I suffer from anorexia nervosa. I am one of 24 million people in the United States that suffers from an eating disorder and I am only one in ten of those people that has received treatment for my lifestyle (Noordenbox, et al). Multiple doctors, therapists, social workers, and treatment facilities have put forth their time and effort to try and put me and others like me on a path towards recovery. Every educated mind fighting this battle though is waging a war that cannot be won on the current grounds it is being fought. A steady torrent of magazines glamorizing thigh gaps, movies showing perfectly sculpted bodies, photographs showcasing flawless models, and an unrelenting advertising market built around fake and unrealistic projections of perfection is constantly pouring into young eyes and washing through young minds. The greed fueled monster known as the American media is fostering a more welcome environment for eating disorders in the American youth and undermining kind-hearted efforts to save lives from the lifestyle with the highest mortality rate of any mental illness (Noordenbox, et al).
As civilization grows and the tentacles of mass media stretch into mankind’s mind from every direction, it is important to note the damaging effects of the images being shown to the masses. In a society where the model being used to sell products to the consumer is on average 20% thinner than the demographic of the consumers themselves (Abraham 3), it’s impossible to ignore the influence these marketing campaigns have on individual psyches. This is supported by the Dittmar and Howard Journal statement on the negative effects of media influence:
“Ultra-thin models are so prominent that exposure to them becomes unavoidable and 'chronic', constantly reinforcing a discrepancy for most women and girls between their actual size and the ideal body (p. 478).”
This constant reinforcement of a false norm of standards of beauty coincides with a statistical rise in incidence of anorexia nervosa in young women aged 15 to 19 every decade since 1930 and a tripled rise in incidence of bulimia nervosa in women aged 10 to 39 between 1988 and 1993 (Hoek and Van Hoeken 383-96). The increasing rate of eating disorders and the prevalence on...