new picture and allow the photograph to look anyway they please. These false images often promote ‘skinny’ and ‘thin’. However this, standard photo editors set is often extremely unattainable. Supermodel Cindy Crawford stated “I wish I looked like Cindy Crawford.” (ABC News), and by this she means that even being described as perfect and one of the most flawless women in the world, she wasn’t. The editing on the photos made her appear that way. These impossible averages are often times what cause those with poor self esteem to turn to eating disorders; in fact, in a recent study done by USA Today, it was found that 47% of girls in 5th to 12th grade reported that they wanted to lose weight because of the photos they saw in magazines. However, about 75-80% of the ads seen today are ‘Photoshopped’, therefore causing these girls to strive for an inaccessible body. In reality, only 5% of women in America currently possess the body the ‘advertising ideal’ (The Renfew Center Foundation for Eating Disorders). Because of these false pretenses, many pre-teens and adolescents, anywhere from 2 in 100 but up to 1 in 5, become victim to Anorexia or Bulimia in order to struggle for this perfection (
It can seem like eating disorders have very few consequences in order to just ‘get skinny’. However, it is just the opposite. According to NEDA, the National Eating Disorder Association, eating disorders deprive the body of vital nutrients that are needed to be able to function efficiently. In Anorexia, the symptoms include (but are not limited to) severe dehydration, fatigue, fainting, overall weakness, common hair loss, reduction of bone density, and slowing of heart rate and lowering of blood pressure. Alone, any of these complications can be dangerous, but having...

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